Here is my collection of Christmas carols and seasonal songs in basic text format for easy downloading. I’ve included some interesting facts about each song and its recordings. From there you can click on the title to open the lyrics in a new window.
Go to the Christmas Carols Index.
My family has always enjoyed singing, whether it was in the church choir, the school chorus, the college glee club, and even at home. While driving in the car, at picnics or family dinners, my father was ready and able to lead everyone in a song, no accompaniment necessary. The same is especially true at Christmas. Our traditional Christmas dinner at the home of my brother is never complete without a sing-a-long. We all know the tunes and harmony, but sometimes the words fail us, especially to those additional verses we rarely hear.
I am reminded of an old skit from the Saturday Night Live TV show, where John Belushi’s character tries to lead his Knights of Columbus in a Christmas carol. No matter which song he picks, everyone sings the first line, but they quickly fade on the second.
So I made it my project to print out lyrics for our Christmas dinner. Over a period of years I added more and more songs, as I was able to acquire them. The first ones came from our church hymnal. Others I meticulously transcribed by listening to recordings over and over. If I couldn’t understand what they were singing, I would just right down what it sounded like and then try to figure it out in context. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to It’s Beginning To Look before I figured out that a bissel a shoes is actually a pistol that shoots! Even today I pride myself in being able to recite all five verses of Good King Wenceslas and all four verses of Jingle Bells.
Today of course, you can make your own compilation much more easily by searching the Web. Nevertheless, here is my collection of lyrics to traditional Christmas carols and seasonal songs in simple text format, without any blinking lights or dancing reindeer. Feel free to download them for your own Christmas party, caroling group, or just to sing along to the stereo.
My definition of traditional songs are those which you might hear at a children’s, school, church, or community concert, or those which have been recorded by numerous artists. In fact, most of these songs I have heard live when either I or someone from my family was participating in the performance. So if you’re looking for the words to a new song by your favorite pop or country star, you won’t find it here. Titles appearing in italics are duplicates, included for your convenience. The links will open as a plain text file. From there you can print or save the file as you wish. As with any traditional song, especially those which are translated from other languages, exact wording may vary.
A few years ago I loaded the CD player with a rack of Christmas CDs and set it to Random Play. One of the CDs was Händel’s Messiah. Imagine my amusement when the stereo played, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying: Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus…”
Go to the Christmas Carols Index.
Comments and Feedback
When I first posted Broken Claw’s Christmas Carols online in 1998, it was one of only a handful of such pages on the Internet. At that time, my site would come up on the first page of results whenever someone searched for “Christmas carols lyrics” in any of the popular search engines. It was — perhaps still is — the only one presented in the context of someone who actually sings the songs. As the web grows exponentially with commercial sites, personal websites like mine are pushed farther and farther back into the mist. But I hope to keep the content here as easy as possible for my readers to find and print — and, most of all, to sing!
Over the years, I have received feedback from people in more than twenty countries and nearly every US state, including Hawaii and Alaska. This blog replaced the Guestbook feature which I had on the website from November 2000 to December 2005, and I will always be grateful for the hundreds of kind messages I received during that time. If you find my Carols page helpful, feel free to leave a comment. You can include your location in the Name box (e.g. Tom from Kansas). An email address is required for security reasons, but it is never displayed. You may also make requests or comments on the lyrics already posted.