Christmas songs are a well-established tradition. Approaching the holiday season, Christmas magic is in the air: light strings and music are part of this festive period. Take advantage of these family moments to transmit some French traditions through typical French Christmas songs. We have selected for you the most famous and beloved melodies with their lyrics in French and, when possible, their English subtitles.
Christmas songs tradition
The holiday season is traditionally celebrated with music and songs. In many countries, songs are crooned by the Christmas tree, by a chorus, on stage or in the streets, it is the custom of Christmas carols.
Christmas songs have mainly been composed on ancient melodies, some dating from the 15th century. The musical ambiance of the holiday lives on across generations and still goes on! Each year, many Christmas songs albums are released. The Christmas repertoire is such a success that some radio stations air them all day long during the holiday season. Jingle bell rock!
Our selection of the most beautiful Christmas songs in French
Christmas carols release more than happiness. They are an excellent mean to get to know French culture as their lyrics talk about the most ancient festive traditions. Here is our selection of the most beautiful French Christmas songs.
Mon beau sapin
The Christmas tree decoration starts in music! This song comes originally from Germany. The lyrics refer to the enduring qualities of the tree to be a symbol of consistency and fidelity. It is at the beginning of the XXth century that the song has been associated with the Christmas tree.
Petit Papa Noël
It is time for children to write their letter to Santa while listening to this song dedicated to him! Recorded in 1946 by the French signer Tino Rossi, Petit Papa Noël is still today the most sold Christmas song in France.
Vive le vent
Jingle Bells in its original American version, Vive le vent is one of the best-known Christmas song in the world. Entertaining and cheerful, it will make the children wait while playing in the snow before Christmas Eve.
With is lyrics tainted of nostalgy, the whole family can listen to Noël blanc near the chimney, hoping for the snow to come. A good opportunity for everyone to share her/his best Christmas memory.
Petit garçon il est l’heure d’aller se coucher
Petit garçon il est l’heure d’aller se coucher talks about the final night when Santa delivers his presents. The song tries to calm down the children impatience and take them to sleep. Christmas night will be a long night for Santa and his reindeers.
Douce nuit, sainte nuit
Among the famous Christian songs, Douce nuit, Sainte nuit would have been composed in an Austrian church with a dying organ. This song has then been written first before being played with the guitar.
Les anges dans campagnes
This very famous French Christmas carol, Les anges dans nos campagnes depicts the search of the nativity by the shepherds during the Holy night.
Il est né le divin enfant
Il est né le divin enfant, Jouez hautbois, résonnez musettes ! This very well-known French Christmas song celebrating the birth of Jesus may have found the inspiration for its melody from a hunting song.
La marche des rois
As a bonus to prolong the magic after Christmas, La marche des rois is a popular song from Provence celebrating the Epiphany, when the 3 Kings come to visit Jesus. Today, the tradition of sharing a puff pastry cake with a bean inside, is very vivid. The one who finds the bean is named King!
We wish you Happy Holidays!
Lorene & Emmanuelle