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Written by Paul D. Race for Family Christmas OnlineTM

Family Christmas OnlineTM Music

This page contains links to many resources for adding music to your family Christmas celebrations. Right now we are posting traditional Christmas carols and their stories. As time permits, we will add more songs and begin to provide music files for each song, so please keep checking back.

What is a Carol?

At the moment, we are focusing on carols. Most strictly, a carol is a song that directly celebrates a holiday or a religious season. As an example, "O Come, All Ye Faithful" directly celebrates what makes Christmas not only a holiday but also a holy day. Songs about Santa, or reindeer, or chestnuts may put us in the mood to celebrate Christmas, but they aren't, technically, carols. So as we begin this effort, we will focus first on presenting the three dozen or so traditional carols that we consider most central to celebrating a family Christmas.

What Are Traditional Carols?

Traditional carols are songs that have typically been sung in churches, in homes, and on street corners by trained and untrained musicians alike for so long that they have become part of our culture. In addition, the words and the melody of these carols are not protected by copyright, so we can present them here without being afraid of someone suing us for copyright violation. On the other hand, the graphics on our song pages, the articles we've written about each song, and any sheet music arrangements or music sound tracks, we provide are copyrighted, because they are our original work, even though they are based on traditional materials. If you have any question about where to "draw the line," please contact us, and you'll find that we're very reasonable people.

Where do Traditional Carols Come From?

Most of the "traditional" carols we link to below are sung in English today. However we chose to divide them by the cultures that produced them. This shows both that many nationalities, ethnic groups, and cultures contributed to the way we celebrate Christmas in England and North America today, and that the great truths of Christmas trancend national, cultural, and ethnic boundaries.

If you would rather sort through an alphabetical list of all our current carol pages, we have that, too - simply click here.

Other Music Resources

We will eventually be providing other links to resources about music, mostly, but not all Christmas music. Click to jump to the Wax Cylinder Christmas Recordings page.

Paul Race playing a banjo. Click to go to Paul's music home page.As you may have guessed, I especially enjoyed putting the Christmas music pages together because I am a musician myself. Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you come away with some great ideas for "sharing the joy."

And please stay in touch!

    - Paul Race Click to see Paul's music page on Facebook Click to see Paul's music blog page Click to see Paul's YouTube Channel. Click to see Paul's music home page

All material, illustrations, and content of this web site is copyrighted 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 by Paul D. Race. All rights reserved.
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