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Best Christmas Songs You've Never Heard

Ms. Inglish has 30 years experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

A Different Tree Can Be Good

In some traditions, the tree is always arranged upside down. A change in choice of Christmas music can be just as refreshing.

In some traditions, the tree is always arranged upside down. A change in choice of Christmas music can be just as refreshing.

Diverse Traditions Around Christmas

In America, we have a diversity of Christmas traditions and winter holiday customs. Two different celebrations that have caused competing sides to struggle against one another are Commercial Christmas and the Christmas of Faith. The first is based on buying, giving, and receiving presents; while the second is a faith based tradition that celebrates the Gift of God to the world with or without giving Christmas presents.

A portion of Americans celebrate only the first holiday and may or may not speak of the Spirit of Christmas, while another segment celebrates only the second holiday.

A third sector of the population celebrates both, while a fourth division celebrates neither for a variety of reasons that include observing other cultural or faith based holidays, the custom of not celebrating any holidays at all, and other factors.

Yet a fifth portion of the American population wishes that they could, in fact, celebrate one or both of the Christmas holidays listed above, but are unable to do so for any number of reasons. They may be in the hospital without family or sitting beside the bed of a seriously ill family member every day, they may not have any money or even be unemployed, they may have to work throughout the holidays (even double shifts) to pay bills, they might be trapped in an abusive situation and not permitted to have any holiday, or they may be serving in the US Armed Forces (and might even be suffering as Prisoners of War).

Many of these unusual circumstances might be eased somewhat with unusual, refreshing music in the air, rather than that thousandth playing of Jingle Bells. While we listen to our own music, we can remember the plight of these unfortunate people and may be moved to action.

Below are some unusual sings that have been used to commemorate the commercial Xmas of Santa Claus and faith based Christmases. These are all my favorites, because I tire of hearing Rudolph and Frosty on the Muzak system in Big Lots during August every year. Refraining from entering the store does not help, because the music is so loud that is pervades the air space outside the store for one half block in either direction.

I hope you enjoy these songs and lyrics, accompanied by videos.

Becky Kelley - Where's the Line to See Jesus

Video Credit On Youtube: beckykelleySTL on YouTube; and see the website /

The First Carol Written In North America

A Jesuit priest who became a saint wrote the Huron Carol in Canada for the First Nation people that he served in 1643. The carol is sung in Wendat language of the Hurons and in French, with differing lyrics. Outside of Canada, not many people now of it.

Huron Carol

This Christmas Gift, by Mark C. Gage and Stephen M. Lautenbacher

Shoes For a Sick Mother

The following song is one that combines the lights and gift giving of the holidays with a child's vision of Heaven for his mom.

Listen to The Christmas Shoes, by New Song.

Mary Did You Know?

The haunting and touching carol "Mary Did You Know?" was written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene in 1991, and first recorded by Michael W. English. Many artists have covered this song, including Wynonna Judd (who also recorded "Let's Make a Baby King") and Kenny Rogers in 1997. Mary J. Blige covered it and Cee Lo Green even recorded it - in 2012! The Pentatonix version in on Billboard's Hot 100.

Second City TV Christmases

Bob and Doug of The Great White North was a hilarious segment of the Second City TV shows in the late 1970s-1980s. The brothers were played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. These actors later reprised their roles as two moose in the animated Brother Bear and as the McKensie brothers again in a 24th anniversary special of The Great White North in May of 2007.

In 1994 and 1995, the New Red Green Show featured Dave Thomas as a Doug Mckenzie type of character. Dave played Ben Franklin, wearing the same outfit and portraying one half of another comic set of brothers.

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The 12 Days of Christmas as Bob and Doug McKensie song it is illustrated in a way that makes it easier to understand the gifts. This is a lot of fun and not offensive as some other spoof Christmas songs may be to some folks - particularly The 12 Pains of Christmas.   

Bob and Doug of the Great White North

The group known as AnimxaEnt has come up with a great animated version of Bob & Doug's 12 Days of Christmas and have a site at Their version of Bob & Doug McKenzie's 12 Days of Christmas is below and they provide a trailer for their animated Bob & Doug show.

Might be fun! 

Unique Christmas Songs

The following songs are unique in that they are set to music that has not been associated primarily with Christmas carols and church hymns, or because they perhaps have not been heard by many people.

Some songs that are usually associated with Easter are used at Christmas time by churches as well, enlivening faith based services with high energy and closing the circle in the tradition of birth, death, and resurrection.

Wynonna Judd's rendition of Let's Make A Baby King is an engaging bluesy number with a lot of energy. You may know it as "Why Don't We Call Him Lord?"

The Blues: Let's Make A Baby King - Performed by Jason Crabb

In the Bleak Midwinter

This song is one that I have heard only once among dozens of Christmases. The tune is lyrical and almost haunting.

Lyrics by Christina Rossetti in 1872 and tune by Gustav Holst in 1906.

  • In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
  • Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
  • Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
  • In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
  • Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
  • Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
  • In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
  • The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.


  • Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
  • Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
  • Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
  • The ox and ass and camel which adore.
  • Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
  • Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
  • But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
  • Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.


  • What can I give Him, poor as I am?
  • If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
  • If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
  • Yet what I can I give Him? -- Give my heart.

Listen to James Taylor sing it.

In the Bleak Midwinter

Modern Church Music

Modern church music tends not to be over-played in stores during the Christmas and winter holiday seasons, because the standard fare is already taking up all the airwaves.

Some of the old American favorites are beautiful, such as White Christmas, and Silver Bells, but some others become very annoying after constant performances in stores, on the radio, and on television shows. We want an interlude of something different and with substance.

I have never heard either of the following songs played over the Muzak system of a department store at Christmas. In fact, the first one may even scare some customers out of the store, because it is so dramatic.

The following two songs were written originally for the Easter season or non-holiday portions of the year, but are used by several churches I have visited during the Christmas season. He's Alive was written by Ray Boltz and is a powerful number. Jesus Is Alive was written by modern Gospel music artist Ron Kenoly -- You can dance to that one! It is often played as a mash-up with Lift Him Up.

Ron Kenoly & Hillsong: Jesus Is Alive

What Are Your Favorite Christmas Season Melodies?

Here are my Top 10 Favorites:

1) Mary Did You Know

2) Where's The Line To See Jesus?

3) Let's Make A Baby King

4) Huron Carol: Translated as "Jesus, He Is Born" and also "Twas In the Moon of Wintertime" (Canadian, written for the Huron First People). This is the first carol written in North America.

5) Wexford Carol (from Ireland)

6) In the Bleak Midwinter

7) Bob & Doug McKenzie's 12 Days of Christmas

8) Lift Him Up and He's Alive mash-up

9) The Holly and the Ivy (from Glouchestershire, England)

10) (a tie) The 12 Days of Christmas, in Russian; and We Three Kings of Orient Are


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS

What's Your Favorite Winter Season Holiday Song?

N M Page on January 15, 2020:

This article is really special. It is filled with love and sadness. Christmas for self has always been about the vibrations of love and peace that seems to fill the earth for short time. It is easy for many to forget about the sadness that this time can also brings forth. It definitely is a holiday of polarity.

Jeremy Bond Shepherd on November 13, 2011:

I indeed "got a blessin'" out of HE'S ALIVE. Thanks for sharing.

If you are interested, check out my favorite alterna-Christmas song, an old French carol called "Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant" It's haunting and beautiful.

Lorne Hemmerling from Prescott on November 12, 2011:

Very nice job on this hub!!

weezy1c from Ladson,South Carolina on September 18, 2011:

The song "Christmas In The Desert" by Paul Parr. It is a very beautiful song.Paul has a voice that really gets to you.If you ever get a chance,listen to anyone of his albums.His song "Sing Me To Sleep",makes me cry whenever I hear it. He sings both Country and Gospel.(Most of the songs,he wrote himself.

Majorshadow on December 24, 2010:

Song "Hosanna" Jesus' arrival at Jerusalem

Hear it at URL:

Chelsea Carter-Kern from Florida on August 25, 2010:

Loved the new flavor of Christmas music. It's nice to find something new :)

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 22, 2010:

Thanks for all the favorites and the new tunes. I hope everyone enjoys them - Merry Christmas!

talfonso from Tampa Bay, FL on August 21, 2010:

I'm a bit disappointed that you did not include Barry Manilow's "Because it's Christmas" in your Hub! It's my favorite Christmas standard hands down!

Oh, and don't forget Scott Soper's "Child of the Poor" - combined with "What Child Is This?" as the countermelody, it makes me misty-eyed!

lurchthing on November 29, 2009:

bob rivers twisted christmas songs

StarWing Productions on November 25, 2009:

Here is a new Indie Release for 2009 "Christmas Cheer" by DestinationDawn:

Perry on October 11, 2009:

Check out this indie rock christmas song from Matteo Scumaci - Branch in the Spokes.

You can hear it on as it's the featured track. I believe it's available on Amazon and itunes in about a week.

Merry Xmas,

P ; )

Mike Hyden on October 01, 2009:

Two songs I wrote you never heard.


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 30, 2009:


lurchthing on September 30, 2009:

you for got the old standard..........."I SAW DADDY KISSING SANTA CLAUS"by RuPaul.....and no thats not a joke eather

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 30, 2009:

WOW, Juicy! I have not heard a single one of them. I wish you'd do a Hub on them. I'll attempt to find them on Youtube. Thanks so much, this is great!

JUICY FRUIT on September 30, 2009:

my favourite alternative christmas songs top ten :

back door santa - clarence carter

go power at christmas time - james brown

purple snowflakes - marvin gaye

jesus christ - big star

my new years resolution -mae west

the happiest christmas tree - nat king cole

jingle bell rock - the ventures

just like christmas - low

hang your balls on the christmas tree - kay martin

in the hot sun of a christmas day - caetano veloso

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 23, 2008:

Jan! - I know it now that you have shared it with us. I find it beautiful and uplifting.

Jan Mosbacher from Devon on December 21, 2008:


My favourite is a Carol called Gaudete, written in the 16th Century. It was probably sung on Gaudete Sunday - the 3rd Sunday in Advent. Do you know it?

Best wishes


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 04, 2008:

Ah, it must be an English or UK standard, then, Jan and thanks for Stumbling it. It's beautiful.

I wish more folks would answer this request and list their favorites as well.

Thanks again Jan and Merry Christmas and Blessings to you!

Jan Mosbacher from Devon on December 04, 2008:


I think this should have a hubscore of 100 and I've reviewed it on StumbleUpon so that more people can see it.

I was surprised you don't hear 'In the Bleak Midwinter' more often. In England it's sung in churches and by Carol singers every year.

I'd never heard 'The Christmas Shoes' so thanks for that. It was very moving.

Merry Christmas


Cris A from Manila, Philippines on December 03, 2008:

Its the Christmas song that Bob Geldof wrote for the famine in Ethiopia - in the same vein as the USA For Africa's We Are the World. As for your suggestion, I say Amen to that! :D

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 03, 2008:

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" - That's a nive one, so thanks for reminding me. We should do a Top 10 Alternative Christmas Songs contest. :)

Cris A from Manila, Philippines on December 03, 2008:

Wow! And here I am stuck with the Jingle Bells of yore! On second thought, I think I have come as far as Do they Know it's Christmas (feed the world)! Thanks for sharing these "new" Christmas songs :D

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 02, 2008:

Thanks for all the comments! I really like something with substance that is refreshing and not rote recitation in music, reading, everywhere.

compu-smart -- The McKensies are fantastically goofy. I wish they'd do more TV programs, because they are still as funny as the old tapes of Second City TV, which are hard to find.

Lgali on December 02, 2008:

very nice hub

Tony Sky from London UK on December 02, 2008:

Hi Patty, Your right!! I have never heard of any of these before!!

I loved Bob & Doug McKenzie's 12 Days of Christmas!!


Dottie1 from MA, USA on December 02, 2008:

Thought provoking hub. Enjoyed the different Christmas music. Thanks Patty. Thumbs up.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 01, 2008:

Sorry for knocking Jingle Bells, but businesses over play it on the Muzak until it is just noise. A little variety would help. :)

Netters from Land of Enchantment - NM on December 01, 2008:

Really enjoyed this hub, thanks Patty! My favorite song is Jingle Bells.

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