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'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas

Allen in Oz 23 Dec 11 - 02:31 AM
Genie 22 Dec 11 - 09:46 PM
Young Buchan 22 Dec 11 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler (Well-known pedant) 22 Dec 11 - 03:46 PM
Mo the caller 22 Dec 11 - 10:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Dec 11 - 10:19 AM
Mo the caller 22 Dec 11 - 10:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Dec 11 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 22 Dec 11 - 04:46 AM
Genie 21 Dec 11 - 03:24 PM
fat B****rd 21 Dec 11 - 03:13 PM
JHW 21 Dec 11 - 03:05 PM
GUEST 21 Dec 11 - 12:11 PM
Genie 23 Dec 06 - 02:38 AM
Genie 23 Dec 06 - 02:33 AM
Scrump 22 Dec 06 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Jim 22 Dec 06 - 11:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Dec 06 - 10:53 AM
Scrump 22 Dec 06 - 10:05 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Dec 06 - 09:59 AM
Scrump 22 Dec 06 - 09:40 AM
Uncle Phil 22 Dec 06 - 09:25 AM
Scrump 22 Dec 06 - 04:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Dec 06 - 03:51 AM
Genie 22 Dec 06 - 02:10 AM
Genie 22 Dec 06 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 22 Dec 06 - 01:09 AM
SharonA 21 Dec 06 - 04:28 PM
Cluin 21 Dec 06 - 02:07 PM
Cluin 21 Dec 06 - 10:27 AM
Cluin 21 Dec 06 - 10:27 AM
Cluin 21 Dec 06 - 10:27 AM
Scrump 21 Dec 06 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Ohmygod 21 Dec 06 - 10:13 AM
Scrump 21 Dec 06 - 06:22 AM
Genie 20 Dec 06 - 08:28 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 20 Dec 06 - 07:09 PM
Genie 19 Dec 06 - 01:50 AM
Uncle Phil 19 Dec 06 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,Ingrid Frances Stark 19 Dec 06 - 12:17 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 18 Dec 06 - 10:30 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Dec 06 - 08:32 PM
SharonA 18 Dec 06 - 03:37 PM
MMario 18 Dec 06 - 11:40 AM
Scrump 18 Dec 06 - 11:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Dec 06 - 11:31 AM
MMario 18 Dec 06 - 11:21 AM
Scrump 18 Dec 06 - 11:15 AM
dick greenhaus 18 Dec 06 - 11:11 AM
Scrump 18 Dec 06 - 09:30 AM
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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Allen in Oz
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 02:31 AM

" Santa Claus is Coming to Town "
AD


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Genie
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 09:46 PM

Jim, there's a reason why "Over The River And Through The Woods" doesn't mention Christmas (or Santa, etc.). If you look at the lyrics you'll see that the song is actually about Thanksgiving Day, not Christmas. you'll see that the song is actually about Thanksgiving Day, not Christmas.
At least that's true of all the versions I've seen.



Big Al Whittle, you asked "What's wrong with Christmas, why not mention it - if that's what your song is about?"

Well, because sometimes the word "Christmas" doesn't fit with the rhyme scheme, the meter of the lyrics or even the story.   (E.g., if your song is about the night Jesus was born, there was no such thing as "Christmas" at that time.) "O Holy Night" doesn't mention the word "Christmas," nor do most of the most familiar Christmas carols.


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Young Buchan
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 06:52 PM

I think it was Gordon Ridgewell who used to 'reconstruct' the carols into what he thought was their original pagan form, before the Church got hold of them and started putting God into them. To be honest, they weren't awfully convincing. But all power to his elbow - I hate the way that Christians have spoiled Christmas by trying to drag religion into it.


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler (Well-known pedant)
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 03:46 PM

We Three Kings has nothing to do with Christmas, it's an Epiphany "Carol".


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Mo the caller
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 10:31 AM

I don't 'feel bad about it' but I hate to hear it trivialised and used.


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 10:19 AM

Shouldn't feel so bad about it Mo, or feel it so deeply. I remember the first Christmas morning I worked as a teacher. I wept thinking of the poor children that I taught, and the deprivation that was their lot. None of the kids were any better off for my tears, or were any nicer to teach as I remember.

All we can do (pagan or Christian) to make the holiday special is to be nice to those close to us. And perhaps (if we can afford it) give a little to charity.


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Mo the caller
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 10:10 AM

It really annoys me, both as an Atheist (now) and an ex-evangelical-Christian when religious songs are played as background music for this Festival of Greed and Shopping. Either they mean something or not.
In particular (not religious but singularly inappropriate) I heard the same song as background to a Christmas Dinner and a trip round Tescos - "Feed the World"


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 04:50 AM

What's wrong with Christmas, why not mention it - if that's what your song is about?


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 04:46 AM

"King Herod and the Cock"
"Shepherds arise"
"The Cherry Tree Carol"
"King Pharim"


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Genie
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 03:24 PM

Some people call "Let There Be Peace On Earth" a Christmas song, but it has nothing specifically to do with Christmas.

"Lord Of The Dance" has a verse/line about Jesus's birth (in Bethlehem), and some people do this song at Christmas, but it's really about the whole life of Jesus.


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: fat B****rd
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 03:13 PM

Fairytale of New York starts out with 'Christams Eve in the drunk tank'
Have a pedantic Christmas.


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: JHW
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 03:05 PM

'Go, Move, Shift' keeps you waiting several verses before giving the game away but still doesn't mention the word Christmas


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Subject: RE: 'Christmas' Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 12:11 PM

"Fairytale Of New York" by the Pogues
"River" by Joni Mitchell
"2000 Miles" by The Pretenders


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Genie
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 02:38 AM

Jim mentioned "Over The River And Through The Woods (to Grandmother's house we'll go).

That song is actually -- explicitly -- a Thanksgiving Day song.   Not only does it mention pumpkin pie, but the last verse specifically says "Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!"

Of course, if you just sing the verses that don't mention Thanksgiving, it can pass for a Christmas song.


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Genie
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 02:33 AM

I just saw a compilation "Christmas Music" CD today that included "When You Wish Upon A Star."   
I believe I've also seen "What A Wonderful World" included on Christmas playlists.


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Scrump
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 11:37 AM

Watch out for the reindeer! :-)


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 11:34 AM

Over The River And Through The Woods (to Grandmother's house we'll go)


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 10:53 AM

'twas indeed no more sensible, Scrump. All the more reason to say it;-) Thanks for the apology anyway - Much better than we usualy get around here. Probably far better than I deserve...

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Scrump
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 10:05 AM

Oops! Sorry DtG - I must've misread your post. (Not sure your advice to me is any more sensible though?! It looks pretty damn similar to me!)


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 09:59 AM

Scrump - I said specificaly it does mention Christmas but isn't about it (It isn't about Christmas that is). And that is the second time I have said that. Can I offer you the same advice as you offered me - but perhaps more sensibly:-) Ie You must watch these points, as Jordan said... etc etc.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Scrump
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 09:40 AM

In both the Marvellous Toy and Scarlet Ribbons, there's nothing to say the toy or the ribbons were Christmas presents - they could equally have been birthday presents, or just gifts not related to any 'special' day.

But at least we know it was the singer's father who gave him the Marvellous Toy.

In the case of the scarlet ribbons, it remains a mystery who left the ribbons in the girl's bedroom. I suppose I and many others assumed it was Santa, because in many households, Santa would leave the gifts in the kids' rooms while they were asleep.

It may be argued it could equally have been the kid's parent in the song who left the ribbons (not the one who discovered the ribbons, but the other one). But then, in that case, why didn't the parent who found the ribbons ask the other one? He/she says "If I live to be a hundred, I will never know from where came those lovely scarlet ribbons" - this is hardly likely to be said if he/she could just ask their partner.

So I can assume the singer is a lone parent, and the ribbons were put there by a third party - Santa would be a prime suspect, except there is nothing to say this happened at Christmas. The only clue is the fact that "All our town was closed and shuttered, All the streets were dark and bare" - which could imply it took place in winter. But not necessarily, for the town could have been a hotbed of crime and shuttering the windows could have been commonplace even in warm weather.

And even if it was winter, it might not have been Christmas.

So I guess we, like the singer, will never know - even if we live to be a hundred.

Blimey - where does that leave us?


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 09:25 AM

I have heard Scarlet Ribbons on the All Christmas Music Channel. Another one they've been playing is My Favorite Things (from the The Sound of Music) which does't mention Christmas at all.
- Phil

Wow. Mysteries abound. Who really left the scarlet ribbons? What was the Tennessee Stud's name? Where is secular city? Was The Marvelous Toy a Christmas present? Is there really an All Christmas Music Channel? Actually there is: KEOM 88.5 FM, Mesquite Pulblic Schools Radio, Mesquite, Texas


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Scrump
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 04:53 AM

"Stop the Cavalry" by Jona Lewie (sic) does mention Christmas DtG - it includes the line "Wish I was at home this Christmas" IIRC.

You must watch these points, as Jordan said to the Archbishop of Canterbury the other day.

As for In Dulci Jubilo, doesn't it mention Jesus, a prince, etc.? I can't remember the Latin lyrics though. But I agree Mike Oldfield's version doesn't mention it. :-)


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 03:51 AM

The one I was thinking of that mentions Christmas but isn't about it is Jonah Louie's 'Stop the cavalry'. I was out at a Christmas do last night and the tape loop included that one. One that was also included doesn't mention a thing about Christmas - In fact it mentions nothing at all - Mike Oldfield's version of 'In Dulce Jubilo'. I did find sone lyrics and they don't say anything about Christams either:-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Genie
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 02:10 AM

Oops.   Just running the lyrics to Little Toy Trains thru my head as I posted, I realize the song does refer to Santa, though without saying his name.

"Little Toy Trains running down the track,
(something something something) pulled from a sack
Carried by a man dressed in white and red,
Little man, now, don't you think it's time you were in bed?"


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Genie
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 02:08 AM

Scrump, I agree that "I don't think you can call The Marvellous Toy a Christmas song, even if it does get played a lot at Christmas."

The same is true for Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and a whole raft of songs listed in this thread.   Of course, many of them are winter songs.
:)

Funny, but while I've now seen "Scarlet Ribbons" included in the tracklists of some Christmas albums, I never associated that song with Christmas. I knew the song for several decades before I ever even realized some people did.

Roger Miller's song "Little Toy Trains" is another children's/toys song that's thought of as a Christmas song, though I don't think it mentions Christmas or Santa (does it?).


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 01:09 AM

Peace,

You are correct: The song about a horse with no name called "The Tennessee Stud" doesn't mention Christmas at all.

Art


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: SharonA
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 04:28 PM

"The Secular Town Centre Mall", Uncle Phil? Where is Secular Town? (I wanna move there!)

Cluin, you must've missed reading Uncle Phil's criteria for this thread. See his post of 17 Dec 06 - 04:49 PM.

Sharon


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Cluin
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 02:07 PM

Roll Me Over in the Clover


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Cluin
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 10:27 AM

Pop Goes the Weasel


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Cluin
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 10:27 AM

Shave and a Haircut


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Cluin
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 10:27 AM

Happy Birthday


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Scrump
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 10:17 AM

Easter Parade?

... I'll get me coat.


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: GUEST,Ohmygod
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 10:13 AM

Ohmygod - i started a thread ' songs that mention Christmas" several days ago.

What bastard child have i spawned !!!!


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Scrump
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 06:22 AM

I don't think you can call The Marvellous Toy a Christmas song, even if it does get played a lot at Christmas.

Another one I associate with Christmas is Scarlet Ribbons. It doesn't mention Christmas or Santa Claus, but I always assumed the ribbons came from Santa, for some reason. Does anybody know for sure where those ribbons came from?

I also associate the Seekers' version of Morningtown Ride with Christmas, because it was (IIRC) a big UK hit at Christmastime, and I guess it has the 'child appeal' lyrics of the above two songs.

Are there any other songs that are not Christmas songs, but people associate with Christmas?


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Genie
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 08:28 PM

I thought of another "Christmas song" that does not mention Christmas (or Santa or reindeer or the like):

Home For The Holidays

And there's a similar one called "Happy Holidays," but I don't know all the lyrics to that one off the top of my head, so I'm not sure it doesn't mention Christmas.

And a song that's become associated with Christmas but which isn't really about the holiday (much less anything religious) is the Victor Herbert song "Toyland."

Tom Paxton's song "The Marvelous Toy" is also sung a lot and played on radio at Christmas time.


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 07:09 PM

Thank you, Uncle Phil. Happy Christmas to all, Jean


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Genie
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 01:50 AM

Silver Bells does mention Christmas. So do Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, Here Comes Santa Claus, Santa Baby, Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Ding-Dong Merrily On High and some versions of The Holly And The Ivy.

So does The First Noel (except it uses the French word).

The Wassail Song does not mention Christmas, and I'm not sure it's really a Christmas song any more than Deck The Hall is (or was originally).

Songs that I'm not allowed to sing at one of the Jewish Retirement Residences where I perform, because some residents consider them "Christmas songs," but which actually have nothing to do with Christmas (either with Saint Nicholas or the birth of Jesus) are:

Frosty the Snowman
Jingle Bells
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Sleigh Ride
Winter Wonderland
Marshmallow World In the Winter
Jingle-Bell Rock
Baby, It's Cold Outside
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Susy Snowflake



BTW, I believe I've read that "Jingle Bells" was not associated with Christmas until around the 1930s or 1940s, although the original song was from around 1850.


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 12:19 AM

They played Jingle Bell Rock on the All Christmas Music Channel while I was coming home this evening. Jingle Bell Rock doesn't say anything about Christmas -- but it's based on Jingle Bells which people think of as a Christmas song -- but Jingle Bells doesn't say anything about Christmas eiher -- I'm so confused.

I hadn't thought of Suzy Snowflake. It fits, although I've never been fond of it. Scrump and I will probably leave it off of the playlist for our unChristmas concert at the Secular Town Centre Mall.
- Phil

kytrad =
I can't imagine that either cover is more lovely than the
Wintergrace Video on your web site. You other folks should stop reading this nonsense,and go watch and listen to Wintergrace if you haven't done so already.


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: GUEST,Ingrid Frances Stark
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 12:17 AM

Steve and I started brainstorming and came up with this list:

Carol of the Bells,
Silver Bells,
Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,
The Chipmunk Song,
The Holly Has a Berry,
The Holly and the Ivy,
A'Soulin,
The Wassail Song,
The Gower Wassail,
Do You Hear What I Hear?,
Box of Candy and A Piece of Fruit (Shel Silverstien and Bob Gibson)
Season of Hope by Sandy Andina
Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt)
'Zat You, Santa Claus? (Louis Armstrong)
Its The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Lord of the Dance
The Wren
Mary, Did You Know? (Kathy Mattea)
Here Comes Santa Claus
Joy to the World
O Come, O Come Emanuel
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Linus and Lucy (Vince Guaraldi)
The First Noel
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 10:30 PM

"Wintergrace" is on my site again, as your holiday card if you wish. It does mention in the second verse, "that little babe," but otherwise is a song in honor of winter and the solstice. LOVELY recordings of it are to be found on last year's Herdman/Hills/Mangsen Holiday CD, and Laurie Lewis did a beautiful cover.


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 08:32 PM

Dave-
DT has no less than 78 non-Christmas songs that include the word "Christmas"

So there


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 03:37 PM

Nothing to do with Christmas:

What?? No one has mentioned "Deck the Halls" yet?!? Also, there's:

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

"Suzy Snowflake"

"Happy Holiday" -- even the expanded Bing Crosby version from the film Holiday Inn
(although the Andy Williams medley of this with "It's the Holiday Season" doesn't count, since the latter includes the line "The Christmas snow is white on the ground")



Doesn't use the word, but clearly about Christmas:

"O Holy Night"

"O Little Town of Bethlehem"

"The Little Drummer Boy"

"What Child Is This?"

"Silent Night"

"Up on the Housetop"

"Jingle Bell Rock"


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: MMario
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 11:40 AM

Again, Adestes Fideles doesn't mention Christmas per se, but is very obvioulsy about Christmas.


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Scrump
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 11:33 AM

Gaudete does include the line "Christus est natus" (Christ is born) which does seem to be about the birth of Christ, DtG :-)


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 11:31 AM

Gaudete doesn't mention Christmas. Nor does Adeste Fideles. But then again they are both in Latin...

How about a song that DOES mention Christmas but isn't about Christmas? I can think of one:-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: MMario
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 11:21 AM

Regarding the boars head carol:

"Our steward hath provide this in honour of the King of Bliss" doesn't smack of Christmas to you?


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Scrump
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 11:15 AM

Another "doesn't use the word, but clearly about Christmas" is "While Shepherds Watched".


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 11:11 AM

Uncle Phil-
The thread was explicitly aimed at songs that did not use the word "Christmas"--clearly, most Christmas songs refer to the holiday, but almost half of what we have collected don't use the word.

The DT was originally designed to make this kind of search (involving NOT, OR an AND) easy. The old DOS version still does.


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Subject: RE: Songs that don't mention Christmas
From: Scrump
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 09:30 AM

The ones that are 'nothing to do with Christmas' should be OK to sing in those shopping malls and town centres that have 'banned' Christmas celebrations for fear of upsetting or offending non-Christians. It would be amusing to hold a sing-song in such a venue, and sing all those songs, and if any council jobsworth came along, innocently point out that the songs are nothing to do with Christmas :-)


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