Now, I’m sure that you’ve heard plenty about how we celebrate Christmas in the UK. Just looking at the other blogs on LearnEnglishTeens, you can learn about cards, TV and traditions, to name just a few! But I wanted to add a little something about Christmas songs in Britain.
In this festive season in the UK, Christmas music can be heard all over the place – in shopping centres, in houses, in cars, from groups of traditional carol singers on the street ... In fact, if you come from a country with a Christian tradition, you’re probably familiar with the classics like Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night, Once in Royal David’s City, etc., which talk about the story of Jesus’ birth. If you don’t know them, have a listen – they’ve got great melodies and you can learn a lot about the Christmas tradition. But that is not all, there are also modern Christmas songs!
There’s a huge amount of pop music dedicated to the holiday season. Some of it is covers of traditional songs, done with a more up-to-date style, like Josh Groban or Michael Bublé. But most of it is pure pop, with lyrics that speak less about Jesus and Mary, and more about the modern experience of Christmas, like spending time with family, and how lovely (or stressful!) that can be, like Coldplay’s Christmas Lights. A lot of them talk about the cold and snow, as we experience it in the UK, such as Winter Wonderland by Tony Bennett, and Christmas traditions, like roasting chestnuts on the fire in The Christmas Song.
There is also, of course, the annual race for Christmas number one – the single with the most sales in the week leading up to December 25th. In recent years, the winner of X Factor has often scooped the slot, but that doesn’t stop bands such as Rage Against the Machine trying to buck the trend, which they did in 2009, and put on a free concert to say thanks. My favourite of the lot has to be Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade – from 1973, but still as good as ever!
So, there you have it! Of course, there is a lot more to be discovered, but I hope you enjoy unwrapping these few suggestions. Do let me know what you think in the comments below.
What’s your favourite song to listen to at this time of year?