Monday, December 13, 2010

Favourite Christmas Songs

It started raining last night, and now it's pouring outside. All of the snow we had last week will be washed away, and my Christmas mood is in danger of being washed away too. It can get very dark and gloomy here when it's raining. So in order to cheer me up a bit, I thought I would share my favourite Christmas songs with you. I'm a traditionalist and prefer listening to classic carols like Silent Night and Oh Holy Night, but usually in Norwegian. Most of the songs I have chosen here are in Norwegian, but I'm sure you have heard the English versions many times, so I thought you might enjoy the Norwegian ones.

En stjerne skinner i natt (The Christmas Way)
Performed by Oslo Gospel Choir

I love Oslo Gospel Choir. They are an amazing choir with very talented singers. They are the ultimate performers of Christmas music, because you can always trust them to do it right. Every other year or so they come to Lofoten to hold a Christmas concert, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. I went last Saturday and it was wonderful as always. This song is written by the conductor for the choir, and has become their signature song. I have included the Norwegian version here, but there is another version with English lyrics called The Christmas Way, which you can find here.

In the Bleak Midwinter
Performed by Gloucester Cathedral Choir

I only "discovered" this carol earlier this year when I heard a Norwegian translation, but it has already become one of my favourites. It's so beautiful, and I would love to hear a choir singing it in a big cathedral sometime.

O helga natt (Oh Holy Night)
Performed by Tommy Körberg & Oslo Gospel Choir

There are so many verions of this song, but this one in Swedish gives me goosebumps. Swedish singer Tommy Körberg has a fantastic voice, and with OGC as backing vocals, this song is as close to perfect as you can get.

Deilig er jorden (Fairest Lord Jesus)
Performed by Sissel Kyrkjebø

This is THE Christmas song for me. It's the one that makes me sit down, close my eyes and feel Christmas all around me. 

Nordnorsk julesalme (Christmas Carol from Northern Norway)
Performed by Bodø-oktetten

This song is very special to me, because it is written by a man from Northern Norway named Trygve Hoff. He wrote a lot of songs that we northerners love, because they are about everyday life and things that are familiar to us, like how the weather affects us. Hearing this song on Christmas Eve brings tears to my eyes.

Home For Christmas
Performed by Maria Mena

This beautiful song was written this year for the soundtrack of a Norwegian film with the same title. I love it because I know that feeling of wanting to go home for Christmas. I spent last Christmas in Sydney, far from all my friends and family, and although it was quite the experience, I doubt I will ever celebrate Christmas that far from home again. Unfortunately the video has been blocked on YouTube because of copyright issues, but you might be able to listen to part of it here (press the small play icon in the middle of the page).

Do you like listening to Christmas music? What is your favourite Christmas song?

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