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December 2019

International Holiday Songs

Festive songs from around the world

Most of us are familiar with the holiday songs popular in our own countries, but the world is full of winter melodies that many of us have never heard. Music, much like food, is something that can bring together even the most disparate of people. Today we’ll take a look (and listen) to some international holiday songs, festive numbers from around the world.

"La Fiesta de Pilito" (Puerto Rico)

Puerto Rico is known as a place of great dancing and festive music. It should come as no surprise that they offer fun holiday songs. “La Fiesta de Pilito” was famously recorded by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico in 1985, a salsa orchestra based in San Juan. The song title translates to "Pilito's Party".

"Talj, Talj" (Lebanon)

Many may not know that it snows in Lebanon and that there are ski resorts within the country. “Talj” translates to “snow” in Arabic, and this song shows just how much humans around the world love their winter weather.

"Ang Pasko ay Sumapit" (Philippines)

"Ang Pasko ay Sumapit" is a song sung in Tagalog which celebrates the arrival of Christmas. The title of the song is also the first line, proclaiming that "Christmas has arrived". The lyrics celebrate the Nativity as well as gift giving and singing.

"Dormi, Dormi, Bel Bambino" (Italy)

Translated as “Sleep, Sleep, Beautiful Child”, this gentle melody is suitable for both a holiday hymn as a lullaby for children before they sleep. “Dormi, Dormi, Bel Bambino” has been sung by a number of Italian musicians.

"Impodobeste Mama Bradul" (Romania)

Fuego, a pop star in Romania, popularised this Christmas song about how "Mother Adorns the Tree". The song speaks of embellishing the Fir tree for Christmas night, welcoming carolers, and tables full of food. The sky is full of stars and, for some reason, dad is crying. But it's okay, dad, because it's everyone's evening.

"Un Año Más" (Spain)

The end of each year is a poignant moment for all. “One More Year” is what this Spanish song celebrates. Champagne and fireworks that erase sounds of yesterday, taking stock of the good and bad, and getting ready for the countdown are some of the prominent lyrics.

"Musevisa" (Norway)

“Musevisa” is known as “The Mouse Song” in English. The song follows a family of mice as they prepare for a merry Christmas time by tidying the house, dancing to polka, and, of course, avoiding the mouse trap. This family-friendly song is a hit with the kids in Norway.

As you can hear, many of these holiday songs share similar themes, such as winter weather, family, food, and nature. Of course, religious themes are prominent in many holiday songs as well. These similar themes just show how very similar people can be all around the world.

What are your favorite holiday songs? What holiday songs are most popular in your country? Let us know on our Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” telc English for more articles on culture from around the world.

>> Happy Holidays!