Christian Christmas Songs Playlist + Stories Behind Your Favorite Carols

Some of the most beloved Christian Christmas songs have meanings that aren't widely known. Learn the stories behind all your favorites and watch a playlist of your favorite Christmas carols!

Meanings Behind Beloved Christmas Carols

A lot of the Christian Christmas songs we sing today are actually hymns that have been sung for hundreds of years. Who doesn't love when one of our favorite artists sings a favorite Christmas carol in a way that makes us love it even more? Because so many of these songs were written so long ago, there are stories and legends surrounding many of them. This rich history simply adds to the message of these beloved carols and reminds us of all those who came before us who worshipped Jesus with the same song. The timeless love celebrated through the ages for our Lord and Saviour is a beautiful reminder of the real reason for the season!

Here are a few of our favorite stories behind the Christian Christmas songs, followed by a playlist of some of our favorite Christmas music videos. We hope they'll bless you this Christmas season!

Meanings Behind Christian Christmas Songs + Christmas Playlist

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen

Many people miss the real meaning behind this hymn because the placement of the comma is vital. If you think the comma should be after 'You', because God wants the 'merry gentlemen' to have rest, you'd be mistaken. Back in the day, 'rest' would have meant 'keep'. So the title actually means 'gentlemen, may God keep you joyful.'

This hymn is a powerful reminder that we should never let Satan steal our joy because God sent his very own Son to save us!

I Saw Three Ships

When this song was first written, the ships were carrying the skulls of the wise men to a cathedral in Germany. In the version we sing today, the ships are taking Mary, Joseph and Jesus to Bethlehem.

I saw three ship come sailing in,
on Christmas day on Christmas day.
I saw three ship come sailing in,
on Christmas Day in the morning.

And what was in those ships all three?
on Christmas day on Christmas day.
And what was in those ships all three?
on Christmas Day in the morning.

Our Saviour Christ and His lady,
on Christmas day on Christmas day.
Our Saviour Christ and His lady,
on Christmas Day in the morning.

Silent Night

The lyrics for Silent Night were written as a poem by a priest in Austria back in 1816. His friend, a high school teacher, wrote the music for it two years later to perform at a Christmas service at St. Nicholas Church.

The legend of the carol says that a blizzard had struck their tiny village hard and the priest had intended for the church's children's choir to perform the song as a surprise to uplift the spirits of their parents. The legend maintains that the organ broke right before the midnight service. The pair of friends quickly came up with a backup plan and the children performed the song using only a guitar to accompany them. It's said that the beautiful, clear strains of the children's voices filled the air and reverberated off the mountains.

Scholars now believe the song was actually arranged for the guitar from the beginning. And there's no proof that the children originally sang it or that there was ever a broken organ. (But we like the original tale of the song better than this scholarly one!)

The original German song translated more like this:

Silent night, holy night,
Bethlehem sleeps, yet what light,
Floats around the heavenly pair;
Songs of angels fills the air.
Strains of heavenly peace.

Here's that first verse as we sing it today:

Silent Night
Holy Night
All is calm
All is bright
Round yon virgin
Mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

h/t: jellytelly, whychristmas

Matthew West - The Heart of Christmas (Official Music Video)

Brandon Heath - Night Before Christmas LIVE

Mandisa - It's Christmas (Official Lyric Video)

12 Days of Christmas

Violinist Lindsey Stirling Performs 'Carol Of The Bells'

5 Siblings Sing 'I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day'

3 Sisters Sing 'Joy To The World' At Christmas

Country Duo Performs 'Do You Hear What I Hear'

A Cappella Rendition Of 'O Holy Night' From Voice Play

Christian Artist Hollyn Performs 'O Holy Night'

Kelly Clarkson, Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire Sing Beautiful Version Of ‘Silent Night’

‘O Holy Night’ – Carrie Underwood Performs Christmas Hymn

Pentatonix Singing 'Hallelujah' Will Stun You

'Mary Did You Know?' - Anthem Lights Performs Christmas Hymn

5 Men Sing 'Silent Night' A Cappella

'O Come All Ye Faithful' Christmas Flash Mob

Mashup Of 'Mary Did You Know' And 'What Child Is This'

1 Man Sings All Harmonies In 'Silent Night'