Often, we hear the same old pop Christmas songs year after year
after year - All I Want for Christmas is You, Merry Xmas Everybody,
Do They Know it's Christmas? etc. But if you're looking for
something a little bit different this year, why not try a few of
the gospel songs below? Gospel music is really very Christmassy and
although it is rooted in religion, it is most definitely not dull
and staid - in fact, gospel Christmas songs are wonderfully festive
and are fantastic for playing for when you want to get into the
Christmas spirit. Below, we list our top 15 gospel Christmas songs.
Our personal fave is Mandisa's Bell Medley, but you're sure to find
a new favourite amongst this gospel Christmas collection.
Mandisa - Christmas Bell Medley
This lovely gospel tune is very soothing, yet at the same time,
brilliantly festive. With Mandisa's soaring vocals, a full gospel
choir and some rather lovely trumpets, this is sure to become a new
player on your Christmas playlist.
Israel & New Breed - Everybody Knows
Taken from the Grammy and Dove award-winning album A Timeless
Christmas, Israel & New Breed present a number of gospel
Christmas classics but in a totally new and contemporary way. Our
favourite from the album is Everybody Knows, with a jazzy backing
track, smooth vocals and a very catchy chorus.
CeCe Winans - Do You Hear What I Hear?
Grammy and Stellar award-winning songstress CeCe Winans is back
with this wonderful Christmas melody, complete with plinky-plonky
piano and big, driving vocals. It's a real classic, but it's also
contemporary, making it a fantastic choice for your new Christmas
Darwin Hobbs - The Little Drummer Boy
A wonderfully soulful cover of this traditional Christmas song,
this version of The Little Drummer Boy is new and completely
different, but still undoubtedly a classic. With soulful, smooth
vocals and a funky backing track, this is one of our favourite
Christmas classic covers ever.
Kurt Carr - Holy-Holy-Holy
A Christmas song to send shivers down your spine - this
delicious rendition of Holy-Holy-Holy is sung by a full gospel
choir, accompanied by a piano, and it is one of the most festive
tunes we've heard this year. You can easily imagine this being sung
by a choir out in the snow!
Bishop T.D. Jakes/Angie Winans - Away in a Manger
Away in a Manger like you've never, ever heard it before - a
jazzy, bluesy backing track, male vocals that are as low and smooth
as chocolate and a female choir, this is a genius Christmas
Shirley Caesar - What Child is This
Another fantastic Christmas cover this time by the Grammy and
Dove award-winning 'First Lady of Gospel', Shirley Caesar, this
cover really shows off Shirley's haunting vocals. A simple backing
track with a plucky guitar, the real star in this song is Mrs
Bebe and CeCe Winans - For Unto Us (A Child is
CeCe is on our list for the second time with her brother Bebe,
(the seventh and eighth children from Mom and Pop Winans' ten
children, most of whom have had very successful gospel singing
careers), singing For Unto Us. This is a traditional cover, full of
soaring vocals and is completely and utterly the very essence of
Donnie McClurkin - Angus Dei
This song starts off slow, sweet and gentle, but then it builds
up into a fantastic gospel song, with a full gospel choir, smooth
vocals and a soothing, calming tune. Another song that you can
easily imagine being sung by carol singers out in the village
square, this is a timeless Christmas classic.
Fred Hammond - His Name is Jesus
This cool and rather quirky gospel song from Fred Hammond is a
real winner - jazzy vocals, a funky backing track with some rather
lovely guitar riffs, and a real modern feel, this is definitely a
gospel Christmas song for the younger generations.
The Clark Sisters - Hark the Herald Angels Sing
From The Clark Sisters first ever Christmas album, this
wonderful rendition of Hark the Herald Angels Sing is completely
different to the original but still absolutely full of Christmas
spirit. With a laidback, almost bluesy feel, this single from the
premier sister gospel group is a real stand-out Christmas
Vickie Winans - Motown in Yotown Family Song
Another of the Winans family, Vickie, released her first
Christmas album in 2007, full of stonkingly good covers of
traditional Christmas tunes as well as a few new songs to keep you
on your toes. Our favourite from the album, this is a jazzy, upbeat
Christmas song that is sure to get you on your feet.
Aaron Neville - Mary's Boy Child
Up next we have a track from Louisiana gospel artist Aaron
Neville, taken from his album Christmas Prayer. The whole album
sounds like you've walked into a real Louisiana-style Christmas
party, and this song is no exception. Gospel artists have a real
knack of turning an old classic into something new and different,
and Aaron has certainly achieved that here with quirky gospel
vocals and a relaxed backing track.
Oleta Adams - Have Yourself a Merry Little
Another Christmas classic performed in a new and exciting way,
this offering from sultry songstress Oleta Adams is in-keeping with
her usual bluesy R&B style - with jazz vocals, a laidback piano
backing track and a slow tempo, this is a Christmas song perfect
for sticking on in the background of your Christmas dinner
Mary Mary - Gift of Love
The final song on our gospel Christmas playlist, this offering
from wonderful singer Mary Mary, taken from T.D. Jakes' album
Follow the Star, is a wonderfully contemporary gospel Christmas
song. With a pop feel but still rooted in gospel, it's a catchy
tune that you'll find yourself singing along to.