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Justin Bieber Christmas Album

Justin Bieber - Under The Mistletoe

French Christmas Songs

Christmas time, in my french hometown, was always a time full of magic. An atmosphere where you know anything and everything can happen. Where does that come from? The wonderful Christmas tree decorated by my sister and I? The delicious smell of the Christmas dinner baking? For me it's more than that: the magic happens when my whole family gathers and starts to sing. It's always a different person who begins but soon everybody follows and in an instant my home is filled with happiness.

Does that happened because it's a French Christmas song? I hope not! But what about french Christmas songs (Chanson de Noel)? Where do they come from? What are they talking about? Are they really different than English ones? I have spent only 25 Christmases in this world but I have sung - and know by heart - hundreds of Christmas songs. So take your "béret", get ready for some tasty cheese and follow me in the magic universe of French Christmas songs.

Ask anyone from France to sing aChristmas song for you and there's a reasonable chance you will have a wonderful interpretation ofPetit papaNoël(literal translation would be 'Small Daddy Christmas' but a better translation could be 'Sweet Santa Claus'). This song would be the number one of all French Christmas songs. Christmas cannot be perfect without this song! When I hear it, I can't stop smiling thinking of all those memories; it's like a trigger forhappiness. But she is not alone; we've got a full range of Christmas songs in our repertoire. The oldest one, namedEntreleboeufetl'ânegris(Between the ox and the gray donkey), was written in the beginning of the sixteenth century. Though it definitely has its place in the canon, it's certainly not the most commonly sung carol in this age. The current popularity lies with classic carols likeIl est ledivinenfant(The holy child is born) or Minuitchrétien(holy night).

Maybe some of you are familiar with some of the above French Christmas songs but of course the French, like most countries, also have favourites garnered from the foreign repertoire as well: translations have created many popular French Christmas songs. You certainly will be familiar classics from across the Atlantic such as 'Jingle Bells', 'White Christmas' (which originated in America and becameVivelevent - Cheering the Wind - unusual adaptation, isn't it?!) andNoël Blanc. We took some inspiration from theGerman song 'O Tannenbaum'and 'StilleNachte'to create Mon Beau Sapin('My BeautifulChristmas Tree') and Douce Nuit('Sweet Night'). So the French have translated and adapted a lot of songs from across the globe where this wonderful celebration happens. It could be said that when we are singing, we are all sharing the magic spirit ofChristmas with people from all over the world.

All of these songs and carols are wonderful but where does this singing tradition come from? According to the bible, the first song was sang by angel to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Historically, Christmas songs were happy songs celebrating the Nativity. We can classify christmas songs in two groups : religious ones and popular ones. Religious ones speak of Christian celebration, the birth of Jesus and holy matters. Popular songs are more related with what's happening during Christmas time - in particular those relating to Santa Claus. We can also find plenty of references to the weather, the snow, snow men, presents or just the happiness of this celebration. English and French carols are similar in these respects. One linguistic difference is that in English there is usually a clear distinction between a christmas carol and a christmas song: we don't make such a difference in France. What we call Christmas songs - Chanson de Noel -include carols and all related christmas music.

So, as you can see, French Christmas songs are not so different from English ones; of course we've got our favorites but nevertheless it's the same idea we are trying to spread. We are hoping to make people remember how Christmas is an amazing celebration where everybody should be happy and where the goodness of everyone should be shared. Whateverlanguage you sing, Christmas songs will always warm your heart and make your eyes sparkle, won't they?