Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Christmas Songs from Around the World 

This time of year, you can hear Christmas classics just about everywhere you turn. But what about those gems from around the globe that are begging for a place in your Christmas playlist? Watch the Choir’s videos for these amazing Christmas songs from around the world:

Betelehemu

Watch the Choir perform the dramatic, engaging, and stirring “Betelehemu,” a Nigerian carol, by Olatunji and Wendell Whalum and arranged by Barrington Brooks. The Choir uses percussion and creative choreography by dancing and clapping as part of the musical presentation.


Fum, Fum, Fum 

“Fum, Fum, Fum” is a Catalonian Christmas carol that originated in the 16th or 17th century. The word “fum” has many meanings, including the sound of a rocking cradle, the sound of a drum, the strum of a guitar, or playing on a fiddle. The literal definition of “fum” in Catalan means smoke, which could refer to smoke rising from a chimney.


Gesu Bambino 

Guest soloist David Archuleta and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing the Italian Christmas carol “Gesu Bambino,” written by Pietro Yon and arranged by Arthur Harris. The song was performed during the Music and the Spoken Word holiday special “A Wondrous Christmas.”


Veni, Veni Emmanuel

The King’s Singers perform the traditional carol “Veni, Veni Emmanuel,” arranged by Philip Lawson. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is a translation of “Veni, Veni Emmanuel,” which is Latin.


Campana Sobre Campana 

Rolando Villazón performs the Spanish carol “Campana sobre Campana,” which was arranged by associate music director Ryan Murphy. It is one of the oldest Spanish carols and is a favorite among Spanish-speaking children because of its simplicity. 


Vitae Lux

Sissel performs the Norwegian classic “Vitae Lux” (“Light of Life”) with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square during the 2006 Christmas concert. The song was composed by Alnaes Frode and was arranged by Kjetil Bjerkestrand.


Farandole

“Farandole” was written by French composer Georges Bizet for the opera L'arlesienne and is the fourth and concluding movement of the suite. The “Farandole” theme was used by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in their song “The March of the Kings/Hark the Herald Angel.”

The Wexford Carol 

“The Wexford Carol,” sometimes referred to as “Good people all this Christmas time” dates back to the 12th century and originated from County Wexford in Ireland. It is one of the oldest surviving Christmas carols in the European tradition. The Choir’s 2016 Christmas video was set to the music of “The Wexford Carol.”


Magnificat and Gloria Patri

“Magnificat” and “Gloria Patri” are from Magnificat in D, BWE 243, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. The “Magnificat” was regularly included in traditional German Sunday services but was performed in Latin in a more elaborate way during holidays such as Christmas and Easter.