Holiday music from Smithsonian Folkways

Smithsonian FolkwaysAround the world and throughout history, people celebrate holidays with music. With the weather getting colder in the and the days getting shorter in the Northern hemisphere, people often turn to tradition, family, and music to lighten their lives in the middle of winter. In this playlist, listen to songs of Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanza.

Many well-known and well-loved Christmas carols are here, including several sung in different languages. There is a French recording of “Angels We Have Heard On High” and a German “Silent Night”. There are lesser-known recordings too, like a bluegrass “Little Drummer Boy” and a Hannukah song by Woody Guthrie. Enjoy the music of the holiday season and hear why these songs and themes resonate year after year.

So on our fourth day of playlists, we offer you the Smithsonian Folkways’ playlist. Have a listen on Spotify.


    1. Ernst Wolff – Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
    2. Roger Sprung – The Little Drummer Boy
    3. Lead Belly – Christmas is A-Coming (Chicken Crows at Midnight)
    4. Hélène Baillargeon – Les Anges, Dans Nos Campagnes
    5. Rakhel Hadass – Hava Nagila (Let Us Rejoice)
    6. Pete Seeger – Oh, What a Beautiful City (Twelve Gates to the City)
    7. Ella Jenkins – Kwanza Time
    8. Hélène Baillargeon – Viv le Vent
    9. The Seeger Sisters – Bright Morning Stars are Rising
    10. Alan Mills – 12 Days of Christmas
    11. Ernst Wolff – O Tannenbaum
    12. Woody Guthrie – Hanukkah Dance
    13. Pete Seeger – What Child is This?
    14. Ella Jenkins – Gung Hay Fat Choy
    15. Unspecified – Sao Chegados Os Trez Reis (The Three Kings Have Arrived)
    16. Gene Bluestein – Nu Ha Vee Yuligen
    17. Mieke and Nina – Sint Nicolaas Potpourri (St. Nicholas Medley)
    18. The Seeger Sisters – Joseph and Mary (The Cherry Tree Carol)
    19. Ella Jenkins – Harmonica for Hanukkah
    20. Pete Seeger – Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow