Suggestions for children's Christmas/Advent songs
  • I am once again providing music for a parent/children meeting and party, this time for Christmas. Properly speaking, it is an Advent party, so no Angels We Have Heard on High, though kids tend to like the Gloria part.

    Ages 6-13, so, you know, an easy to group to cover. That was a joke. Mostly younger.

    Anyway, it is to be a short music time. The director wants happy music because it is a party.

    Any suggestions?


  • Prepare the way of the lord, easy to learn, have fun singing it as a round, from Taize.
  • Creator alme siderum. Simple tune, easy words, Latin. Advent hymn for Vespers. What's not to like?
  • It'll have to be in English, but I did Creator with them earlier. And we have some Dominicans who watch over the children's ministry, so they will be there to chime in. Thanks for reminding me. Thanks for the Taize.

  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    Resonet in laudibus
    In dulci iubilo
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • I don't know those.
  • Is that three separate settings, or were you just having fun?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    Neither. Technical difficulties.
    Thanked by 1amindthatsuits
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Prepare the way, O Zion
    The Angel Gabriel from heaven came
    O Come, Divine Messiah
    Hark, a thrilling voice is sounding (with descant)
    Lo, he comes with clouds descending
    Veni, Jesu, Amor Mi (Cherubini)
    Tallis Canon (as a round)

    These are very popular with my children's choir. Tallis Canon has an Advent text, and, of course, may be sung as a round for four or eight voices, which my children love doing:

    1) O gracious light, our Jesus Christ, in you God's glory shone so bright.
    Immortal, holy, blest it is, and blest are you, God's holy child.

    2) Now sunset comes, but light shines forth, the lamps are lit to pierce the night.
    Praise the Creator, Spirit, Child who dwell in the eternal light.

    3) Worthy are you of endless praise, O child of God, love-giving life;
    wherefore you are through all the earth and in the highest heaven adored.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    One more round for Advent which is very nice for children, based on Lo, How A Rose.

    There Is A Flower by Michael Vulpius.

    I think this pdf might be from The King's Singers' brilliant book of rounds and canons. Highly recommended for children's choirs!
  • I won't have the children long enough to teach them, though the Tallis Canon might work. However, if I get the kids more often, that is a great list to start with.


  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    I don't understand what you are asking for. Are you looking for suggestions of songs the children know already?
  • Alas, I have no way of knowing what the kids know, and that is the problem. So songs that experienced people can tell me most kids would like, respond to, have sung somewhere.

    This is the task I was handed: 5-10 minutes, stuff that can be picked up easily and they can sing it the second time after I sing it one time.

    It's not a full music program as part of an assembly. Just good songs for kids who don't sing very often.

  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,449
    The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came! My favourite! And Sting sang it, so people might know it.

    And of course, O Come O Come Emmanuel.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Very cool round, Francis! Thanks for mentioning it. I also found this two-part Veni, O Sapientia which CH Giffen posted in August which might be very nice for children.

  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    From St. James' Press-
    SING TO GOD Handel
    SONG OF THE SHIP Robt. Powell
    JESUS IS HERE- Carson Cooman
    STARHIGH David McKay
    THREE GREAT KINGS arr. Mark Schweizer

    Our parochial Christmas Concert rep.
  • Twas in the moon of wintertime.

    Somehow, the idea of converting the Indians appeals to simple children, but not to theology department professors.
  • I forgot to add that everything has to be Public Domain, as our budget is tight. However, this is a great list to build on.

    Thanks to all and have a blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas.

  • I remembered that I loved It Came Upon A Midnight Clear as a child, but discovered that stanzas two and three are nearly incomprehensible to children, with lots of archaic words, and then the last stanza seems to be heretical--what's known as Post-Millenialism, according to which God will establish Christ's Kingdom through people coming together in peace. So, we'll skip that one.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    It Came... was written by a Unitarian minister. But it does not deny the doctrine of the Trinity; in fact, God is never mentioned! It's a hymn about peace on earth. Nothing objectionable about its intent, IMO. The fourth stanza hardly seems millenarianist; again, "God," "Christ," "Kingdom" are not even mentioned.

    My question is about the tune. Do most folks sing a "ti" or a "re" on the third note?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,169
    "ti" here. (I assume you're referring to the Willis melody: sol-^mi-ti-re-do-la-sol-la-sol.)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,310
    I checked, and there seems to be a roughly even split for the third note of the melody being "ti" and "re" ... depends upon which hymnal you consult. Also, the original first line was "It came upon the midnight clear," not "It came upon a midnight clear" (which is how it is often sung and printed).

    This brings to mind the two different forms of the melody for "Conditor alme siderum":

    mi-do-mi-sol-sol-la-fa-sol   &   mi-do-mi-sol-la-la-fa-sol

    Both forms appear in old manuscripts (square notes).

    Note also, there are (at least) two currently prevalent forms of the tune ST. THOMAS ("Tantum ergo"), one widely used by Catholics, one widely used by Anglicans.

    Finally, most people think of EISENACH as a Long Meter (88. 88 iambic) tune, but it originally was an 88. 88. 88 iambic tune, where the first two lines are repeated to form the third & fourth lines. It stems from the German Chorale "Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt" - and Bach always used the tune/chorale melody in the six-line version:
    Thanked by 1JulieColl