The holiday season is a time for family, friends and loved ones. It’s a time where people get together to meet, talk, laugh and generally celebrate the season. A beautiful and special part of our celebration comes from the music we listen to. From timeless Christmas classics to the more modern adaptations, music has always been a big part of the holidays and will be for a long time to come.

Many of the original compositions for these classics works have passed into the public domain, as their copyrights have expired. Now, although the compositions have expired, new performances and productions of these works are being created to this day. When this happens, new copyrights arise. So, to be mindful of the performance rights is important, while we all enjoy the ability to reproduce theses works now in the public domaing.

Today, the following Christmas traditional pieces are in the public domain.

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Christmas songs listed hereyoutube-icon-full_color

Click the title to access the YouTube video link for the piece:

Adeste Fideles (1751 – w.m. John Francis Wade)

All Through the Night (w. 1884, Sir Harold Boulton, m. 1784, Welch Folksong Ar Hy y Nos)

Angels from the Realms of Glory (w. 1816 – W. James Montgomery, m. 1867 – Henry T. Smart)

Angels We Have Heard on High (w. 1700s French Carol, m. medieval French Carol Gloria)

Auld Lang Syne (w. 1788 Robert Burns, m. Scottish Air)

Away In a Manger (1885 – w. unknown, m. James R. Murray, Tune: ‘Mueller’)

Away in a Manger (W.J. Kirkpatrick) (1895 – w. anonymous, m. William J. Kirkpatrick adapted from J.E. Spilman)

Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella (1553 – w.m. French Carol, 1700s translated to English)

Christians Awake (1750 – m. John Wainwright, w. John Byron)

Coventry Carol (1500s – w.m. English Traditional Carol)

Deck the Halls (1800s – w. translated Oliphant 1866, m. Welsh Nos Galan)

First Nowell (1833 – English Carol)

For Unto Us A Child is Born (1741 – George Frideric Handel, Messiah)

Gesu Bambino (1917 – w.m. Pietro A. Yon, w. translated Frederick H. Martens)

Go Tell it on the Mountain (ca. 1865 – Spiritual)

God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen (ca. 1760 – w.m. English Traditional)Good King Wenceslas (1853 – w. John Mason Neale, m. Thomas Helmore)

Hallelujah Chorus(1741 – George Frideric Handel, Messiah)

Hark ! The Herald Angels Sing (1840 – w. George Whitefield, m. William H. Cummings)

Holly and the Ivy (1871 – Henry R. Bramley, John Stainer)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (w. 1864 Henry W. Longfellow, m. 1872 J. Baptiste Calkin)

I Saw Three Ships (1833 – w.m. William Sandys)

In the Bleak Midwinter (1906 – w. 1872, Christina G. Rossetti, m. Gustav von Holst)

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (1850 – m. Richard S. Willis, w. Edmond H. Sears)

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Johann Sebastian Bach in 1716 and 1723)

Jingle Bells (1857 – w.m. James Pierpont)

Jolly Old St. Nicholas (ca. 1860 – w. possibly Benjamin Hanby, m. James Lord Pierpont)

Joy to the World (1839 – m. Lowell Mason, adapted from Handel, w. Isaac Watts)

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (1599 – w. 15th Century German, m. ‘Es Ist Ein Ros”)

O Come All Ye Faithful (1841 – w. translation Federick Oakeley, m. 1751, John Francis Wade)

O Come, O Come, Emanuel (1850s – w. translation John Mason Neale, Henry Sloane Coffin, m. French Hymn, 1400s)

O Holy Night (1847 – 1847 w. Placide Clappeau, French, English translation John S. Dwight, m. Adolphe C. Adam)

O Little Town of Bethlehem (1868 – w. Phillips Brooks, m. Lewis H. Redner)

Once in Royal David’s City (1849 – w. Cecil Frances Alexander, m. Henry John Gauntlett)

Silent Night (1818 – w. 1816, German Joseph Mohr, 1859 English tr. John Young, m. 1818 Franz X. Gruber)

Star Of The East (1890 – m. Amanda Kennedy, w. George Cooper)

There’s A Song in the Air (1904 – w. Josiah G. Holland, m. Karl P. Harrington)

Toyland (1903 – m. Victor Herbert, w. Glen MacDonough)

Twelve Days of Christmas (ca. 1780 – English Christmas Carol, possibly as early as 1500s)

Up on the Housetop (1867 – Possibly Benjamin Hanby)

Wassail Song (ca. 1850 – w.m. English Traditional Christmas Carol)

Watchman Tell Us of the Night (w. 1825 John Bowring, m. 1830 Lowell Mason)

We Three Kings (1857 – w.m. John H. Hopkins, Jr.)

What Child Is This (William Chatterton Dix, in 1865)