World Of Christmas
Irish Christmas songs are some of the oldest in the world. Read this article to know more about some of the famous traditional Irish songs for Christmas.

Irish Christmas Songs

Christianity was first introduced to Ireland by St. Patrick in the 5th century A.D and was fervently embraced by the Irish people. Irish are mostly Catholic and celebrate Christmas with great reverence and zeal. The tradition of Christmas songs in Ireland dates back to the 13th century when the Wexford Irish melody, which is about the nativity of Jesus Christ, was performed for the first time. One Irish Christmas song that has been translated into various languages and is sung even by non-Catholic sects is ‘The 12 Days of Christmas'. It is sung to celebrate the longer festival of Christmastide, which lasts for 12 days. Irish people have a rich musical tradition, the Irish harp being a principal symbol of Ireland which is often depicted on the coins. In recent times, some contemporary musicians have re-recorded or given new renditions of the traditional Christmas songs, which have become famous. One contemporary song titled ‘Fairytale of New York' by the Irish group ‘The Pogues' is frequently voted as the ‘Best Christmas Song' in radio and TV polls in UK and Ireland. Given here are details and lyrics of some famous traditional Irish Christmas songs.

Lyrics Of Irish Christmas Songs

The Wexford Carol
This song originated in the County Wexford in Ireland and is one the oldest and most well known Irish Christmas songs. It describes the nativity of Jesus Christ. It has been covered by various folk artists as well as pop artists notable being Moya Brennan, Michael McDonald and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Good people all, this Christmas-time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas day;
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born.

The night before that happy tide
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.
But mark how all things came to pass;
From every door repelled alas!
As long foretold, their refuge all
Was but an humble ox's stall.

There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star,
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay,
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah was,
They humbly cast them at his feet,
With gifts of gold and incense sweet.

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;
To whom God's angels did appear,
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
"Prepare and go", the angles said.
'To Bethlehem, be not afraid,
For there you'll find this happy morn,
A princely babe, sweet Jesus born.

With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the babe to find,
And as God's angel had foretold,
They did our savior Christ behold.
Within a manger he was laid,
And by his side the virgin maid,
Attending on the Lord of life,
Who came on earth to end all strife.

Curoo, Curoo
Also known as ‘The Carol of the Birds', it literally translates to the holiday melodies of the birds. It is also a traditional song originating in the 18th century. The well known Irish singers of the 60's, The Clancy Brothers popularized it by recording it on an album called ‘The Clancy Brothers Christmas'.

Full many a bird did wake and fly
Curoo, curoo, curoo
Full many a bird did wake and fly
To the manger bed with a wandering cry
On Christmas day in the morning
Curoo, curoo, curoo
Curoo, curoo, curoo

The lark, the dove, the red bird came
Curoo, curoo, curoo
The lark, the dove, the red bird came
And they did sing in sweet Jesus' name
On Christmas day in the morning
Curoo, curoo, curoo
Curoo, curoo, curoo

The owl was there with eyes so wide
Curoo, curoo, curoo
The owl was there with eyes so wide
And he did sit at sweet Mary's side
On Christmas day in the morning
Curoo, curoo, curoo
Curoo, curoo, curoo

The shepherds knelt upon the hay
Curoo, curoo, curoo
The shepherds knelt upon the hay
And angels sang the night away
On Christmas day in the morning
Curoo, curoo, curoo
Curoo, curoo, curoo

Once In Royal David's City
This traditional Christmas song was written and performed in the early 1850s by popular songwriter and singer of the time, Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander. The musical arrangements for the song were done by English organist Henry John Gantlet. The song speaks of the city of Bethlehem and the ancestor of Jesus, King David. This song is widely available in various Irish Christmas Song Collections.

Once in royal David's city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior Holy.

And through all His wondrous childhood
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly Maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.

Jesus is our childhood's pattern;
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in heaven,
Set at God's right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.