Spanish Christmas songs or carols originated early in the Middle Ages and were a part of the Christmas celebration during these times, but it was only from 16th century onwards that they were written down and are continued to be sung even today in Spain during Christmas. Known as 'Villancicos', the Spanish Christmas songs were very popular among the noblemen and the plebeians alike in the Middle Ages. These Spanish Christmas songs are very popular in Spain as well as in other Latin American countries.
Many of the Spanish Christmas songs have been translated into the
language from English, however there are many Christmas carols and songs
that have originated in Spain. The translations are however usually not
always literal and there are few changes in words here and there. The
essence of the Christmas spirit however continues to remain in these
translated Christmas Spanish songs. The Spanish Christmas songs and
carols like in other places are sung with music accompaniments. Some of
the traditional Spanish instruments that are used to give melody and
tune to the Christmas songs are the 'almierz' (metallic mortar),
'zambomba' (drum-like folk instrument) and 'pandereta' (tambourines).
Spanish Christmas songs are based on Christmas season theme. Like most
of the Christmas songs in other countries, in Spain popular themes like
birth of baby Jesus, adoration of the Three Kings, Mother Mary
performing the activities of a mother with baby Jesus, the visit of the
shepherds to the manger and celebrating the joy of Christmas among other
things. Some of the popular Spanish Christmas songs are Campana
Sobre Campana, Los Peces En El Río, Ay Del Chiquirritín,
Ande Ande Ande La Marimorena and Canta Ríe Bebe.
Apart from these songs, there are also some popular English Christmas
songs that have been translated into Spanish. Some of them are Away in a
Manger - Cascabel; The First Noel - Los doc diaz de;
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Escuchad el son triunfal; Jingle
Bells #1- Navidad, navidad; and Jingle Bells #2 - Noche
sagrada. So this Christmas, add a little Spanish flavor to your
Christmas songs and carols in Spanish are known as 'Villancicos' and were very popular among the noblemen and the plebeians alike in the Middle Ages.