Christmas Songs and Carols A Hundred Years Ago

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, December 8, 1912:  Didn’t go to Sunday School this morning, partly because I didn’t think it would be very good for me to go out today.

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Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1911)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Sounds like Grandma still wasn’t feeling very well. Hope she gets better soon. Since she didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share a list of winter and Christmas songs that was in an old Ladies Home Journal magazine.

MUSIC FOR THE SEASONS

Winter

  • Snow Man
  • When the Snow is on the Ground
  • Jack Frost
  • Tracks in the Snow
  • Snow Flakes
  • Coasting
  • Winter Jewels
  • Snowballs
  • Sleighing Song
  • Little White Feathers
  • Jacky Frost

Christmas

  • Old Santa Claus
  • Once a Little Baby
  • Once Unto the Shepherds
  • In Bethlehem Stable
  • The First Christmas
  • Christmas Carol
  • A Christmas Song
  • Carol, Brother, Carol
  • Christmas Day in the Morning
  • Christmas Eve
  • O! Holy Night
  • Silent Night
  • Holy Night; Holy Child
  • Carol, Children, Carol
  • Martin Luther Christmas Carol
  • While Shepherds Watched
  • While Stars of Christmas Shine
  • The First Christmas Song
  • The First Christmas
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Santa Claus
  • Do You Believe in Santa Claus?
  • A Christmas Party
  • The Christmas Tree

Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)

Whew, it’s astonishing how few of the songs I know. I would have guessed that Christmas carols hadn’t changed much across the years. Though—now that I’m looking more carefully at the list— I realize that some of the songs might be the same, just the names have changed.

18 Responses

  1. What’s the image? Is it the cover of that magazine?

  2. I like your list of songs. It gives me a few ideas for future blog posts as well. Probably if you could find the words to the songs many of them would be familiar. Often newer songs are repackaging of the old ones with either new tunes or a shuffling of lyrics.

    • I thought the same thing. For example, this list includes the song Jack Frost. I think that Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire is a newer song–but it includes the line “Jack Frost nipping on your nose.”

  3. You’re right Sheryl, I haven’t heard a new Christmas song in ages but I really only recognize ‘Silent Night’ there. Maybe we’ve forgotten a few from back then.

  4. More snow songs than I would have expected…especially since its 50 and raining here. Helena Muffy I didnt make it to Sunday school today either…too soggy and drearr out !

  5. I only recognized about 5 of them and I was surprised too. I hope taking a few days to rest helps her recover.

  6. Oh, how I wish I could hear singing of the old Christmas songs. They jazz up carols today. Why? I love the old ones, the peaceful ones, the choirs. I’m sure some on your list are the good ones we recall but only with different names.

  7. I was like you, I thought Christmas songs and carols wouldn’t have changed much for quite some time. But I didn’t recognise the majority of these. Thank you for sharing such a list. I think I will keep a lookout for some of these songs in future to see if they pop up anywhere.

  8. It would be fun to learn more about the songs. I wonder if they did get more snow like we do today…you know walking to school in 3 feet of snow uphill both ways for miles and miles!! ha ha

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