12 Carols, Or, Christmas Tunes You May Not Have Heard: Noel Nouvelet

One of my friends told me he hated Christmas songs the other day, and I immediately corrected him: "No you don’t. You just hate the 20 or so popular ones they play to death on the radio and in shopping malls during the holidays." Grudgingly he agreed I was right, and I offered to see if I could track down some other great Christmas tunes that he’d probably never even heard before.

Then I thought about what a great blog idea that would make for December. So I’m going to try to track down 12 good Christmas songs that aren’t extremely common, and while some of you have probably heard a few of these before, I hope I’m going to be able to surprise each person at least once.

Just note that I tend to like 1. medieval carols, 2. carols in a minor key, and 3. waltzes. So a lot of these fall into one or more of those categories. Please feel free to suggest your own favorite Christmas song no one’s heard of in the comments!

Today’s carol is Noel Nouvelet, which the Lutherans among us may recognize as an Easter song called "Now the Green Blade Rises." But originally, it was a French Christmas carol, "one of the oldest European Christmas carols to survive to modern times." Here are the lyrics in English and French.

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