https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

Third Annual "Carols from Around the World"

As we approach the winter holidays, many people strive to be a little kinder and a little more tolerant of others. Regardless of religion or belief or unbelief, we can share beautiful, profound, or simply lighthearted music. Two years ago an idea was hatched by a Frenchwoman, a Romanian, a Scot, and an American to share Christmas carols from our respective countries and to open that up to everyone to share holiday music that they love from any language or culture. The end result was a post filled with goodwill, cheer, and a lot of lovely music. I wish to continue this tradition. Many thanks to all who post their links and to those who listen.

Please feel welcome to share seasonal music (Christmas, Hanukkah, or other winter holiday) from your country or from the language(s) you are learning. Add the translation if you wish. Music is an excellent way to both improve our language skills and our understanding of other cultures.

The beautiful melody to this traditional French carol dates back to the Middle Ages, but it was not published until 1862.
Il est né, le divin enfant (French)
He is born, the divine child
Lyrics

Perhaps one of the most poignant American Christmas carols was set to the words of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at the height of the Civil War.
I heard the bells on Christmas Day (American)
Poem

And lastly something a little lighter:
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (American)
Lyrics

May you have Peace and Joy this season!

6 days ago

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Wippii
Wippii
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I'm from Finland.

Most of our Christmas carols are just translations, but it's usually easy to distinguish between those and originally Finnish ones. The latter tend to be "gloomy", unlike something like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (which, in case you wish to know, is called "Petteri Punakuono" in Finnish).

Here are a couple of original Finnish Christmas carols:

"Joulumaa" and its (both Finnish and English) lyrics. This one is a lot more cheerful than most Finnish carols.

"Varpunen jouluaamuna" and its (both Finnish and English) lyrics. Originally a poem by Zachris Topelius, and very sad.

Both of these have been recorded who knows how many times. The version of Joulumaa that I linked is the original, but the Varpunen jouluaamuna one is not.

6 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

Thank you for sharing Wippii. I'm delighted that the very first comment gives us a taste of Finnish carols.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
Jaelzion
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Traditional African-American christmas song I grew up singing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2azO6P2QfQ

Jesus, Jesus

Oh what a wonderful child

Jesus, Jesus

So lowly meek and mild

New life, new hope, new joy He brings

Listen to the angels sing

Glory, glory, glory

To the new born King


He was herald by the angels

Born in a lowly manger

The virgin Mary was His mother

And Joseph was his earthly father

Three wise men traveled from afar

They were guided by a shining star

To see King Jesus where He lay

In a manger filled with hay

6 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

Love it! Merry Christmas Jaelzion!

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Merci CommeuneTexane, what a sweet idea.

Here is what a least 3 generations have heard since 1944:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGlXYeiCz_4
Petit Papa Noël

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

What a delightful carol! Thank you, Sitesurf.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BusJo
BusJo
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Hi Sitesurf: I am not native French & yes, I struggle (especially with the new system) daily to learn but you picked my absolute favourite Christmas carol! It's funny but I had a couple of my bus kids sing it for me the other day ( drive Franco). Merry Christmas Sitesurf!

3 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Since it is for young children and non-religious, I agree it is perfect for in-bus fun!

Merry Christmas, BusJo!

3 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angus390025
angus390025
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And lastly something a little lighter: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (American)

Johnny Mathis? Really? I know you posted that "many people strive to be a little kinder and a little more tolerant of others" but you couldn't find a Bing Crosby version? Or at least Perry Como? Maybe even Michael Bublé if you're really hard up.

Joyeux Noël, ma grande sœur. Meilleurs vœux en cette saison.

6 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

What would Christmas be without America's favorite crooner?
Just for you angus, Bing Crosby (White Christmas).

Joyeux Noël !

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vabelie
Vabelie
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Bonjour, ma chère Texane :)

When I was a child, Christmas time was synonymous with this song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2ZmTMzN5NY (lyrics in description, I could translate if someone wishes)
Not a carol per se, but that was what Christmas sounded like to me :)

Most people will probably recognize these ones, though the lyrics are quite different from the originals
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0HvkYD5Ec4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO0iTnxTGvw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZU6ZvHAm8o (Brought me to tears when I was a pre-schooler…)

And very traditional carols
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2QEYNMIem4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0yhJmlFOQE

Joyeux Noël à tous :)

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

Merci Vabelie !

"Vive le vent" made me smile because it's one of the carols that I hear my children sing everyday as they prepare for their Christmas concert. ;-)

I love the hauntingly beautiful "Entre le bœuf et l'âne gris"; it's one of my favorite French carols.

Here is another as a plea for hope and peace when nuclear war seemed eminent. Written during the Cuban Missile Crisis: Do you hear what I hear?.

Merry Christmas!

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Deliciae
Deliciae
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Every year, my uni gifts its students and employees a song for Christmas. It may be a new take on a well-known classic, or a completely original piece of music, performed by NTNU's classical and jazz students.

While they're always lovely, this reinterpretation of "Hellige natt" ("O Holy Night" in Norwegian) is my favourite so far:

Hellige natt - Eirik Hegdal, Kirsti Huke, NTNU Jazz Ensemble & NTNU Kammerorkester

The video location is the beautiful Nidaros Cathedral.

Lyrics with rushed translations:

Hellige natt, du nådestund for verden
Holy Night, moment of mercy for the world
Da gudemennesket til jorden steg ned
When the divine human stepped down to Earth
For å forsone alle våre synder
To expiate all our sins
Og lide dødens smerte i vårt sted
And suffer the pain of death in our stead
Se håpet stråler over hele verden
See how hope beams across the world
Og lyset skinner over dal og fjell
And light shines over valleys and mountains

Menneske, våkn opp!
Human, wake up!
Og fryd deg ved din frihet!
And rejoice in your freedom!
Og hellige natt som kom med nåde til vår sjel!
And the Holy Night that brought mercy to our souls!
Og hellige natt som kom med frihet til vår sjel!
And the Holy Night that brought freedom to our souls!

Menneskesønnen løste våre lenker
The human son released our shackles
En frihetsflamme lyser over jord
A flame of freedom illuminates Earth
Uvenn blir venn, og den fremmede du frykter
Foe becomes friend, and the stranger that you fear
Er ingen fiende, men en elsket bror
Is no enemy, but a beloved brother
Se håpet stråler over hele verden
See how hope beams across the world
Og lyset skinner over dal og fjell
And light shines over valleys and mountains

Menneske, våkn opp!
Human, wake up!
Og fryd deg ved din frihet!
And rejoice in your freedom!
Og hellige natt som kom med nåde til vår sjel!
And the Holy Night that brought mercy to our souls!
Og hellige natt som kom med frihet til vår sjel!
And the Holy Night that brought freedom to our souls!

And here's a playlist of Norwegian Christmas carols and winter songs that I share with our learners every Christmas: https://youtu.be/ToFpo4KAz0s

Happy Holidays! :)

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

That leaves me breathless, Deliciae. The music, the cathedral... oh my word!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you!

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RhinoBug
RhinoBug
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Bruce Cockburn has very nice collection of Christmas songs. I own his old cassette tape (I feel I am ancient!). And Enya sings "Silent Night" in several different languages.

This is not a traditional ones but I recommend "It's Christmas Time" by City on a Hill.

6 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MiltReynolds

My favorite: O Holy Night

https://youtu.be/4Zh-yR0pbmU

Wasn't raised to be religious. But even as a youngster, listening to this on my 45 rpm record player, pretending to be the conductor, my heart thrilled to the melody and words, the tender and the triumphant emotions.

Now after 61 years, this song expresses the deepest longings of my heart.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

MiltReynolds, that is one of the most beautiful interpretations of that hymn I have ever heard. Merry Christmas!

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myrrael
Myrrael
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I'm not Christian, but these songs are special to me in their own right.

Dutch! ( With Dutch subtitles )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAamXxE7Nrg Ernst Daniël Smid - Midden in de winternacht (Ondertiteld)

Midden in de winternacht, ging de hemel open. Die ons heil ter wereld bracht, antwoord op ons hopen.

Elke vogel zingt zijn lied. Herders waarom zingt gij niet? Laat de cithers slaan. Blaas uw fluiten aan. Laat de bel, laat de trom, laat de beltrom horen, Christus is geboren.

Vrede was het overal, wilde dieren kwamen, bij de schapen in de stal, en zij speelden samen.

Elke vogel zingt zijn lied. Herders waarom zingt gij niet? Laat de cithers slaan. Blaas uw fluiten aan. Laat de bel, laat de trom, laat de beltrom horen, Christus is geboren.

English!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF2BzUDeTkY Sting - Gabriel's Message

The Angel Gabriel from heaven came

His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame

"All hail" said he "thou Holy Maiden Mary

Most highly favoured lady, Gloria"

.

"For know a blessed mother thou shalt be

All generations laud and honour thee

Thy son shall be Emmanuel by seers foretold

Most highly favoured lady, Gloria"

.

The gentle Mary meekly bowed her head

"To me, be as it pleaseth God" she said

"My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name"

Most highly favoured lady, Gloria

.

Of her Emmanuel, the Christ was born

In Bethlehem all on a Christmas morn

And everyone through out the world will ever say

"Most highly favoured lady, Gloria"

.

Spanish & English! ( Lyrics on screen )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTtc2pM1boE Feliz Navidad- Jose Feliciano

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Prospero año y felicidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Prospero año y felicidad

I wanna wish you a merry Christmas

I wanna wish you a merry Christmas

I wanna wish you a merry Christmas

From the bottom of my heart

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

From the bottom of our heart

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Prospero año y felicidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Prospero año y felicidad

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

From the bottom of our heart

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

From the bottom of our heart

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Prospero año y felicidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Prospero año y felicidad

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

From the bottom of our heart

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

We wanna wish you a merry Christmas

From the bottom of our heart

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Feliz navidad

Prospero año y felicidad

( Have to try recall German and French songs, but I think I've spammed enough for one post! )

♥ Blessed Yule ♥

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

Thank you Myrrael! Feel free to "spam" the post as you like if you bring such musical delights.

Blessed Yule to you too.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myrrael
Myrrael
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Heheh, I will. Just recalled a humorous (though a bit dark) Christmas song.

Dutch!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEaV2O1Jz4c (English subtitles on screen, though they're a bit off, fair warning!)

Yoep van 't Hek - Flappie

Het was kerstochtend 1961, Ik weet 't nog zo goed, mijn konijnenhok was leeg, En moeder zei dat ik niet in de schuur mocht komen, En als ik lief ging spelen, dat ik dan wat lekkers kreeg, Zij wist ook niet waar Flappie uit kon hangen, Ze zou 't pappa vragen, maar omdat die bezig was, In dat fietsenschuurtje moest ik maar een uurtje goed naar Flappie zoeken, Hij liep vast wel ergens op het gras.

Maar ik had het hok toch goed dicht gedaan, Zoals ik dat elke avond deed, Ik was de vorige avond zelfs nog terug gegaan, Ik weet ook niet waarom ik dat deed, Ik had heel lang voor het hok gestaan, Alsof ik wist, wat ik nu weet.

Het was kerstochtend 1961, Wij naar Flappie zoeken, vader die zocht gewoon mee, Bij de bomen en het water, maar niet in dat fietsenschuurtje, 'Want daar kon 'ie toch niet zitten?' En ik schudde nee, We zochten samen, samen tot de koffie, De familie aan de koffie, maar ik hoefde niet, Ik dacht aan Flappie en dat 't 's nachts zo koud kon vriezen, M'n hoofdje stil gebogen, dikke tranen van verdriet.

Want ik had het hok toch goed dichtgedaan, Zoals ik dat elke avond deed, Ik was de vorige avond zelfs nog teruggegaan, Ik weet ook niet waarom ik dat deed, Ik had heel lang voor het hok gestaan, Alsof ik wist, wat ik nu weet.

Het was eerste kerstdag 1961, Er werd luidruchtig gegeten, maar dat deed me niet zoveel, Ik dacht aan Flappie, m'n eigen kleine Flappie, Waar zou die lopen? Geen hap ging door m'n keel, Toen na de soep het hoofdgerecht moest komen, Sprak m'n vader uiterst grappig: "Kijk Youp, daar is Flappie dan!" Ik zie de zilveren schaal nog en daar lag 'ie in drie stukken, Voor 't eerst zag ik m'n vader als een vreselijke man!

En ik ben gillend en stampend naar bed gegaan, Heb eerst een uur liggen huilen op de sprei, Nog één keer scheldend bovenaan de trap gestaan, En geschreeuwd: "Flappie was van mij!" 'k heb heel lang voor 't raam gestaan, Maar 't hok stond er maar verlaten bij.

Het was tweede kerstdag 1961, Moeder weet dat nog zo goed, vaders bed was leeg, En ik zei dat zij niet in de schuur mocht komen, En als ze lief ging spelen, dat ze dan wat lekkers kreeg.

English translation ( I copy / pasted it and saw it wasn't perfect, but I'm pressed for time at the moment. )

It was Christmas morning 1961, I still remember it so well, my rabbit's cage was empty, And mother said that I wasn't allowed in the shed, And if I'd play sweetly, I would get some goodies, She had no clue either where Flappie could be, She would ask daddy, but because he was busy, In that bike shed, I should look for Flappie for another hour, He must certainly be somewhere on the grass.

But I did lock the cage securily, Like I did every evening, I even went back last night, I don't even know why I did that, I had stood in front of the cage for a long while, As if I knew then what I know now.

It was the first day of Christmas 1961, We were searching for Flappie, and dad just searched along, Near the trees and the water, but not in that bike shed, 'Because he couldn't be in there?' And I shook 'no', We searched together, together until it was time for coffee, The family having coffee, but I didn't want anything, I was thinking of Flappie and how cold and freezing it could be at night, My head hung down quietly, crying fat tears of sorrow.

Because I did lock the cage securily, Like I did every evening, I even went back last night, I don't even know why I did that, I had stood in front of the cage for a long while, As if I knew then what I know now.

It was the first day of Christmas 1961, Dinner was noisy, but it didn't bother me much, I was thinking of Flappie, my own little Flappie, Where could he be? I couldn't eat a bite, When after the soup the main course'd arrive, My dad said extremely funny: "Look Youp, here is Flappie!", I still see that silver tray and there he was in three pieces, For the first time I saw my dad as a horrible man!

And I went to bed shrieking and pounding, First spend an hour crying on the covers, Stood cursing at the top of the stairs one last time, And screamed: "Flappie was mine!" Stood in front of the window for a very long while, But the cage just stood there forlorn.

It was the second day of Christmas 1961, Mother still remembers it so well, dad's bed was empty, And I said that she wasn't allowed in the shed, And if she'd play sweetly, she would get some goodies.

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Trofaste
Trofaste
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I won't even try to list all my favourites... But here is a selection of them (the English ones, that is).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_iLXNSIaYc - Hark the Herald Angels Sing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiJhJIYbVQ4 - O Come, All Ye Faithful
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFGfCn5rKIM - I'll Be Home For Christmas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIFqnEoctI4 - Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A3i0GATnRI - What Child is This
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7adETaOYiQ - The Boar's Head Carol
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQw83_zpbJg - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IH8A86FLs0 - Joy to the World
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6x-pjVL67A - Carol of the Bells
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3uflMbmQ2A - In Dulci Jubilo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeZifgblGSs - Wexford Carol

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CommeuneTexane

We certainly needed some classic English carols in the mix, thank you Trofaste. I look forward to listening.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/heathermagoo
heathermagooPlus
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Imgur
Merci, dear CommeuneTexane. I hope your French is flourishing.
Here's my offering for this year.

♪♫♬An Appalachian Christmas Tour, "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem"♪♫♬ Written in 1938 by a Tennessee dairy farmer (Robert Fisher), sitting in his barn on a milking stool. The Appalachian style really grabs me.

♪♫♬Andrea Bocelli, "Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle"♪♫♬ Another beautiful "star" carol --"You come down from the stars"-- originated with Alphonsus Liguori, a prominent Neapolitan priest and scholastic philosopher, 18th century. Lyrics/translation here. Different variations have evolved over time. Here's a nice English version.

Imgur

♪♫♬Muppet Christmas Carol, "Bless Us All"♪♫♬ If you didn't grow up on the Muppets, this one might be a bit of a puzzle. Kermit, Miss Piggy et al performing Dickens, A Christmas Carol. <3 Tiny Tim and Mr Scrooge! :D :D :D This year I also encountered "Angela's Christmas" an Irish children's animation that's worth streaming--bittersweet, irreverent and charming. Based on a story by Frank McCourt about his mother's childhood.

♪♫♬Chanticleer, "Somebody Talkin' 'Bout Jesus"♪♫♬ I used to live in San Francisco and stan for Chanticleer. They taped this with a mobile phone. The visual is a mishmash of several takes or else they keep changing their clothes as they sing.
:D

♪♫♬Pavarotti Father & Son Duet, "Panis Angelicus"♪♫♬ Late to the party, but I have to sneak in one more. I've loved this Pavarotti father/son duet since forever. And Panis Angelicus is also just tailor-made for The Choir of King's College Cambridge.

♪♫♬Aretha, "Amazing Grace"♪♫♬ Not strictly "holiday," but bursting with Light and Love. Footage from New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972, filmed by Sydney Pollack.

UPDATE:
Here's one of the Christmas Carols posts from a previous year. There must be another but I haven't located it yet.

5 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

All the Carols song here seem to fall into three categories

The first being the exact same carols sung in uk or America

The second being songs where the lyrics are “australianised” like “an emu in a gumtree” instead of “a partridge in pear tree”

The 3rd are just completely unique songs where the lyrics etc have little or nothing to do with traditional songs, like drinking white wine in the sun.

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pilgrim1712
Pilgrim1712
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Here is one from my home country Slovenia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ol6duatQyM

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hilary220181

The Wexford Carol from Ireland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3szyPMwuDC8

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisaandtim
lisaandtim
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Every Christmas our family sings this song, "Christmas Isn't Christmas." My Mom was an elementary music teacher and all her classes sang this at the close of their program as well. Beautiful tune go with the beautiful words...

"Christmas Isn't Christmas, till it happens in your heart. Somewhere deep inside you is where Christmas really starts. So give your heart to Jesus, You'll discover when you do. That it's Christmas, really Christmas for you."

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jolynnedougherty
jolynnedougherty
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More of a modern song than a carol, but I love to hear Ella Fitzgerald sing The Secret of Christmas.

It's not the glow you feel when snow appears. It's not the Christmas card you've sent for years. Not the joyful sound when sleigh bells ring, Or the merry song children sing.

The little gift you send on Christmas Day will not bring back the friend you've turned away. So, may I suggest the secret of Christmas Is not the things you do at Christmastime, But the Christmas things you do all year through.

2 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RhinoBug
RhinoBug
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This is not the place to ask this question but why this discussion doesn't show up in the top popular discussion? I wish as many learners will see this post! It is so jolly!

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Only upvotes can make a thread reach the top popular discussions.

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RhinoBug
RhinoBug
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Excuse me, but I just counted that there were more than eighty discussions which has less than forty votes (some has even one vote) shows up before this. Is my site not working properly? Should I report as a trouble?

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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You're right. Something might not work as it should.

3 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronan348350

The pine wrap is fine wrap for presents for my dear

And holly wrap is jolly wrap that brings us Christmas cheer

and it's oak wrap, oak wrap, christmas time is here again

it's oak wrap, oak wrap, christmas time is here!

(you have to say this out loud. It's got a jolly tune too. Maybe I'll record it for you)

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YnaUZpIJ

Anything in Turkish?

4 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YozakuraHime

Here's my favorite Brazilian Xmas song so far, in the language I'm learning, Portuguese: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qfoLAzW4m7w

Lyrics: https://www.letras.mus.br/natal/509381/

I'm not good enough to translate them yet, but it seems to be about baby Jesus.

1 day ago
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