The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Looking back at the history of Christmas songs

Rockefeller Center hosts one of the most illustrious Christmas Shows, with household names like Andrea Bocelli and Alicia Keys having performed there.

Christmas songs are seemingly as old as time itself. Christmas arose from the story of the birth of Jesus and every year since it has been marked by celebration through gift-giving and hymn-singing. However, how people have celebrated has adapted over time, especially when it comes to the types of songs they sing.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, classical music was the main genre that encompassed Christmas music, with major artists such as Handel and Bach composing Christmas classics.

As society transitioned into the 20th century, jazz and blues began dominating Christmas music, with major pioneering pop artists like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin singing their own versions of “Winter Wonderland,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Let it Snow!” Most of the songs released in the early 20th century have been covered numerous times.

“We [my family] don’t go out of our way to play these songs. We just play the holiday radio. We do like those songs, though. I think they are popular because they have a feel-good quality to them and they have been replayed over and over every Christmas since they were made,” sophomore Jakob Lindsey said.

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However, the most popular Christmas song is, without a doubt, Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” which generates as much as $2.5 million a year.

“The song is popular for many reasons. She [Carey] is a well-known artist with many other hits, which is why people first started listening to it. It’s also very catchy and centered around a positive theme, which is love. I personally like the song because it’s upbeat,” senior Nik Avillo said.

Since the dawn of the new millennia, the number of Christmas songs has only expanded, with the tradition even being reinvented in the new internet era, as many YouTubers have written and produced their own Christmas tunes. The evolution of Christmas songs over the course of human history is fascinating and it seems that no matter how humanity changes or adapts, Christmas songs become an indelible part of culture.

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Rama Rugaba
Rama Rugaba, Staff Writer
Rama is a staff writer in 12th grade who likes to play soccer.
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