Many people love to sing Christmas carols, but sometimes the words can be difficult to remember, and people often disagree on which lyrics are correct. Don't risk letting your caroling turn into a kerfuffle! These 12 printable Christmas carols are some of the most beloved of the season, and they can be easily printed out so that everyone can sing loudly and joyously!
12 Printable Christmas Carol Song Sheets to Help Make Spirits Bright
You may have heard different versions of these songs, but the lyrics included here are some of the most common and popular. All these songs are in the public domain, so feel to print out as many of these Christmas song printables as you need using Adobe!
The 12 Days of Christmas
According to the Catholic News Agency, this carol was created during a period when the Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. The 12 Days of Christmas was written as a coded catechism for children. For example, "my true love" is a reference to Jesus Christ, and two turtle doves symbolize the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The rest of the carol is filled with other cherished teachings of the faith.
If you like, add an accompaniment for The 12 Days of Christmas.
The First Noel
Although this over 450-year-old carol has long been considered to have French origins, it actually originated in Helston, near Cornwall. Originally titled The First Nowell, the title was likely converted to The First Noel by a French publisher sometime in the 19th or early 20th century.
Playing the guitar chords for The First Noel can be a pretty accompaniment to this classic piece.
Easily one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time, even though the holiday is never mentioned, Jingle Bells was originally written as a winter song with the title The One Horse Open Sleigh. The song was first published in 1857.
Get the chords to Jingle Bells and have someone play along while you sing.
Did you know that Jingle Bells was first performed on Thanksgiving? Not only that, but if you actually take the time to really listen to the lyrics, the song alludes to picking up chicks, drag racing in the snow, and an inevitable crash! Talk about getting on the naughty list!
O Come All Ye Faithful
This beloved carol was translated into English from the original Latin version, Adeste Fidelis. In fact, the song has become so popular around the world that it has been translated into over 100 languages.
Consider adding a guitar accompaniment to bring this carol to life!
This Austrian Christmas carol was written in 1818. Composer Franz Gruber had to set Josef Mohr's poem to music using a guitar, since the organ at the Church of St. Nicholas had fallen into disrepair. The simple tune turned out to be a perfect match for the sentiments of the carol, and the rest is history!
Guitar chords are available for Silent Night if you'd like to play along.
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Very little is known about the origin of this carol. According to an article at Hymns and Carols of Christmas, expert William Studwell's research determined the piece was written over 400 years ago in England. Today, the carol is often used to close Christmas concerts around the world.
Add the chords to this carol for everyone to enjoy.
Figgy pudding doesn't actually contain any figs! In fact, the name got a bit lost in translation. Figgy pudding is really plum pudding, a traditional British Christmas dish. Originally, the recipe called for meat, but now it is more commonly made with brandy and dried fruits, like prunes, which are dried plums, hence the name. This dish also used to be made with 13 ingredients, which represented the 12 apostles and Jesus Christ.
Away in a Manger
The exact origins of this carol are not clear either, but it's believed to have originated in the late 1800s in Pennsylvania. The hymn is associated with the evangelical German Lutheran community that settled in the state.
Review the chords to play along with carol singers.
The Holly and the Ivy
Despite this carol being a long beloved classic by carolers, it actually has roots in the pagan traditions found in Great Britain centuries ago. Holly and ivy were both sacred symbols to these religions. It's believed that this ancient folk song had its lyrics rewritten by historian Cecil Sharp in 1911 to reflect a more Christian bent.
Learn the chords for The Holly and the Ivy to add a musical accompaniment.
What Child Is This?
This classic Christmas carol stands out for its moving and almost melancholy tone. This fits with its origins as a hymn written by William Chatterton Dix in 1865 when he was recuperating from a severe illness. The hymn was later paired with the traditional English song Greensleeves.
The chords for What Child Is This? can be used to add a guitar to your presentation.
Go Tell It on the Mountain
John Wesley Work Jr. was passionate about African-American spiritual music, which had been passed down orally by families. He collected the songs and wrote them into two book collections, the second of which included the catchy song Go Tell It On the Mountain.
Play the chords to liven up your caroling.
Good King Wenceslas
This carol refers to St. Wenceslas, who was King of Bohemia in the 10th century. The lyrics were written by John Mason Neale in 1853, and the music is from a 13th century folk song. While it is sung at Christmas time, it's actually celebrating the Feast of St. Stephen, also known as Boxing Day, which is the day after Christmas.
Add the chords to the carol for a beautiful accompaniment.
Carol of the Bells
This lovely carol is derived from the Shchedryk, a folk song about spring from the Ukraine. It was composed by Mykola Leontovich in the Ukraine. American Peter Wilhousky took the music and added new lyrics to create the carol that we sing today.
Playing along with a musical instrument can make this an especially beautiful carol.
Enjoy All the Carols Together
Having a Christmas song printable that includes this entire selection of carols to hand out to all your singers can enhance your caroling experience. A Christmas carol booklet is a handy way to give everyone the words so they can follow along and enjoy sharing Christmas cheer!
Many people don't realize that carols used to be sung in every season! The University of Plymouth notes that "there used to be May carols and harvest carols, but it is only the tradition of singing them at Christmas which has really survived."
Make Carols Part of Your Annual Celebrations
There are plenty of ways to put these Christmas carol lyric printables to good use! Host a Christmas karaoke party, play a game of Finish the Lyrics by singing the lesser known verses of these songs and seeing who can complete them correctly, or liven up your kids' game of musical chairs by regaling them with Christmas classics!
You can also make homemade carol books using the individual printable Christmas carols to use when you go caroling door to door or at parties. No matter how you use them, they are sure to make everyone's spirits bright!