A Country Christmas Conversation

Merry Christmas, Country Universe readers!

Today, we start a conversation about our favorite country Christmas songs. Please share yours in the comments!

Leeann’s Favorite Country Christmas Song:

“The Angels Cried” (with Alison Krauss)
Alan Jackson

Written by Harley Allen and Debbie Nims

There are an incredible amount of great country versions of traditional Christmas songs, but I don’t think it’s just my bias that makes me proclaim that country music corners the market on the very best original Christmas songs.

Narrowing down my favorite original Christmas song to just one song is a challenge, but I’m comfortable declaring “The Angels Cried” by Alan Jackson and Alison Krauss to be my very favorite. Jackson and Krauss sing of the joy surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. The culmination of the reverent lyrics, crystalline voices and lovely melody make the song a sublime and holy experience.

Kevin’s Favorite Country Christmas Song:

“It Wasn’t His Child”
Trisha Yearwood

Written by Skip Ewing

In the Catholic faith, Joseph is the patron saint of both fathers and stepfathers. “It Wasn’t His Child” speaks to how he played both roles, and the challenges associated with that. It’s a beautiful tribute to the quiet man in the background who loved God’s child as his own, and the joy and pain associated with raising a man who “grew up with his hands in wood, and He died with his hands in wood.”


  1. Merry Christmas to all of Country Universe. You guys have an amazing website and I’ve followed it for about 5 to 6 years now

    As for Christmas songs I have 1 that has always stood out to me.

    Carrie Underwood Do You Hear What I Hear

  2. Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all have a very blessed day and year.

    I agree with Raymond’s choice. Do You Hear What I Hear is a favorite traditional Christmas carol and Underwood’s version is one of the best renditions of that song.

    I also love Faith Hill’s A Baby Changes Everything.

  3. Honkey Tonk Christmas is a great album!
    * The Angels Cried
    * If we make it through December
    * Please Daddy don’t get drunk for Christmas
    * Santa’s coming in a pickup truck.

  4. From my comments re Leeann’s Nettles Christmas album review:

    The beautiful lyrics and music penned by Michael Peterson make “My Heart Is Bethlehem” one of the best Christmas songs ever IMHO. I read that John first heard the song at a songwriter’s retreat. Michael Peterson played it for John and he was hooked. (Mr. Peterson is also a fine singer who had #1 country hits with “From Here to Eternity” and “Drink, Swear, Steal and Lie”, both of which he co-wrote.) Here’s part of the lyric:

    “My heart is Bethlehem
    I will make room for him.
    This humble dwelling place
    Made worthy by his grace.

    This child is still adored,
    Because he still is born
    Deep in the hearts of men,
    (To love and not condemn)
    My heart is Bethlehem”

    Checking i-tunes I found only 2 other artists who have covered the song – Julie LaMeng and East Valley Chorale.

    Berry has a voice made to sing Christmas songs. For me, his new Christmas album (Not reviewed by CU) is the best of this year’s new Christmas releases.

    My second favorite Christmas song is “It Wasn’t His Child” which I have by Trisha and Skip Ewing.

    “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (Based on a Longfellow poem written during the Civil War) by Suzy Bogguss is another favorite.

  5. I have been programming Christmas music since 1982. To me it’s like opening gifts every year. So I especially love to hear artists’ original songs in hopes of hearing a traditional song from the moment it was released.
    But Emmylou Harris had other plans and beat me to the stage. In 1979, she issued “Light of the Stable” while I was a 60-gunner jumping from an Army helicopter. I still truly think there is no other Christmas song that shares such pure joy.
    However, closer to Earth, I have enjoyed other originals that bring Christmas closer to home:
    Dolly Parton – Hard Candy Christmas
    Darius Rucker – What God Wants for Christmas
    Michael W. Smith – Christmastime (not Christmas Time)
    Vince Gill – Breath of Heaven (Amy Grant cover, but we’ll allow it since it is in the family)
    The Tractors – you pickem’
    (What ever happened to those guys?)

  6. Basically, all of my Christmas choices fall well outside the country music scope that we’re dealing with her (even Linda’s 2000 X-Mas album A Merry Little Christmas, but here are some of my favorites:

    The Ventures: SLEIGH RIDE
    Trans-Siberian Orchestra: CHRISTMAS CANON; CAROL OF THE BELLS
    Josh Groban: O HOLY NIGHT
    Chuck Berry: RUN, RUN, RUDOLPH

  7. Martina McBride’s Oh Holy Night;
    Faith Hill’s A Baby Changes Everything;
    Rascal Flats’ Mary Did You Know;
    Little Big Town’s Tennessee Christmas;
    Darius Ruckers What God Wants For Christmas.

  8. some of my favorites, both traditional and non traditional

    Homemade Christmas in Kentucky–Kenny Rogers
    Hark The Herald Angels Sing–Carrie Underwood
    Christmas Carol–Skip Ewing
    Oh holy Night–Martina McBride
    Leroy the Redneck Reindeer–Joe Diffie
    O Come All Ye Faithful–Waylon Jennings

  9. My favorite Christmas Country Album is Alabama’s first Christmas Album.
    Another favorite one is Doug Stone’s “The First Christmas”

    A couple of my favorite Original Country Christmas songs are:
    Keith Whitley – Christmas Letter
    Bill Medley – Santa Please

  10. I could play at this for the entire 12 days of Christmas! Christmas music is so strongly sentimental for me. For a family that didn’t sit around a piano and sing Christmas songs, listening to new holiday music was as close as I ever got to that experience. Traditional carols and hymns provide the perfect invitation and excuse to hear my favorite vocalists and musicians perform comfortable melodies and familiar lyrics. I didn’t hesitate, for instance, to purchase either Jennifer Nettles or Chris Young’s Christmas albums upon learning of their release just because I really wanted to hear them sing those songs. Later in my life, I have come to thrill at the excitement of a well composed original Christmas song. Enough. Here is my list:

    Gary Morris- I Wonder as I Wander, Christmas Time
    Vince Gill – Blue Christmas, Let There Be Peace on Earth, Til the Season Comes Around Again (His “Let There Be Peace on Earth” album was an epiphany for me.)
    Merle Haggard – Bobby Wants a Puppy Dog for Christmas
    Kathy Mattea – Somebody Talkin’ About Jesus, Good News
    Rick Van Shelton- Christmas Long Ago, I’ll Be Home for Christmas
    Clint Black -‘Til Santa’s Gone (Milk and Cookies)
    Dwight Yoakam- Come on Christmas
    Dale Watson- Christmas Love, Christmas Time in Texas
    Red Simpson-Blue Blue Christmas (For this truck driving man)
    Randy Travis- Meet Me Under the Mistletoe
    Charley Pride- They Stood in Silent Prayer
    Toby Keith -Mary, It’s Christmas
    Trisha Yearwood -Take a Walk Through Bethlehem
    John Berry – Christmas Morning
    Lee Ann Womack- The Season for Romance
    Raul Malo – Not So Merry Christmas
    Mary Chapin Carpenter- On a Quiet Christmas Morn
    Johnny Cash-I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

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