French Christmas Carols & Christmas Songs in French
If you are looking to add some French practice to your holiday season, these classic French Christmas carols and Christmas songs in French will be perfect.
Here you will find some authentic French Christmas songs mixed with more fun and modern Christmas songs in French too.
The list also includes some English classics in their French version like Douce Nuit (Silent Night in French) and Vive le vent (Jingle Bells in French).
You can listen to these French Christmas carols directly in this article or head over to YouTube. Many of these Christmas songs in French have lyrics added to the video for easier understanding and singing, of course!
French Christmas Carols & Songs
Here are 15 French Christmas carols, and Christmas songs in French to sing along to this festive season!
1. Douce nuit (Silent Night in French)
This is the version of Silent Night in French. This famous Christmas song was initially a poem written by pastor Joseph Mohr. On December 24, 1818 he asked his friend, Franz Gruber to put his poem to music.
That night, the song was performed for the first time at the Christmas Eve service in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, near Salzburg, Austria.
The song has since been translated into over 140 languages and is enjoyed around the world. Find the Spanish version here.
2. Vive le vent (Jingle Bells in French)
The French title for Jingle Bells, Vive le vent, literally translates as long live the wind. The lyrics of Jingle Bells in French are very different from that of the English version of the song.
The French Christmas carol version of Jingle bells was originally adapted to French by Francis Blanche in 1948, and it’s a popular Christmas song in France. The French version has references to Father time, New Year’s Day and Baby New Year.
3. Mon beau sapin
The French version of this German song “Oh Christmas Tree”, (O Tannenbaum) was published in 1856 in Strasbourg in a book of German songs translated for French-speaking children.
The original German version can be traced back to the 1550s when Leipzig was part of Prussia.
4. Petit Papa Noël
This French Christmas carol is probably the biggest French Christmas song of all times. Everyone knows this song. It is learnt at school and heard in stores everywhere in France.
Petit Papa Noël is a 1946 song recorded by French singer Tino Rossi. It has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. There have since been numerous other versions. The link above is to the original 1946 song, but here is a more modern version young children may prefer.
5. Il est né le divin enfant
This is a popular catholic song. The text of the French Christmas carol details the birth of Jesus and the wait of 4000 years for this event, as foretold by the prophets.
It both observes the humility of Christ’s birth in a stable and calls on the Kings of the Orient to attend the child. This song was first published in 1874.
6. Rudolph le petit renne au nez rouge (Rudolph in French)
This is the French version of the famous Christmas song “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.
Rudolph was invented in the U.S. by writer Robert L. May in 1939 as a children’s book. Later, the author’s son-in-law helped him turn the book into a song. That song was discovered and performed by singer Gene Autry.
By 1949, Rudolph was topping the charts as a popular Christmas song we know today. It has since been translated into several other languages and is known around the world. You can find the Spanish version here.
7. L’as-tu vu?
This is a favourite French Christmas song/rhyme for very young children about Santa.
With very simple and repetitive lyrics, it is often accompanied with hand gestures and is sure to be learnt really quickly.
8. Noël blanc (White Christmas in French)
The French Christmas carol version of this American song written in the early 1940s by Irving Berlin was translated into French by Francis Blanche.
After the Second World War, the song became the most sold single worldwide. The nostalgic lyrics tell of Christmas memories.
9. Petit Garçon
This is apparently the French version of a song called Old Toy Trains written by Roger Miller in 1967. The French lyrics were written by Graeme Allwright in 1968.
This Christmas song in French talks about the coming of Santa Claus through the chimney and the longest wait from the little boy waiting for him. Many popular French singers have sung recent versions of this song, making it well-known and loved.
10. Noël en forêt
This is a more recent French Christmas song written in 1996 by Jean Naty-Boyer. The repetitive lyrics also lend themselves really well to little ears.
Each animal receives a little gift of their favourite food. Young kids love that one.
11. Voici le Père Noël
This song is an adaptation of Here Comes Santa Claus written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman.
The first French Christmas carol version dates back from 1964. It was also famously interpreted by Renée Martel, a French Canadian country singer.
12. Noël au bout du monde
A French Christmas song from Anne Sylvestre that brings back memories of Christmas shows to many French children.
This song tells of how Christmas may be celebrated around the world. We love the reminder that Christmas may mean putting tinsel of banana trees for some.
13. C’est le Père Noël
This song written by Henri Dès in 2001 describes Santa and everything he has to do leading up to Christmas.
The album with the same title has some classic as well as original songs by Henri Dès, a much-loved Swiss (French) singer for kids.
14. Noël que du bonheur
This upbeat Christmas song in French by Ilona Mitrecey from 2005 is perfect for older kids who think they may be too old for classic French Christmas carols.
15. Noël c’est comme un rythme de jazz
The origins of this French Christmas song appear to be unknown. It seems to take its origins in an American jazz song but without any further details.
It is a really upbeat and jazzy tune which brings a touch of something a little different to many other Christmas songs.
16. 12 jours de Noël (12 days of Christmas in French)
This is a very famous Christmas carol in English-speaking countries. It is a lot less known in French-speaking ones.
The music appears to be originally French from the 16th century. There have been countless versions of this song that have evolved through time. The version above sung by Henri Dès for children brings a soft touch to Christmas.
17. Grand Saint Nicolas
Technically, these last two songs are not about Christmas but about Saint Nicolas (a tradition celebrated in Eastern France, some parts of Germany and of Eastern Europe in early December).
Saint Nicolas is the one bringing the gifts to children in those parts of the world. This song written by Anne Sylvestre is a classic in French schools.
18. Venez, venez Saint Nicolas
Another unknown song. The tune seems to be taken from another popular children’s rhyme (La Mère Michel) and the lyrics have been adapted to fit within the music.
This song is very popular in French-speaking parts of Belgium.
Did you find any favourite songs in French? Do you have any more French Christmas Carols to add to our list?
Joyeux Noël et Joyeuses Fêtes!
Looking for more French songs and resources? Check out these posts: