Christmas Carol Rap?

Steven Wilburn of Suite 101 Media writes, “Christmas can be a tough time for modern churches with a contemporary worship style.” These apparently are “tough times” because what worshipers really want is to sing traditional Christmas carols as written. However, that’s not what modern worship leaders want to provide for their congregations. So despite the scarcity of these modern offerings, he found a few to recommend.

Wilburn evaluated an arrangement of  “Joy to the World.” In his review he commended a band that has “…taken their signature edgy style and used it to revamp the classic carol, …” He notes that, “The band gives the verses a U2 feel with delayed electrics and long pedal tones.” In addition, the band has added a simple refrain, “ ‘all of heaven and all of creation sing the wonders of his love,’ putting it over a heavy drum(-)driven syncopated rhythm.”

Just when I thought an arrangement could not be more appalling, Wilburn introduces another Christian band arranged carol, “What Child is This?”  He writes that “… a pair of picking acoustics and violin, . . .” gives a folk feel to this traditional English carol. Then, “Slowly, the song add(s) instruments and builds energy until the whole band enters on the final refrain for a hard rock ending.”

Having been a participant in services where new arrangements of Christmas carols inspired movement and encouraged clapping, I started to wonder if by next year our church might include a Christmas carol rap.

Long ago I decided that if people who come up with rap songs are composers, then anyone can be a composer. So here is my Christmas rap contribution:

He came here on a night so clear/A child that brought us all good cheer/Now angels played on harps of gold/When they arrived and their story told/Yeah/Oh yeah

The song they’re singin’ right here, right now/It’s about that child over by that cow/That song floatin’ out for all to hear/Is bringin’ you courage and much good cheer. Yeah/Oh yeah

So listen right now you weary and sad/Sit and let the angel song make you glad/They’re wantin’ you to know that the baby in the trough/Is the Christ Child King so don’t nod off/Yeah/Oh yeah ©

Okay, I’m whining. And, yes, I would like a little cheese with my whine.

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:

"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men

From heavens all gracious King!"

The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing. 
                                                                        ~Edmund Hamilton Sears

Celtic Woman is a popular contemporary group that sings Christmas songs and carols beautifully. Many of their selections are on their CD/DVD “Home for Christmas.”


  1. I am going to give your "song" to my choir and ask them to work it up! I'll record it and send it to you!!!

  2. Captain Nancy, funny! They could probably do it very well.

  3. I believe that if you were to promote it properly (think Wilburn) your rap "song" might be the boffo hit of the Christmas season, 2014!

    1. Vanilla, Captain Nancy's choir just might make that happen for me. But then my family might not want to claim me.

  4. Very funny. Thanks for a good laugh.