Top 10 Southern Gospel Christmas Songs

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some good Southern Gospel Christmas songs? Here’s a list of the top 10!

What is Southern Gospel Music?

Southern gospel music is a genre of gospel music that is principle in the Southern United States. It is a form of Christian music and a subgenre of gospel music. Like other forms of gospel music, it is composed and performed for many purposes, including aesthetic pleasure, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as an entertainment product for the marketplace.

The origin of southern gospel music can be traced to the early 18th century when shape-note hymnals were first being used in the American South. The first known publication of shape-note southern gospel tunes was The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, published in 1835 by William Walker (1780–1858) in Music Valley, Tennessee. Walker used his editions of The Southern Harmony to train singers for more than two decades.

The History of Southern Gospel Music

Southern gospel music is a genre of Christian music that has its roots in the evangelical musical traditions of the American South. In the early 20th century, southern gospel developed as a distinct musical style from other forms of Christian music, such as hymns and shape note singing.

Characterized by its use of harmony and complex vocal arrangements, southern gospel was originally performed by groups of4–5 male singers, who sang a capella or with only minimal instrumental accompaniment. Over time, brass and string instruments were added to southern gospel ensembles, and the genre began to be performed by mixed-gender groups.

Today, southern gospel is one of the most popular genres of Christian music and is performed by both solo artists and groups all over the world. While the genre has undergone some changes since its inception, it remains true to its roots as music that celebrates the love of God and the hope of salvation.

The Top 10 Southern Gospel Christmas Songs

#1. “Angels We Have Heard on High”
This tradional favorite has been recorded by many artists, but the Gaither Vocal Band’s version is a Southern Gospel classic. The song tells the story of the birth of Jesus as told by the angels who were there that night.

#2. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
Another tradional carol that has been updated by many Southern Gospel artists over the years, this song was originally written in Latin and dates back to the 12th century. It’s a beautiful hymn about longing for the coming of the Messiah.

#3. “Go Tell It on the Mountain”
This gospel song was first popularized by Mahalia Jackson, but has been recorded by many artist since, including Gaither Vocal Band and Alison Krauss. It’s a joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus and the good news that we have to share with others.

#4. “Mary, Did You Know?”
One of the newer additions to the list, this song was originally recorded by Kenny Rogers in 1991 and has become a holiday standard. It’s a beautiful ballad about the wonder of Christ’s birth and how much He loves us.

#5.”Joy to the World”
This tradional hymn was written by Isaac Watts in 1719 and has been recorded by hundreds of artists over the years. It’s a celebration of Jesus’ arrival on earth and His perfect gift of love to us.

#6.”O Little Town of Bethlehem”
This carol was originally written in 1868 by Phillips Brooks and has been updated by many artists since then. It’s a lovely hymn about Christ being born in Bethlehem and His love for all people.

#7.”The First Noel”
This tradional carol dates back to the 16th century and tells the story of Christmas from the perspective of the shepherds who were visited by an angel on that first Christmas night. This version is sung by Josh Turner and is simply beautiful.

How Southern Gospel Music has Influenced Other Genres of Music

Southern gospel music is a genre of Christian music that has its roots in the evangelical music of the early 20th century. Southern gospel music has evangelistic lyrics and emphasizes the joy of salvation. The genre is also known for its close harmony vocal style.

Southern gospel music has had a significant influence on other genres of music, particularly country music and bluegrass. Many well-known country and bluegrass artists got their start singing in southern gospel groups. Some of the most popular southern gospel Christmas songs have been recorded by artists from other genres, including Josh Turner, Alan Jackson, and Reba McEntire.

The Future of Southern Gospel Music

The future of Southern Gospel music is hard to predict. The genre has been around for over a hundred years and has undergone many changes. One thing is for sure, the style of music is always evolving.

One of the most significant changes in recent years has been the rise of digital technology. This has made it easier than ever for artists to reach a wider audience. Southern Gospel music is now widely available online, and this is likely to continue to grow in popularity.

Another change that is taking place is the increase in female artists in the genre. Historically, Southern Gospel music has been male-dominated, but this is gradually changing. More and more women are finding success in the genre, and this is likely to continue.

The future of Southern Gospel music looks bright. The genre is evolving and reaching new audiences all over the world.

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