'Tis the Season of Cover Songs - 24 Holiday Classics That Are Free to Play, Record and Sell
Brrrrr. It’s getting cold out there.
It’s that time again—where people hustle and bustle, flickering lights and decorations are abound on houses and city streets, and there is holiday music in the air.
No other part of the year is more inundated with music of the season than Christmas—and you can hear it everywhere.
From shopping malls to 24-hour holiday music radio stations to live performers—it’s inescapable.
What makes the popular yuletide tunes so unique is that many of the performances are actually cover songs.
There are the ageless classic originals that still hold up—from Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” to Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and many more, but even those songs have dozens of cover versions that remain in circulation.
If you’re looking to jump into the spirit of the season and want to put your stamp on a December classic, there are a good number of Christmas favorites that are in public domain—meaning you can cover them for free. So no worry of Facebook or You Tube police knocking on your door.
Below is a complete and current list of holiday tunes that you are allowed to cover—no questions asked.
“Angels We Have Heard On High”
Written in 1862 by Irish professor of philosophy James Chadwick, “Angels We Have Heard On High” was based on the French hymn “Gloria.” The song’s lyrics reference the birth of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Luke.
Considered a traditional religious song, “Angels” have been covered by many well-known Christian artists including Amy Grant, Third Day, and Steven Curtis Chapman.
Below check out a unique version performed by The Piano Guys that boasts over 21 million views.
“Auld Lang Syne”
The definitive song to ring in the New Year is actually based on a poem written by Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns in 1788. Translated into English, the song’s title means “old long since” or, more idiomatically, “long long ago.”
“Auld Lang Syne” has been covered and performed by hundreds if not thousands of musicians. The good news for you is that you can cover it, too, and then reap the rewards as if you wrote it yourself.
“Away In A Manger”
“Deck The Halls”
“The First Noel”
“Go Tell It On The Mountain”
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
“Hark, The Herald Angels Sing”
“I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”
“I Saw Three Ships”
“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”
“Joy To The World”
“O Come All Ye Faithful”
“O Holy Night”
O Little Town Of Bethlehem”
“There’s a Song In The Air”
“The Twelve Days of Christmas”
“Up On The Housetop”
“We Three Kings”
“We Wish You A Merry Christmas”
“What Child Is This?“
- “Angels We Have Heard On High”
- “Auld Lang Syne”
- “Away In The Manger”
- “Deck The Halls”
- “The First Noel”
- “Go Tell It On The Mountain”
- “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
- “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing”
- “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”
- “I Saw Three Ships”
- “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”
- “Jingle Bells”
- “Joy To The World”
- “Come All Ye Faithful”
- “O Holy Night”
- “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”
- “Silent Night”
- “There’s a Song In The Air”
- “The Twelve Days of Christmas”
- “Up On The Housetop”
- “We Three Kings”
- “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”
- “What Child Is This?“