An Alternative Christmas Playlist

Seasonal songs by lesser-known artists

Written By:
Sam Hargreaves
Themes: christmas, advent

As we're always on the lookout for grassroots creativity for worship, so we thought we'd extend this to our Christmas listening. Here are six songs we found on Bandcamp/Soundcloud by smaller artists you might not heard of. And we'd like to hear your suggestions too!

1. A Light Has Dawned - Belfrey Music

Loving this from York UK based Belfrey Music - an original Christmas song, beautifully recorded.

2. Come Light Our Hearts - Rain for Roots

This seems like a really interesting project - rootsy devotional songs aimed at kids. There is a whole album of Advent songs, or check out their website.

3. O Come - David Simmons

I'm a sucker for versions of this carol, and David Simmon's gospel accapella version hits the spot.

4. Joy to the World - Red Mountain Music

An album of lovingly interpreted carols. This Joy to the World is a good intro but you should listen to the whole record.

5. In A Byre Near Bethlehem - Zac Hicks

This raucous version of the Iona hymn, resplendent with male voice choir and what sounds like a very friendly pub in the background, brings a huge smile to my face!

6. The Holly and the Ivy - Gemma White

Our buddy Gemma has just posted a version of O Come Emmanuel, but as I already had a version of that, I had to go for this great collaboration with Amy Jane Wilson (harp) and Bethanna Richardson (vox).

So what have we missed? Post other suggestions below, with links to YouTube vids, Spotify, Bandcamp etc. Merry Christmas!


Sam co-leads with his wife Sara. He completed the LST degree in Theology, Music and Worship, and an MA in Contemporary Worship from Kings College London. He was Programme Leader for the LST Theology and Worship course and now teaches as a guest lecturer there. He also co-leads the worship song website, and has led musical and creative worship at events like Spring Harvest, Youtwork Summit and Greenbelt. Sam and Sara's book 'How would Jesus lead worship' was published by BRF in 2009.

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Previous Comments:

Frances Holmes
23 Dec 2015 16:35
What a great collection - thank you! I've bought most of it and am really enjoying listening to some different interpretationstyles as well as the new songs. Every blessing for this Christmas season.
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