Finnish Christmas songs
Finland has this amazing thing called Joulu Radio - Christmas radio. Does America have this? I remember certain radio stations in the US playing Christmas music for a few days in December, but here in Finland, there is a radio station that shows up around 15 November that plays all Christmas music, all the time. Then there is jouluradio.fi, which has several channels of Christmas music available for streaming.
I have three years of Joulu Radio under my belt, and here are some of the songs that show up frequently in the rotation.
Sylvian joululaulu (Sylvia's Christmas Song). This song is really, really melancholy (welcome to Finland!). It was written in the 1800s by Zachary Topelius, a Finn who was in Italy during Christmastime, and so the lyrics are about how amazing Finland is (during Christmas but also in general).
Me käymme joulun viettohon (We're starting to celebrate Christmas).
Heinillä härkien kaukalon (On the hay, in the bull's trough). This song is about baby Jesus sleeping and it is adorable (and also, somehow, a bit melancholy? FINLAND).
Sydämeeni joulun teen (I make Christmas in my heart...?). Darkness and snow and Christmas lights and melancholy.
Varpunen jouluaamuna (The sparrow on Christmas morning). This is one of my most favorite Christmas songs in any language, but only if it's the version by Johanna Kurkela. There are some terrible ones out there! Melancholy, but in the best way (hi I am your dead baby brother in sparrow form, Merry Christmas!).
Tulkoon joulu (Let it be Christmas). This is like the Finnish Go, Tell it on the Mountain to me. Equal parts folksy and Christmas-y!
Muistan joulun (I remember Christmas). This song is Finland's version of Last Christmas - a festive break-up song! This was all over jouluradio last year, but I haven't heard it much this year. So fun to sing along to, though.
Finally, the Finnish hymnbook at church has two Christmas songs that aren't in the English version, and one song that is in the children's songbook in English but is a Christmas song here. At church in Finland, we can sing En etsi valtaa, loistoa (I do not search for power or glory) and Enkeli taivaan (Angel from heaven), as well as the Christmas lyrics version of Beautiful Savior, which is Maa on niin kaunis here (The earth is so beautiful). I love the message of En etsi valtaa, loistoa. Plus, it is the only time I've ever sung a hymn from a hymnbook at church that talks about Christmas trees! Enkeli taivaan is Christmas By Martin Luther, so it's suitably amazing. And Maa on niin kaunis is just as lovely in Finnish as in English, but not Crusader-y.