10 French Christmas Songs To Sound More Merry On “Noël”

What are the most popular French Christmas carols?

Learning French Christmas songs is one of the most fun way to sound merry during the holiday season. This post will explore the most popular French Christmas carols and provide the the lyrics and translations to all the songs’ choruses.

French Christmas songs

1. Petit Papa Noël – Little Father Christmas

Petit Papa Noël (Meaning: Little Father Christmas; Pronunciation pəti papa nɔɛl)is by far the most popular French Christmas songs.

The song first came out in 1946 by Tino Rossi and has been sung by many singers over the decades. Most recently the song was made famous by the American singer, Josh Groban.

In the video below you can listen to the song performed by the famous French-Canadian singer, Céline Dion, in English and French.

The video also includes the French words. Below that you’ll find both the lyrics in French with English translation.

Petit Papa Noël chorus

Petit papa Noël
Quand tu descendras du ciel
Avec des jouets par milliers
N’oublie pas mon petit soulier.
Mais avant de partir
Il faudra bien te couvrir
Dehors tu vas avoir si froid
C’est un peu à cause de moi.

Little Santa Claus
When you come down from the sky
With thousands of toys
Don’t forget my little stocking.
But before you leave
You should cover yourself well
Outside you will be so cold
And it’s kind of my fault.

2. Vive Le Vent – Jingle Bells

Have you ever wondered how to sing Jingle Bells in French? Here you will a complete video of the song, called Vive Le Vent (Meaning: Long Live The Wind; Pronunciation viv lə vɑ̃) as well as the French lyrics with the English translation written out below.

While little is known about the history of the French version of the song, one thing is clear: While the tune is completely the same the words are totally different.

This page on our site explores the lyrics to Vive Le Vent in detail.

Vive le Vent chorus

Vive le vent, vive le vent,
Vive le vent d’hiver
Qui s’en va sifflant, soufflant
Dans les grands sapins verts.
Vive le temps, vive le temps,
Vive le temps d’hiver
Boules de neige et jour de l’an
Et bonne année grand-mère.

Long live the wind, long live the wind,
Long live the winter wind,
Which goes whistling, blowing
In the big green Christmas trees!
Long live the time, long live the time,
Long live the winter time,
Snowballs and new year’s day
and happy new year Grandma

3. Douce Nuit – Silent Night

Douce Nuit (Meaning soft night; Pronunciation dus nɥi] is the French version of Silent Night. The French version has a total five versus.

The song was originally written in German in the early 19th century had has been translated into 140 languages. Enjoy the video followed by both the French and English lyrics.

Douce Nuit chorus

Douce nuit, sainte nuit!
Dans les cieux ! L’astre luit.
Le mystère annoncé s’accomplit
Cet enfant sur la paille endormi,
C’est l’amour infini !
C’est l’amour infini !

Sweet night, holy night!
In the heavens the star gleams.
The announced mystery has been fulfilled,
This child asleep on the straw
Is infinite love!
Is infinite love!

4. Mon Beau Sapin – O Christmas Tree

Mon Beau Sapin (Meaning: My beautiful Christmas tree; Pronunciation mɔ̃ bo sapɛ̃) is the French version of O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum). The song dates back to the early 1800s and original version was in German.

Mon Beau Sapin chorus

Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Que j’aime ta verdure !
Quand, par l’hiver, bois et guérets,
Sont dépouillés de leurs dépouillés,
Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Tu gardes ta parure.

My beautiful Christmas tree, king of the forests,
How I love your greeness!
When winter comes, woods and tillages,
Are all stripped of their appeal,
My beautiful Christmas tree of forests,
You keep your finery.

5. Il est né, le divin Enfant

Il est né, le divin Enfant (Meaning: He is born, the divine Child; Pronunciation div i nã fã) is one of the most popular Christmas carols in the world’s French-speaking countries. The song dates back to the mid-1800s and has no equivalent in English.

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Il est né, le divin Enfant chorus

Il est né le divin enfant,
Jouez hautbois, résonnez musettes !
Il est né le divin enfant,
Chantons tous son avènement !

He is born, the divine Child
Play the oboe, sound the accordion!
He is born, the divine Child
Let’s all sing his coming!

6. Minuit Chrétien

Minuit Chrétien (Meaning: Christian midnight; Pronunciation: minɥi kʀetjɛ̃) is the French equivalent of O Holy Night. The song was originally French dates back to the mid 1800s. This page on our site explores the complete lyrics to Minuit Chrétien in detail.

7. Le Noël des petits santons

Le Noël des petits santons (Meaning: Christmas of Little Nativity Figure; Pronunciation: lə nɔɛl depəti sɑ̃tɔ̃) was recorded in 1935 for the French film producer Pathé. The song was made famous by the French singer Tino Rossi. The song recounts the roles played by the Christmas figurines coming out of a box.

Naïvement dévotement
Ils vont à Dieu porter leurs voeux
Et leur chant est touchant.
Noël, joyeux Noël,
Noël joyeux de la Provence

Innocently devoutly
They go to God carrying their wishes
And their song is touching
Christmas, Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas from Provence

8. Une nuit de Noël

La nuit de Noël (Meaning: Christmas Night; Pronunciation la nɥi də nɔɛl) is a popular Christmas song in France. The song’s lyrics recount Christmas from the point of view of the child, mainly talking about receiving presents from Santa Clause.

Noël, c’est la nuit de noël
Où tous les jouets viendront du ciel
Noël, c’est la nuit de noël
La nuit de l’année la plus belle

Christmas, it’s Christmas night
When all the toys will come from the sky
Christmas, it’s Christmas night
The most beautiful night of the year

9. Les anges dans nos campagnes

Les anges dans nos campagnes (Meaning: Angles in our countryside; Pronunciation les ɑ̃ʒ dɑ̃ no kɑ̃paɲ) is the French version of Gloria in excelsis Deo, or Angels We Have Heard On High. The song’s French chorus repeats Gloria in excelsis Deo, which translates to “Glory to God in the highest”. The French version’s lyrics recount the story of the birth of Christ.

10. Ce N’est Qu’un Au Revoir – Old Lang Syne

Ce N’est Qu’un Au Revoir is the French version of Old Lang Syne. Ce N’est Qu’un Au Revoir can translate to both “it’s just a a good-bye” and “it’s only a good-bye”.

Ce N’est Qu’un Au Revoir chorus

Ce n’est qu’un au revoir, mes frères,
Ce n’est qu’un au revoir !
Oui, nous nous reverrons, mes frères,
Ce n’est qu’un au revoir.

It’s only good-bye, my brothers,
It’s only good-bye!
Yes, we will see each other again, my brothers,
It’s only good-bye.

French Christmas & Holiday Songs

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About David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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