Joy to the world!


Criteria for inclusion

It would never occur to me to categorize "All people that on earth do dwell" as "a Christmas hymn", nor would I so label "O Word of God incarnate". So now there's room for Caswall and Byrom in the top 20 again...


Interesting list, with interesting omissions

I'm not sure how that list was generated, Harry, but it is missing at least two obvious ones, "Silent night, holy night" (with over 400 instances) and "Away in a manger" (with at least 300). Sorry to have to bump Caswall and Byrom. Maybe if we find a few more high-ranking omissions the list can be redone as the top 25 or 30?


PS This comment is supposed to precede the one about "Criteria for inclusion"

More omissions? Here are a few...

  • O come, O come Emmanuel (326 instances)
    (granted, it's properly an Advent rather than a Christmas hymn, but you included "Come, thou long-expected Jesus")
  • Thou didst leave thy throne (285 instances)
  • Calm on the listening ear of night (283 instances)
  • The first noel/nowell (253 instances)
  • We three kings (215 instances)
  • Shepherds, rejoice! Lift up your eyes (122 instances)
  • Good Christian men, rejoice (113 instances)
  • There are also 205 instances of "Hail the blest morn", which should perhaps be added unto the count for "Brightest and best" (665+205=870), since it's basically an augmentation of that hymn.

    I was a bit surprised to see so few instances (85 I think) of "I heard the bells on Christmas Day"...

    I just checked these off the top of my head; tomorrow I'll see if I can think of any more to add.

    Leland aka Haruo

The top 27 by my count

1. Joy to the world! (1,387)
2. Hark! the herald angels sing (974)
4. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning (870) (incl. Hail the blest morn 205)
3. When shepherds watched their flocks by night (800)
5. It came upon the midnight clear (614)
6. O little town of Bethlehem (564)
7. Angels from the realms of glory (532)
8. O come, all ye faithful (450) (plus Hither ye faithful 75 not included)
9. As with gladness men of old (441)
10. Silent night, holy night (426)
11. Come, thou long-expected Jesus (362)
12. O come, O come Emmanuel (326)
13. Away in a manger (300)
14. Thou didst leave thy throne (285)
15. Calm on the listening ear of night (283)
16. The first noel/nowell (253)
17. We three kings (215)
18. All my heart again rejoices (203)
19. There's a song in the air (160)
20. Wake, awake, for night is flying (157)
21. Angels we have heard on high (144)
22. Shepherds, rejoice! Lift up your eyes (122)
23. Good Christian men, rejoice (113)
24. What child is this who, laid to rest (111)
25. From heaven above to earth I come (106)
26. Christians awake, salute the happy morn (102)
27. See amid the winter's snow (101)

Christmas hymns

The list was generated from hymns that were listed as "Christmas" in some topical index. However, the topical index coverage we have is much slimmer than hymnal coverage -- we only have topical indexes for a few dozen, mostly modern hymnals.

I like the changes to the list you propose. I'll see about changing the list.

Harry Plantinga
CCEL Director

Silent night?


I can't find a Silent Night, Holy Night authority with 426 instances. Do you have a URL?

Harry Plantinga
CCEL Director

That's scary... (re the 418 missing instances)

I don't have one, Harry, and I don't see it either. At 3 or so this morning when I wrote about it, it was in the list at, in fact I'm pretty sure there were TWO entries with (426) after them (not an uncommon occurrence), but I didn't even click on them, just noted the number. This morning now (it's almost 11) I don't see anything with more than (8). I hope I didn't destroy the evidence ;-). In any case, I'm sure the number of instances has to be closer to 426 than to 8.



I'll bet it's a caching problem. If someone merges two different "Silent Night" authorities into one, the instance count isn't updated until night. Maybe the number will be back up to 426, and beyond, by morning.

I just checked, and there are 468 instances in the database containing "silent night, holy night" in the firstline.

Edit: indeed, clicking the silent night link now shows 452 instances.

Harry Plantinga
CCEL Director

Christmas hymns

In a program about Christmas on last Christmas on geo tv they told about the top ten most-published Christmas hymns, I could find only a few of them in this article. But this lists looks more comprehensive.

David Mayer

The list was auto generated

The list was auto generated and not too much verified by human. These kinds of reports may always be missing some titles. Is good to see that someone really have verified the list and pointed out the differences.

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