Christmas songs are some of the most streamed songs in existence. 

Plus, every year they become relevant again, so releasing some Christmas music is a great idea. 

Sure, you can write your own original Christmas songs, and that's great. 

But the beauty of covers is that people are already SEARCHING for these songs, and therefore, you have a greater chance of being discovered. 

So covering Christmas music is a great idea, especially if it's in the public domain...

But just what is public domain? 

What Is Public Domain?

Public domain is a term for songs where legal copyright protections have expired and no permission from the owner is required to use the work.

If a song is in the public domain, then you can legally cover it and release it without having to acquire a mechanical license. A mechanical license gives you the right to legally distribute your cover (recording of a copyrighted song). 

Get Your Songs On Spotify Playlists

Click below to download my free guide covering a simple formula you can follow to get your songs on Spotify playlists and explode your streams without spending a dime! 

What Makes A Song "In The Public Domain"?

If the publication date is before 1927, the song is in the public domain, which means it doesn't require any licensing for use. 

In fact, all works published or released in the United States before January 1, 1927, have lost their copyright protection. 

New content enters the public domain every year.

All literature, movies, and other works released 96 years ago enter the public domain. So each new year, on January 1st, new works enter the public domain. 

How To Cover A Song That Isn't In The Public Domain?

If you want to record and release a song that is not public domain, then you'll need to get a mechanical license. 

You can do this yourself by going to Harry Fox Agency, but this can be a complicated and time-consuming process. 

The easiest way to get a mechanical license is through DistroKid, which will handle all of the legal rigamarole for you for a small fee. 

You can learn more about DistroKid here. (affiliate)

Christmas Songs In The Public Domain

public domain christmas songs

If you don't want to bother with having to get a license, then just cover one or more of the 47 Christmas songs below. 

  1. Angels We Have Heard On High
  2. Angels from the Realms of Glory
  3. All Through The Night
  4. Auld Lang Syne
  5. Away In A Manger
  6. Birthday Of A King
  7. Carol of The Bells
  8. Coventry Carol
  9. Christians Awake
  10. Deck The Halls
  11. For Unto Us
  12. Go Tell It On The Mountain
  13. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  14. Good King Wenceslas
  15. Hallelujah Chorus
  16. Handel's Messiah
  17. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  18. Here We Come A-Caroling (Wassail Song)
  19. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
  20. I Saw Three Ships
  21. In The Bleak Midwinter
  22. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
  23. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
  24. Jingle Bells
  25. Jolly Old St. Nicholas
  26. Joy To The World
  27. Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
  28. O Christmas Tree
  29. O Come All Ye Faithful
  30. O Come O Come Emmanuel
  31. O Holy Night
  32. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  33. Once In Royal David’s City
  34. Patapan
  35. Silent Night
  36. Star Of The East
  37. There's A Song In The Air
  38. The First Noel
  39. The Nutcracker Theme
  40. The Twelve Days of Christmas
  41. Toyland
  42. Up On The Housetop
  43. Watchman Tell Us of The Night
  44. We Three Kings
  45. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  46. What Child Is This
  47. While Shepherds Watched

Christmas Songs NOT In The Public Domain

These are songs you'll need to acquire a mechanical license for if you want to create a cover. 

DistroKid makes this super easy as they will actually handle all of the legal stuff for you! 

  1. All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
  2. All I Want For Christmas Is You
  3. Amarga Navidad
  4. Baby, It's Cold Outside
  5. Blue Christmas
  6. Burrito de Belén
  7. Canción de Navidad
  8. Carol Of The Bells (Lyrics Only, Music, Public Domain)
  9. Caroling, Caroling
  10. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire (The Christmas Song)
  11. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  12. Christmas Time is Here
  13. Christmas Waltz
  14. Do You Hear What I Hear
  15. Feliz Navidad
  16. Frosty The Snowman
  17. Grown-up Christmas List
  18. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  19. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)
  20. Holly Jolly Christmas
  21. Home For the Holidays
  22. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  23. I Wonder as I Wander
  24. I'll Be Home for Christmas
  25. It's a Marshmallow World
  26. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
  27. It's Christmas Time All Over the World
  28. Jingle Bell Rock
  29. La Fiesta de Pilito
  30. La Murga
  31. Last Christmas
  32. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
  33. Little Drummer Boy
  34. Mary Did You Know
  35. Mary's Boy Child (aka Mary's Little Boy Child)
  36. Mele Kalikimaka
  37. Merry Christmas Baby
  38. Merry Christmas Darling
  39. Mi Regalo Favorito
  40. Navidad Blanca
  41. Navidad Feliz (Jingle Bells)
  42. Navidad, Navidad
  43. Noche de Luz
  44. Pretty Paper
  45. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
  46. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  47. Run Run Rudolph
  48. Santa Baby
  49. Santa Claus Is Back In Town
  50. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  51. Silver Bells
  52. Sleigh Ride
  53. Star Carol
  54. Star Carol (Classical)
  55. Suzy Snowflake
  56. The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
  57. This Christmas
  58. We Need a Little Christmas
  59. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
  60. When A Child Is Born
  61. When Christmas Comes To Town
  62. White Christmas
  63. White World of Winter
  64. Winter Wonderland
  65. Ya Llego la Navidad
  66. You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch

Speaking of legal stuff...

Do You Need To Copyright Your Music?

If you want to know if you should copyright your music, as well as other legal issues concerning musicians...

Then check out my article here, where I interviewed lawyer every music legal question I could think of, and got his response.

Want To Grow Your Spotify Streams?

Once you've got your Christmas covers up on Spotify, it's time to promote them!

And one of the best ways to do this is to get your music on to more Spotify playlists.

Grab my free guide below which will walk you through how to get your songs onto more Spotify playlists. 

Not only will this help you get on playlists, but if you get on enough of them, you can trigger the Spotify algorithm and get your music added to Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and other algorithmic Spotify playlists. 

Just click below to download my guide and get the streaming snowball rolling!

Get Your Songs On Spotify Playlists

Click below to download my free guide covering a simple formula you can follow to get your songs on Spotify playlists and explode your streams without spending a dime! 

My Favorite Tools & Resources For Growing A Fanbase Online

DistroKid - Best Digital Distributor For Musicians

I've tried out and explored a several different music distributors, but haven't found any as good as DistroKid. DistroKid is designed to help indie artists succeed with its' affordable pricing plans that allow you to upload unlimited music to streaming platforms and digital stores. 

ConvertKit - Best Email Marketing Tool For Musicians

Better than social media followers or even Spotify followers are email list subscribers. Email list subscribers are an audience of fans that you own and control (social media platforms can't take them away from you). Plus, these are fans that are engaged, and far more likely to buy from you, or join your membership. You will need an email autoresponder tool to get started with email marketing, and ConvertKit is the best one I've found for musicians.
spotify growth course

Discover How To Generate Your First $1,000 A Month From Spotify In Just 30 Minutes A Day

This is my complete course walking you through how to get your music on Spotify playlists so that you can hack the algorithm and explode your Spotify streams. 
merch for music artists

Best Print-On-Demand Merch Provider

One of the best ways to monetize your fanbase is to offer them merch, but it can be expensive to buy a bunch of merch items in bulk that you're not even sure will sell. The solution is print-on-demand or what is otherwise known as "dropshipping". All you do is list merch items on your site that you design through Printful, and then Printful will handle the creation and shipping of your products. It's that simple! I've been using Printful for years, and love them.
podia for musicians

Podia - Best All-In-One Membership Platform

Another fantastic, and often overlooked, method for monetizing your fanbase is to offer courses to your fans. You could teach on how to play a specific instrument, how to write lyrics, or anything related to music or other skills you've developed. Podia is a course platform that will allow you to host your courses and receive payments. 

Not only that, but Podia also has email marketing built in, and can even allow you create your own membership (like Patreon) to collect on-going payments from your fans. 

Another awesome perk of Podia is that it allow you to charge for live online events, so if you wanted to host a virtual concert or listening party, you can use Podia to collect payments from your fans and grant them access to your live event.  

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my affiliate links, I'll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Reagan Ramm

Hi! I'm Reagan, and I've been writing, recording, and mixing music since 2011, and got a degree in audio engineering in 2019 from Unity Gain Recording Institute. I also work full-time in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and am striving to help fellow musicians and producers improve their art and make a living doing the work they love.

- Reagan Ramm


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