Christmas Song Trivia: Are You in Tune With Holiday Classics?

Published October 28, 2021
woman playing ukulele in front of Christmas tree

After a few glasses of eggnog, even the shiest singer will join in on your family's annual holiday sing-along. Everyone has heard the classics and sung the rhymes since they were little kids, but that doesn't mean that everyone's ready to master Christmas song trivia. Test your friends and your family's knowledge on topics like the origins of your favorite Christmas carols, and the often misspoken lyrics of some beloved holiday songs with these hard-hitting Christmas music trivia questions.

Are You Actually Obsessed With Christmas Music?

Think that you know all there is to know about Christmas songs and carols? It's time to test your theory and see if you're really as good as you think you are. Try answering these questions that pertain to all sorts of Christmas music, from traditional carols to contemporary pop tunes.

Traditional Christmas Carol Trivia Questions

If you've ever been to a Christmas service or event, chances are high that you've sung along to one of these quintessential Christmas anthems. Take yourself back in time with these traditional Christmas carol questions spanning songs from the 15th century to the 19th century.

Traditional Christmas Carol Trivia Questions
  1. Which modern Christmas carol has its foundations in a reimagining of a popular wedding composition?
  2. Felix Mendelssohn's famous 18th century Christmas carol, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" was actually written by what prominent religious figure?
  3. "Carol of the Bells" is based on what Ukrainian New Year's folk song?
  4. The apocryphal Christmas carol "The Little Drummer Boy" was originally given what title?
  5. What popular American rock band took inspiration from Handel's "Joy to the World" to create their own non-Christmas song of the same name in 1970?
  6. What German title do many people know the song "O Christmas Tree" by?
  7. What are the lyrics that are sung in "Angels We Have Heard on High's" haunting choral melody?
  8. Which country does the melody that "Deck the Halls" is built off of come from?
  9. Which historic Christmas carol's precise origins aren't known, but has evidence that dates it back to a 15th century French song and was originally written in Latin?
  10. What joyous Christmas carol, dating back to the mid-19th century, has deep African-American spiritual roots?
  11. Which traditional Christmas carol is first documented in the 1885 hymn collection Little Children's Book for Schools and Families?
  12. What unexpected instrument did Franz Gruber compose "Silent Night" on?

Traditional Christmas Carol Trivia Answers

Check and see if you successfully time-traveled to figure out the answers to these traditional Christmas carol questions.

  1. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra's 1998 song "Christmas Canon"
  2. Charles Wesley, the founder of Methodism, published the lyrics for this tune in his 1739 work Hymns and Sacred Poems.
  3. "Shchedryk"
  4. "Carol of the Drum"
  5. Three Dog Night
  6. "O Tannenbaum"
  7. Gloria in Excelsis Deo
  8. Wales
  9. "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"
  10. "Go Tell it on the Mountain"
  11. "Away in a Manger"
  12. The guitar

Classic Christmas Music Trivia Questions

As the west began commercializing Christmas in the early 20th century, hundreds of music singles and holiday movie soundtracks were released between the 1940s-1950s in honor of these capitalist endeavors. The likes of Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, Judy Garland, and Nat King Cole graced the radio waves with Christmas songs that would become intrinsically linked to the end-of-year holiday celebrations. See if their attempts to root Christmas cheer into your brain worked by answering these classic Christmas music trivia questions.

Classic Christmas Music Trivia Questions
  1. What year was the first Christmas-themed song to mention St. Nick and his story released?
  2. Which Christmas song holds the Guinness World Record for being the first song played in space?
  3. How many times did Nat King Cole record his illustrious Christmas song, "The Christmas Song"?
  4. What American artist first brought "White Christmas" to audiences in the 1942 film Holiday Inn?
  5. The 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis introduced which famous Christmas song to audiences around the world?
  6. The controversial song "Santa Baby" was first sung by which former actress, known for her easily identifiable speaking voice and such roles as Catwoman, Madam Zeroni, and Yzma?
  7. What lyric was changed to "Frosty the Snowman" when it was used in the eponymous animated special in 1969 to make it more connected to Christmas?
  8. What song does the Library of Congress describe as being "the most requested song at Christmas U.S.O. shows in both Europe and the Pacific" in 1944?
  9. During the shadow-puppet scene in Home Alone where Kevin tries to show the wet bandits that he's not by himself, which famous Christmas song can be heard?

Classic Christmas Music Trivia Answers

See if your grandparents are going to be proud about how much you remember about the Christmas music from their childhood by checking your own answers to these difficult questions.

  1. 1864 in Benjamin Hanby's "Up on the Housetop"
  2. "Jingle Bells"
  3. He recorded the single four separate times: 1946, later in 1946, 1953, and 1961.
  4. Bing Crosby
  5. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
  6. Eartha Kitt
  7. The lyric "I'll be back again someday" was changed to "I'll be back on Christmas Day."
  8. Bing Crosby's "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
  9. Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"

Contemporary Christmas Music Trivia Questions

Christmas music didn't stop being made in the 1950s; rather, you can thank the normalization of the pop artist's annual Christmas album for some of radio's biggest hits - and for these tough as coal Christmas music trivia questions.

  1. While each member of The Beatles has released Christmas songs during their solo careers, Paul McCartney's and John Lennon's are by far the most popular. What are the names of these two songs?
  2. Which band's song "Last Christmas" inspired the plot of a 2019 romantic Christmas movie?
  3. Mariah Carey holds the record for being the first artist with a no. 1 single in four decades for which song?
  4. The musical supergroup Band Aid released what highly publicized Christmas song in 1984 to help combat famine in Ethiopia?
  5. Which classically trained male singer brings a rich take on such classics as "Silent Night" and "Little Drummer Boy" in his Christmas album Noel?
  6. Which pop princess' Christmas single hit number one on the Billboard Holiday Charts in 2015?

Contemporary Christmas Music Trivia Answers

Did you really know your stuff? See if you can keep up your winning streak or redeem yourself with these final answers.

  1. Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime"
  2. Wham!
  3. "All I Want for Christmas Is You"
  4. "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
  5. Josh Groban
  6. Ariana Grande

Carol to the Winner's Circle

Whether you get to carol on down to the winner's circle or you learned some new things about your favorite holiday's musical score, it's undeniable that playing a round or two of Christmas trivia can really put you in the holiday mood. So, if you're ready to settle into the holiday spirit, break out these Christmas music trivia questions to quiz your friends and family. You can even try to come up with some festive questions of your own.

Christmas Song Trivia: Are You in Tune With Holiday Classics?