Levantine and Greek Christmas Sounds

Christmas is truly dominated by western European and American sounds.  Yet, Christmas is celebrated in countries that do not have the western European musical roots.

First is an Arabic Nativity hymn, sung by a reader in Canada.  It’s long, but where you think the sounds are foreign and from another religion, you realize that he is singing probably the way they sang around the time of the real Nativity.  I am not a religious person by nature, nor one of those that say: ” Keep Christmas pure”, but I find this voice evocative of the three magi, following the star.  This is one side of my family.

“Erourem, erourem…”

I don’t know what it means.  Although it’s not the most famous of Greek Christmas songs, it is my favorite.  It makes me happy and want to dance the syrtos.

This is the typical Greek carol, sang door to door with a triangle.  This particular version is a group of young musicians on Ermou, the big retail street in Athens.  They are singing in the style of a famous Greek singer Kazantzidis.

The poor Europeans tried to Europeanize us, but alas, we are what we are and we do have some great sounds.


One thought on “Levantine and Greek Christmas Sounds

  1. Thanks for the levantine Christmas music, a lot. I love greek music … when I was at college in Berkeley we used to dance the syrtos on the lawn, noons on Friday.

    I didn’t know there were Arab Christians. Might that be the Maronite branch of the church? I have one CD of Byzantine church chant and, except of course for the different language, the tonality eems somewhat similar.


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