My Favorite Christmas Album


Noël was a Christmas album by Joan Baez, released in 1966. Working with composer Peter Schickele (PDQ Bach), Baez, for the first time, recorded an album outside the standard guitar-based folk format. (She would go on to work with Schickele on her next two albums, both of which also featured classical orchestration.) Unlike holiday albums by many other popular artists, Baez included mostly traditional material, avoiding more lighthearted or commercial fare in favor of a somber, understated tone. She included both familiar ("The Little Drummer Boy") and more obscure ("Down in Yon Forrest") material.

I can honestly say this is by far my favorite Christmas album. The music is devastating and brings the full weight of the true meaning of Christmas to bare. We always listen to it as we setup our tree and Christmas village with the kids.

Here is but a small sample. The first one is my favorite song from the CD. The entire CD is terrific although some of these YouTube recordings aren’t so clear this can give you some kind of idea what the ablum contains. It’s best to close you eyes and listen and not be distracted by the YouTube video itself.


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