This English Christmas carol was popular in Europe as early as the 16th century. It features an increasingly more grand set of gifts with each successive day of Christmas. The song is cumulative in that each gift is sung with the previous gifts as the song progresses. Rock band Taking Back Sunday recorded their own version of the classic for AOL Sessions in 2006.
Bob Geldof and Midge Ure put together the impromptu "Do They Know It's Christmas?" project to provide aid for victims of a famine that was ravaging the people of Ethiopia. The recording featured a who's who of current British pop stars. It has become a radio Christmas standard.
It is believed that "Silent Night" was first composed in German in 1816. The song was later translated into English and sung by both sides in the World War I Christmas truce due to the fact it was the primary Christmas carol that both German and British soldiers knew. Child operatic singer Jackie Evancho included the classic carol on her holiday collection O Holy Night.
"River" first made its appearance on Joni Mitchell's album Blue in 1971. The song is a reflection on the ending of a relationship near Christmas time. "River" has been re-recorded many times by a wide range of artists. Sarah McLachlan included it on her 2006 colletion Wintersong.