Twenty Advent Songs You Have to Know (Part 1 of 2)

Besides "O Come O Come Emmanuel".

This is Part I of an article initially published in Grapevine magazine. This list focuses on the top Traditional Advent Songs. The second list of Contemporary Advent Songs, is available here.

I've begun to witness the beginning stages of our coming Christmas season. Stores have set aside space for outdoor electronic reindeer and nativity displays. Several catalogs for Christmas music and books have arrived in my mailbox.

Soon enough, I can expect another year of the same: radio stations dedicated to "Holiday Music." Television channels will be replaying favorite movie classics; sometimes, the same movie lasts a whole day. Watchdog groups will take account of which superstores wish their customers a "Merry Christmas" or not. News stations will focus on which city governments decided to create Christmas displays ... or inter-religious "Holiday displays" ... or no displays at all ... without infuriating a vocal segment of the population.

In the midst of this cacophony, I ponder... what happened to Advent?