The Christmas Song (lead sheet)

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I am working on a Christmas concert I have in West Virginia this weekend and struggling to remember the Christmas music I just recorded.  While going through my notes, I found my lead sheet of “The Christmas Song.”

“The Christmas Song” is my favorite Christmas song.  It is brilliantly written.  I love the multiple key changes that occur seamlessly throughout the song.  Most people cannot tell you why, but they still sense that there is something very special about the harmony.

When I recorded the song, I reharmonized it considerably and wrote out the chords I was going to use on this lead sheet.   http://www.greghowlett.com/downloads/christmassong.pdf

You will notice right a way that there are far more chords than normal.  Bar 15 sets the record with six chords by itself.  But when you play this song slow, the chords work if they are voiced correctly.  As I have often said, the voicing is the key to making these unusual chords sound good.

Anyway, play through it and see how it sounds.  Send me a recording of you playing it and I will send you something for free.

UPDATE: Some have mentioned that the chords don’t seem to work, so here is a clip of the first verse from Seasonal Spice.  The reason these chords work is indeed the voicing. 

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Latest Comments

  • Jim W.

    To be honest Greg, I find this impossible to play and I am used to playing lead sheets at my church. These chords are twisting my fingers in knots and the sound is bad, not at all like your CD. In fact, I would swear you are playing different chords on the CD?

  • Danny Gardner

    Mr. Jim, I must confess that I have yet to make the time necessary to play this lead sheet, but if it sounds bad then the issue is quite possibly the voicing. Are you using Mr. Howlett’s style of voicings while playing this song?

  • Alice Corbett

    Hi Greg, I am having fun with this one. I just learned that the triangle means a major 7th chord. I grew up never hearing “lush” chords and they still sound dissonant to me, but I’m learning to appreciate them. Thanks for everything you share on this blog!

  • Greg

    Back in the original post, I added a link to an mp3 of me playing this lead sheet using these chords. I do not hear any dissonance but that is for two reasons I think: I am used to these chords and the voicings I use.

  • We received the cd’s we ordered for Christmas presents. Everything came as ordered. The Christmas cd was different than we imagined–a little more contemporary sound than expected.

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