Music

Celebrate the Holidays With Alan Jackson's Festive, Faith-Filled 'Let It Be Christmas'

Alan Jackson's 1993 album Honky Tonk Christmas gets a lot of love each holiday season. Rightfully so, as it offers listeners everything from gorgeous Alison Krauss duet "The Angels Cried" to a musical conversation with Alvin & the Chipmunks, "Santa's Gonna Come in a Pickup Truck." But don't sleep on its follow-up, 2002's Let It Be Christmas.

Jackson wrote the title track, which supports the idea of truly embracing the positivity championed in Christmas songs, whether you hang your hat in a smaller town like Newnan, Georgia or reside in a big city like Atlanta. "Let It Be Christmas" became a Top 40 country hit, with the album its from peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

While Jackson's songwriting always shines a light on his way with words and his grasp on what makes country music timeless, there's something special about hearing him sing a cover. That's true whether Jackson's performing Charly McClain's "Who's Cheatin' Who" or Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song."

Jackson's take on "The Christmas Song" is among his covers of 20th century holiday favorites, with other selections including "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "White Christmas," "Winter Wonderland" and "Silver Bells." He also cut a much older song that remains a Christmas music standard, "Jingle Bells." Each prove that Jackson holds his own when singing songs associated with all-time great vocalists and storytellers, from Don Williams and Tom T. Hall to Bing Crosby and Judy Garland.

Beyond "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," Jackson avoids songs you might associate with childhood (or crass commercialism, depending on whom you ask). Nor does he fall back on country Christmas classics like Willie Nelson's "Pretty Paper" or Kenny Rogers and Wynonna's "Mary, Did You Know?"

Instead, a bulk of the album reflects Jackson's Christian faith. He paints Nativity scenes with an orchestral-accompanied recording of "O Come All Ye Faithful" plus the always serene "Silent Night" and an album-closing altar call, "Away in a Manger."

Jackson's second Christmas album for Arista Nashville has since been reissued on vinyl, making it ideal for digital Christmas playlists and DJ's holiday rotations.

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"Let It Be Christmas" Lyrics

Let it be Christmas everywhere
In the hearts of all people both near and afar
Christmas everywhere
Feel the love of the season wherever you are
On the small country roads lined with green mistletoe
Big city streets where a thousand lights glow

Let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let every heart sing let every bell ring
The story of hope and joy and peace
And let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let anger and fear and hate disappear
Let there be love that lasts through the year
And let it be Christmas
Christmas everywhere

Let it be Christmas everywhere
With the gold and the silver, the green and the red
Christmas everywhere
In the smiles of all children asleep in their beds
In the eyes of young babies their first fallen snow
Elderlys' memories that never grow old

Let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let every heart sing let every bell ring
The story of hope and joy and peace
And let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let anger and fear and hate disappear
Let there be love that lasts through the year
And let it be Christmas
Christmas everywhere

Let it be Christmas everywhere
In the songs that we sing and the gifts that we bring
Christmas everywhere
In what this day means and what we believe
From the sandy white beaches where blue water rolls
Snow covered mountains and valleys below

Let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let every heart sing let every bell ring
The story of hope and joy and peace
And let it be Christmas everywhere
Let heavenly music fill the air
Let anger and fear and hate disappear
Let there be love that lasts through the year
And let it be Christmas
Christmas everywhere
Christmas everywhere
Christmas everywhere

Now Watch: The Best Country Christmas Songs Recorded Before 1985

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Celebrate the Holidays With Alan Jackson's Festive, Faith-Filled 'Let It Be Christmas'