Old Fashioned Christmas Songs On Guitar

Here are 5 old fashioned Christmas songs you can easily learn on the acoustic guitar.

Old Fashioned Christmas Songs On Guitar
Lyrics, Demos, PDF's & Tutorials

1. Away In A Manger

This song dates back to 1882 and some speculate that it may have been written by the German religious reformer Martin Luther. Up through the years the lyrics have changed here and there so there are many versions of this song out there. 

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = No
  • Rhythm = root up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = C, G, D7, D, G7
Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
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2. Hark The Herald Angels

This song first appeared way back as a hymn in 1739 and based on the Bible passage Luke 2:14. Two ministers, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield contributed lyrics to the composition. An English organist by the name of William Cummings changed the first line to what we know today as "Hark the herald angles sing" sometime in the mid 1800's. And with the passage of time, some of the lyrics have changed.  

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = No
  • Rhythm = using a bit of arpeggio but a root up down up and repeat would work
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = G, Em, D, A7, Bm, B, E7, Am, D/Gb, C
Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
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3. Have A Holly Jolly Christmas

Johnny Marks wrote this song back in 1964 and the song was made famous by Burl Ives with the release of his version. The song appears in the Christmas cartoon Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. A slower version was released for radio and is the version we are most familiar with today. The song peaked at #4 in 2020 on Billboard. Burl Ives had a span of more than 56 years from when the song first entered the charts and holds the record over Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World.

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = No
  • Rhythm = root down root up down up and repeat
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = G, C, C#, G7, F, Em, Dm, Am, D7 
Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
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4. Here Comes Santa Claus

Gene Autry wrote the lyrics for this back in 1947 Oakley Haldeman composed the music. Autry was in the Hollywood Christmas Parade in 1946 and got the idea for the song from that event. It was a #5 country hit and #9 pop hit in 1947. Many artists have covered this song including Bily Idol, Bob Dylan Glen Campbell and others.

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = 1st fret
  • Rhythm = root down root up down up and repeat
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = F, C, G, G7, C7, Am, Dm, D7, Em

Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
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5. Rockin Around The Christmas Tree

Johnny Marks also wrote this number in 1958 and had it's most popular version recorded by Brenda Lee the same year. Brenda Lee's version was the 4th most digital download for any Christmas single with more than 25 million. Brenda Lee was only 13 years old when she recorded the song and it wasn't until 1960 when her career took off that the song also began to become popular. It reached #3 on Billboard in 1965. It reached #2 in 2019. 

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = 2nd fret
  • Rhythm = down up down up with a few downstrokes
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords =  G, Em, C, D7, Bm, Em, Em/Eb, Em/D, Em/Db, A7
Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
Buy Full Lesson


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