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Winter Songs from the Library of Congress

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Cover image from sheet music, Winter
Winter, 1910

As the days of December grow shorter and darker in the northern hemisphere, we often lift our spirits – as people have been doing for centuries – with song. Songs can bring people together, preserve traditions, and reflect and capture the pulse of events.

The Library of Congress collects and preserves music that is vitally important to our history and our culture, including song sheets, sheet music, and audio recordings. These rich collections of historical music can help your students make connections to the past. Try these tips to find pre-1923 music in the Library’s collections to enrich your curriculum or include in choral performances.

Finding holiday songs:

To find sheet music and recordings, go to The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America. Search with keywords such as “snow,” “sleigh,” “auld lang syne” or the name of a winter holiday or tradition. A sample search on the keyword “winter” yielded 276 results, including the 1910 sheet music, Winter. (Tip: To narrow results to sound recordings only, select “audio recordings” under “Refine your search”,  or repeat your search in the National Jukebox.)

Ideas for the classroom:

Jingle Bells
Jingle Bells

As teachers, we know that music is important for the healthy development of growing children as well as for its musical, historical and cultural value. How might you collaborate with a colleague to teach and learn with holiday songs?


  1. What a fun idea! Although we are out of school for the break–I can see using some of these songs to ease us in when we get back. Thanks so much. I always love to get ideas on ways to use primary sources other than images.

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