Christmas Songs in the Public Domain (And Those That Aren’t)

November 5, 2012{ 5 Comments }

Find out which Christmas songs are free to record and which require licenses

Recording a holiday tune is one of the best ways to earn new fans during the biggest music-sales season of the year. But before you choose which Christmas song you’re going to tackle, you should know ahead of time whether or not you’re going to have to pay a publisher/songwriter for the right to record that composition.

A good many Christmas and holiday songs (like “Deck the Halls“) are public domain, but many of the more popular tunes (like “Frosty the Snowman“) are copyrighted and need a license.

Find out which holiday songs need licenses to record and which don’t with our free guide:

Download CD Baby’s free PDF “Christmas Songs in the Public Domain (and those that aren’t).” 

This PDF includes:

* A list of popular holiday songs in the Public Domain

* A list of popular, copyrighted Christmas songs

* Composer names for copyrighted holiday songs

Download the free PDF now and see which holiday compositions you can record without paying mechanical royalties!

Here are just a few examples:

Christmas Songs NOT in the PUBLIC DOMAIN (Writer/Composer)

“All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” (Donald Yetter Gardner)

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” (Noel Regney, Gloria Shayne Baker)

“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” (Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie)

“A Holly Jolly Christmas” (Johnny Marks)

“Carol Of The Bells” (Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich)

Christmas songs that ARE in the PUBLIC DOMAIN.

“Angels We Have Heard On High”

“Away In A Manger”

“Deck The Halls”

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

“Good King Wenceslas”

  • Christiane Kinney

    I was going to say the same thing as Bellingham Photographer below. I did a Christmas medley years ago with an instrumental version of Carols of the Bells, which I did clear ahead of time as being in the public domain. The words are not. :)

  • Sarah Jane Coloso Gi

    I can't download the PDF :( I enter my details, click then… nothing. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Christopher Robley

    Ahhh! Sorry for the delay on this. I’ve been out quite a bit over the holidays. Were you able to get the PDF? If not, email and we can just email it back to you (though I know you needed it by the 24th).


  • Christopher Robley

    Hmmm. We’re receiving plenty of email today. Try again?