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Icelandic Christmas Songs

Get into the Icelandic Christmas spirit with these Icelandic Christmas songs. Without further ado, here’s the playlist. Gleðileg jól and a happy Christmas!

A young Icelandic Santa Claus in front of the Oslo Tree in Austurvöllur


All About the Songs

Ef ég nenni (If I can be bothered) – Helgi Björnsson One of the all-time great Icelandic Christmas songs. Helgi will do anything for his love, if he can just be bothered. Icelanders both love it and hate it – but it has often been voted as the best Icelandic Christmas song of all time. (Like many other Icelandic Christmas songs, it’s in fact an Italian pop song – Cosi’ Celeste by Zucchero) “Diamonds and pearls, jewellery//I’ll send her, my love//All of the world’s wonders, if I can be bothered//I’ll be bringing her, my love”

Fyrir jól (Before Christmas) – Svala Björgvins and Björgvin Halldórsson The king of Icelandic Christmas songs appears with his daughter Svala Björgvins on this father-daughter duet. It’s about a light-hearted trip into town to get everything ready for Christmas. “Pretty things, Christmas things, a couple of albums as well//Also ornaments for the tree//When we’ve bought all the things//We sneak up to the loft//It’s difficult to shop for Christmas//But luckily it only happens once a year”

Jólin Alls Staðar (Christmas Everywhere) – Ellý Vilhjálms og Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson The brother-sister duet of Ellý Vilhjálms and Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson led the Icelandic pop scene in Iceland in the 70s. This classic number is about finding Christmas everywhere and in everything. “The Christmas clock brings a message//of a bright future for you//and soon the sun rises in the sky//we hold a holy Christmas”

Heima um Jólin (Home for Christmas) – Helga Möller This Christmas banger is fun and romantic at the same time. A little more upbeat, it’s all about Helga hoping that her lover stays with her during Christmas. “He’ll be with me this Christmas//hurry now home to me//Be with me during Christmas//then I’ll be yours forever//I thought that happiness had deserted me, but now I know that I’ll love you forever”

Nei, nei ekki um jólin (No, no, not during Christmas) – HLH flokkurinn Having a difficult time this Winter? It’s Christmas time so forget about everyday troubles! HLH flokkurinn reminds us that Christmas time is all about enjoying, no matter how hard life gets. “You need to hurry and get out of bed each day//find your toothbrush, get healthy … No, no, not during Christmas”

Gleði og friðarjól (Peaceful and merry Christmas) – Pálmi Gunnarsson This one is smooth, courtesy of Pálmi Gunnars. It’s all about being thankful for what we have, as not everyone is as lucky as us this Christmas “Soon the bells ring//call around the world//hopefully they ring for all//a peaceful and merry Christmas”

Er líða fer að jólum (Christmas ‘Round the Corner) – Ragnar Bjarnason Christmas is around the corner, sings everyone’s favourite sweetheart Raggi Bjarna. People’s spirits are rekindled during the darkest time of the year. “Even if a storm is blowing//everything becomes bright and warm//there’s music everywhere, warm and sweet//which strains wonderfully”

Þú komst með jólin til mín (You brought Christmas to me) – Ruth Reginalds and Björgvin Halldórsson This duet holds a special place in many Icelander’s hearts. It’s about a couple who never really enjoyed Christmas until they met each other and could finally enjoy Christmas, together. “If I could just be left alone//Then people can have Christmas//I stood away from all this hassle//It’s not true anymore//I want to have Christmas with you” …yes, it’s also an Italian pop hit. Chi voglio sei ut by Ricchi e Poveri.

Jólahjól (Christmas bicycle) – Sniglabandið A light-hearted one which the kids love, this rocked-out Christmas song by Sniglabandið (The Snail band) always warms people up. Could it be a Christmas bike under the wrapping? “Mom and dad are silent and don’t want to say anything//Could it be a Christmas bicycle?”

Ég hlakka svo til (I’m looking forward to Christmas) – Svala Björgvinsdóttir This one is all about the oh-so-long wait for Christmas. The clock doesn’t seem to budge at all, yet Christmas is just around the corner. “Everybody tells me//that I shouldn’t act like this//but, oh, it takes such a long time to wait//and each day takes so long to pass”

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