Song Spotlight: “Buon Natale”

Close up of colored Christmas lights and tree branches with snow on top. Label reads "holiday."
  • Mood: Cheerful, Celebratory
  • Themes: Holidays, Winter
  • Tempo: Moderate
  • Genre/Style: Holiday

Nat King Cole is well known for his popular hits like “L-O-V-E” and “Unforgettable,” but his music has also become quite the holiday musical staple, with his holiday tunes reemerging on the Billboard charts year after year. It’s a helpful reminder that even though things change and celebrations and traditions may be conducted differently, we can always take the opportunity to find creative ways to connect with those we love.

Nat King Cole recorded a variety of holiday songs that became household favorites for the season, ranging from sincere songs like “The Christmas Song,” to lighthearted winter themed tunes like, “Frosty the Snowman.”

“Buon Natale (Means Merry Christmas to You)” sits right in the middle of those styles. Buon Natale, as you may already know, means “Merry Christmas” in Italian.

Throughout the world, people have different cultural celebrations throughout the last two holiday filled months of the year. Here’s one example: In Kerala, India, there was a cultural festival established in 2013 titled Buon Natale, associated with Christmas celebrations. In 2014, the Buon Natale procession was placed into the Guinness World Records for having the most people dressed up as Santa Claus. This event was started to raise funds for charities in combination with the holiday celebrations.

Here are some of the lyrics:

Buon Natale means Merry Christmas to you

Buon Natale to everyone

Happy New Year and lots of fun

Buon Natale–may all your wishes come true

Buon Natale in Italy means

A Merry Christmas to you

This is a great song to use in a 1:1 setting or group and would go well with a collection of holiday songs (including songs from a variety of holiday traditions and religions) or songs of the winter season. It can be used as a transition into group discussion, an opportunity for musical engagement, movement and more. 

Try This:

Theme: This song would fit well into a collection of Holiday Songs with a variety of religions and cultures represented or songs from the winter season. Other complementary songs may include “Hanukkah,” “Frosty The Snowman,” and “Fum, Fum, Fum.”

Discussion: Encourage participants to discuss their holiday traditions and brainstorm fun and creative ways to celebrate during the holiday season.

Share pictures of holidays in years past and use them as a starting point for reminiscence.

Movement: Sway from side to side for most of the song. Come up with a movement to repeat when you hear the phrase “Buon Natale.”

Listen to and learn about songs and traditions from other cultures’ holidays that fall in the November and December months, and invite group members to share their familial traditions.

Find more songs to share on our song spotlights page.

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