Rhyming robot authors new Christmas carol


Christian Life


Screenshot of the Youtube version of a Christmas carol written by a rhyming robot.

I am impressed by the result, says the Norwegian pastor and filmmaker Øyvind Kleiveland. He asked the chatbot GPT-3 to create a modern Christmas carol. And it worked.

When Øyvind Kleiveland explored OpenAI’s chatbot GPT-3 in the run-up to Christmas, he wanted to see if he could get the so-called artificial intelligence to create a Christmas carol in English with Christian content. He gave the order: Make a modern Christmas song which includes Jesus.

Here is the result:

Verse 1
It’s Christmas time, and the world is shining
Families gather, love is intertwining
Candles are burning, carols are sung
In celebration of the birth of our Lord.

Jesus is the reason for the season
He brings us love and hope and reason
Let’s give thanks and praise to Him
For all the joy and blessings that He brings.

Verse 2
In a stable long ago, a baby was born
To save us from our sin and break the chains that we are worn
He grew and lived and taught us love
And showed us the way to our Father above.


Let’s share His message of peace and light
And spread His love throughout the night
For in Him, we find true meaning
And the hope of eternal life.



“I thought the result was quite good”, Kleiveland told Ingunn Marie Ruud from the Kristelig Pressekontor (KPK), as was covered by Verdinytt, “I sent the text to Ragnar Bjerkreim and asked if he wanted to make a melody for it.”

Kleiveland. Photo KPK

Ragnar Bjerkreim is a composer and usually creates music for films and TV series. But he found it a pleasure to create a melody for the Christmas carol from the artificial intelligence robot.

“I had to skip verse two as it did not have the same number of syllables as verse one and thus could not be sung to the same melody”, told the composer to KPK.

He agrees with Kleiveland that it is impressive what artificial intelligence can achieve. But he does not think it is quite on the level of human songwriters. “You notice that the content of the text consists of many words and phrases that have already been used in previous Christmas carols. It lacks its own unique imprint”, says Bjerkreim. He himself wrote a Christmas song in Norwegian in 2017.


Øyvind Kleiveland was so pleased with Bjerkreim’s melody that he decided to help GPT-3 a bit with the second verse and then searched for someone to record it. He found “estebaneg” online in Colombia and then sent notes and text to him. The result was sent to him at Christmas time.

“It was really cool if you ask me”, says Kleiveland, who made a quick music video of the song.

Earlier attempts

Kleiveland is not the first to try to create Christmas carols using artificial intelligence. Early attempts at artificial intelligence had variable results. In 2016, researchers from the University of Toronto tried to get a so-called recurrent neural network, which at the time was considered a relatively complex artificial intelligence program, to write a song inspired by a picture of a Christmas tree. The researchers taught artificial intelligence to compose songs by feeding it 100 hours of online music. They also provided the program with thousands of images with captions to associate specific words with visual patterns and create lyrics and music when given an image.

The result, which is considered by many to be the first Christmas carol created by artificial intelligence, is not exactly what you would consider a perfect Christmas carol with stanzas like this: “I’ve always been there for the rest of our lives. A hundred and a half hour ago”.



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