As I suffer through writer’s block (you may have noticed the lack of posts) I do so at least comforted by the joy that is Christmas music. Now last year my closest friend The Snark Who Hunts Back did her own list of her favorite Christmas Music…and while I agree with most of it, I thought putting out my own version couldn’t hurt to get the creative juices moving.
If I had to give a very broad generalization I prefer the religious music to the newer secular music…but as you’ll see there are exceptions.
Special Mention: The Chaunukah Song–Adam Sandler
Why, because, like Christmas, it’s an American holiday…and it’s really fun.
#21 The 12.5 Days of Christmas–Straight No Chaser
It’s all the songs you love just shoved together with no rhyme or reason…(there are numerous versions of this out there as it lends itself to bizarre variation).
#20 One Toy Soldier –Enya
I have always found the story of the Nutcracker a little disturbed…okay a lot disturbed. Rat Kings, and toy soldiers, and crazy uncles and sugar plum fairies. Is it a Christmas story or an acid trip? However this song, clearly tangentially inspired by that bizarre story, is enjoyable and brings a smile to my face every year.
#19 The Bells of St. Mary’s
This song, or the movie for that matter, don’t really have anything to do with Christmas…yet I only hear it at this time of the year, and I’ve just always held to the tradition of keeping it as a Christmas song. I find it very moving, more Andy Williams’ rendition than Crosby’s, but both touch my soul.
#18 Christmas Baby Please Come Home–U2 and Michel Buble
This is both a slightly depressing song, but it talks about everything that makes Christmas so wonderful so we tend to forget the actual sad story of the song.
#17 The Snow Came Down–Trans Siberian Orchestra
As with so many songs in the TransSiberian Orchestra’s christmas music, this song it tied into a much larger story told in through the whole album, but even if you’re not familiar with the larger story I find the last lines very powerful and symbolic of the power of this holiday:
And on this night of our salvation
Where dreams that have been lost
Can there be found
They walked away together
On that Christmas Eve
While all that night
All that night
The snow came down
#16 If Every Day Was Like Christmans–Elvis
I feel this way sometimes.
#15 The Spirit of Christmas Past–Enya
I find this song, though short on lyrics, endlessly hopeful.
#14 White is the Winter Night–Enya
And another song that lists all the wonderful things about Christmas.
#13 Silver Bells–Various
There are too many good recordings of this song so I just picked one. It’s interesting how much of Christmas music is spent focusing on all the things that are already around us. We can’t get enough of it. Even when we’re not seeing or smelling it ourselves we love to be reminded of all the beauty and joy around us.
#12 Christmas Cannon –TransSiberian Orchestra
Hand it to the Trans Siberian Orchestra to take a classic piece of baroque music like Pachabel’s Cannon in D and turn it into a Christmas Song.
#11 God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen–Various
The original is beautiful and who doesn’t love the Mannheim Steamroller version?
#10 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas–Judy Garland, Ingrid Michaelson
While I never cared for the movie it came from, this song wonderfully encapsulates all the hope and wonder we put into this holiday as every year we hope that “from now on all our troubles will be miles away.”
#9 Music Box Blues–Trans Siberian Orchestra
Another one it helps to know the Christmas Tale the TSO is trying to tell, but I think it’s beauty stands on its own (if I sing along I always find myself crying a little).
#8 Baby It’s Cold Outside–Dean Martin
Yeah I know some find this song a little disturbing but you A) have to keep in mind the time period is was originally written in and B) she’s not really putting up anything but a very weak fight…she doesn’t want to leave either.
…or if you still have problems, try this version…
#7 Carol of the Bells–Various
Don’t lie, it’s always brings a smile to your face too.
#6 Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24–Trans Siberian Orchestra
Carol of the Bells and God Rest Merry, Gentlemen together in piece that doesn’t need lyrics.
These next three are to me part of the core of this holiday. I may not be Christian but there is endless beauty in the story of the nativity. There are so many great renditions I just picked a few.
#5 Hark the Herald Angel Sing
#4 The First Noel
#3 O Come All Ye Faithful, Adeste Fideles
#2 Old City Bar– Trans Siberian Orchestra
The music is not great, but the tale is too powerful to ignore.
#1 O Holy Night Nat King Cole, Celtic Woman (and others)
For some reason this song above all others means Christmas to me.
By no means are these the only songs I listen to, but they are my favorites and get played over and over and over again.