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The other day I was reading this post on one of my favourite blogs to follow: Busy December: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words from the blog This is your real mother speaking… In it, the blogger talks about my favourite time of year…Christmas. I recommend checking out this post because it is top notch in excellence and the rest of her blog is as equally fun and humbling to follow.
Anyways, this post inspired me to share a bit more about why I love Christmas so much and one of those reasons is the music. I love Christmas music. I think most of it is fantastic (unless sung my Mariah Carey) and I really do wait all year round until I can listen to it again. Just to make it even more fun, in my house we don’t turn on any Christmas music until December 1st, so the anticipation starts to build by the end of November.
Among my favourite Christmas albums are artists such as Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Celine Dion, Donna Summer, Vince Guaraldi Trio (Charlie Brown Christmas), Barbra Streisand, Annie Lennox, Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Michael Buble, and more. I’m really a sucker for the ‘Classic Christmas’ sound so many of these albums are older and only a few newer ones really do it for me. Sorry Justin Bieber, but your Christmas album just isn’t up to par. Same goes for Lady GaGa – I really don’t want to hear a Christmas song about having sex under the Christmas Tree.
That being said, I have MANY favourite Christmas songs. Here are just a few:
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas
The Christmas Song
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
We Need A Little Christmas
O Little Town Of Bethlehem
…and many, many more!!
Now, if you have some time to spare and enjoy Christmas music, here is my top ten favourite Christmas songs of all time:
10. You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch – From How The Grinch Stole Christmas
9. Ave Maria – Jewel
Now, you may remember Jewel from hits like “Foolish Games” and “Who Will Save Your Soul”, but this Country/Folk/Pop artist REALLY shocked the crap out of me with her Christmas album – now many years old. The most surprising song on the album was this one. Who would have thought such a beautiful, classical, soprano voice could come out of a singer like Jewel whom I believe has been seriously underrated not only in the Christmas genre, but in popular music as well. What do you think?
8. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm – Dean Martin
Most definitely one of the greatest Christmas albums of all time, Dean Martin’s Christmas album is everything I love about Christmas music: classic and fun. When he recorded the majority of this album he was actually drunk, but I think he may actually have sung better when he was drunk.
7. O Holy Night – Celine Dion
Without a doubt in my mind, I consider Celine Dion to have one of the most beautiful voices ever in pop music. On this wonderful Christmas classic, her voice soars to unexpected heights as she sings like an angel. I may also be biased because she is one of my favourite singers, but there is no denying her talent nor this absolutely beautiful rendition of this song. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone else to sing this song better than Celine. This live version sounds nearly identical to the album version, which is what I love about her. Not too many people can sound this good singing live. Also, if you stick around till near the end of the song you’ll hear her hit a KILLER note. By the way, the song actually ends around the 5:00 minute mark. The rest of the video is some biography stuff.
6. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Dean Martin
Well, I have to give another one to Dino. This is the best version of this “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and set the standard for all other recordings of this song. Dean Martin spoiled us all, that much is certain.
5. I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Donna Summer
Originally sung by Bing Crosby in 1943, this song was written from the point of view of soldiers in World War II who were overseas fighting. For that reason alone, it is very touching. It really is such an emotional song and perhaps the Christmas song that moves me the most. While Bing Crosby’s version will forever be the greatest – actually every Christmas song he sings is the greatest version of each respective song – I didn’t want to overload this list with Bing. That being said, Donna Summer, an angel with a voice to match who left this world far too soon more than does justice to this song. I’ve been a fan of hers for many years and her smooth, soulful voice is an incredible pleasure to listen to. She died earlier this year at the age of 63. What I find incredible though is how much her voice still sounds the same. If you’re at all interested here is a link to a performance she did when she was 61: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKwU847Fh0s Her voice is really something else and it’s a shame she is no longer here to share with us more incredible music.
4. Mele Kalikimaka – Bing Crosby
As I said earlier, Bing Crosby is the greatest Christmas singer of all time. His album “Merrry Christmas” is unparalleled by anyone (even Celine, I have to admit) and this is one of my favourites on the album. It is performed with the pitch-perfect Andrews Sisters. Together with Bing, this amalgamation of classic singing makes for an incredible song and, by a long shot, the most fun Christmas song out there.
3. Adeste Fidelis – Celine Dion
I’ve got to give one more to my favourite. I’ve loved this song for as long as I can remember. I first remember hearing it when I was very young in church and it was, I think, the only time I paid attention to the songs being sung. I followed along in the book that year, which I usually never did, and over the next few years I waited in anticipation in church for them to sing this song. I soon memorized all of the words, even the Latin verse. I had this vision in my head of what I would love to have this song sound like – with an organ, orchestra and choir – but every commercial version I’d heard didn’t, in my mind, do the song justice. Even Bing Crosby’s version was lacking something for me. That all changed the first time I heard Celine’s amazing rendition. It was everything I wanted to hear in this song and I still get goose bumps when I listen to it.
2. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
This is one of most beautiful songs you’ll ever hear. This version is simply magnificent because it features not only Bing Crosby, but the incredible Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye. Vera Ellen’s singing was performed by someone else. She was cast in the movie for her acting and dancing ability. When it comes to old Hollywood dancing, no one can touch Vera Ellen. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without watching this fantastic movie and hearing this perfection.
1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Ella Fitzgerald
This is my most favourite Christmas song of all time and Ella’s version is by far the best out there. Nothing will ever compare and this song says everything there is to say about Christmas and expresses everything that one person can express to anther during the Christmas season. Not to mention that her crystal tone – not just on this song – will forever be unmatched by anyone else. It will always hold a special place in my heart.
Thank you for reading and listening!
What are your favourite Christmas tunes?
Merry Christmas and God Bless!
- LxL’s Top Ten Christmas Songs (littlebylisten.com)
- Favorite Christmas songs: O Holy Night [Guest Post from @michaeljthom] (mattdantodd.com)
- Christmas Carols: the highs and lows (lastbestwork.wordpress.com)
- Chicagoist Playlist: The Worst Christmas Songs Ever (chicagoist.com)