OK, the post you've all been waiting for...my take on best and worst Christmas songs. I do enjoy for people like Kenny G and my own favorite, an old guy named Roger Whittaker, that people you usually dislike can get some attention at Christmas. I agree, Tooby, that Kenny G is enjoyable...but only at Christmas, for my money.
In terms of bad Christmas songs, there are a few notorious ones out there, such as the 12 Days and Grandma Got Run Over. I must quote some lines from a recent Trib article about bad Christmas songs:
Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney... "An abomination of human endeavor that should be destroyed." "I think that song may have caused his recent divorce." "Makes me want to kill people."
That's the Christmas spirit, isn't it? If you've never heard it, just grab 30 seconds off of Itunes, and you'll be like: oh yeah, I heard that in the mall, and thought a synthesizer had been kidnapped and held for ransom by Paul McCartney. It's dreadful.
12 Days of Christmas and Little Drummer Boy... "They're actually the same song, adapted from '99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.'"
There was also a comment about how no human should be forced to sing "ding dong" ever. I'm not sure I agree-- there are sometimes exceptions to this at Christmas, don't you think? At any other time of year, however, like if you chose to sing about your Hostess Ding Dong in April, you'd potentially get put away.
But here are the songs I look forward to every Christmas:
- O Holy Night (what a crescendo. I sometimes sing this by myself in my car, opera style, just cause it's fun)
- The Christmas quartet of Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, Angels We Have Heard on High, Joy to the World, and O Come All Ye Faithful simply cannot be beat.
- Sting's version of Gabriel's Message on A Very Special Christmas is phenomenal.
- Bing Crosby doing Do You Hear What I Hear? I generally don't care for that song, but when Bing does it, and his baritone voice belts out the final "and LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT" it gives me goosebumps.
- A nice choral arrangement of songs like Deck the Halls, We Wish you a Merry Christmas, and Little Drummer Boy (songs I usually hate) actually redeems them.
And finally, the Christmas albums you cannot live without:
- Bruce Cockburn's Christmas
- Shawn Colvin's Holiday Songs and Lullabies
- Emmylou Harris' Light of the Stable
- George Winston's December
- And my own indulgence simply because it reminds me of my childhood, the aforementioned The Roger Whittaker Christmas Album. We used to rock out to that every year on LP. "Momma Mary" is an all-time fave, along with the catchy Hallelujah it's Christmas. And you haven't heard the Brahms Lullaby until you've heard Roger Whittaker whistle it. You'll just have to trust me on that one.
You can't go wrong. Period. Everyone have a wonderful Christmas...