Holiday music, it’s been filling the air waves since the week before Thanksgiving. And like everything around the holidays, all the fal-la-la-la-la begins the day after Halloween and runs through New Years. Have you ever noticed how all the gold and silver holiday ornaments look so magical this time of year and then for some reason on December 26th, they lose their luster? The same holds true for holiday music but it’s not the 26th of December yet so let’s enjoy a few melodies together.
As I’ve mentioned before, childhood and adult memories are tied to music, songs. And when I hear a song attached to a memory, it takes me back in time to just a few short years ago or many, many, years ago. You see, my memories are in the musical Dewey decimal system all categorized nicely, easy for me to locate when I hear a song that triggers a memory. I have many memories that come back to me when I hear Christmas music, some from long ago and some from last Christmas with Little Mister and The Hurricane.
So pour yourself a toddy, sit back and savor the sounds of the season with my Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs.
10. It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas, Bing Cosby – This classic was recorded in 1945. I like the catchy lyrics of: A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots, Is the wish of Barney and Ben; Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk Is the hope of Janice and Jen; And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again. It puts a smile on my face. And Bing”s voice is as smooth as butter.
9. That’s Christmas to Me, Pentonix – Oh my goodness, the first time I heard this song I stopped dead in my tracks. The a capella makes me want to join the church choir, unfortunately of all the time I’ve invested learning various things, it didn’t include voice lessons. It’s a beautiful song and sure to give you goosebumps like it did me! The video has had over 3 million hits on YouTube since its October release.
8. So This is Christmas, John Lennon – Honestly, I never liked this song but it reminds me of John, his talent and tragic death in December of 1980. I remember that evening like it was yesterday. Maybe I would have liked this song more if Yoko hadn’t chimed in near the end, perhaps she passed up on voice lessons too.
7. Christmas Wrapping, The Waitresses – This fun song was released in 1981 and if you take a peek at the video you’ll have flashbacks of those original MTV days with low-budget recordings. But you can’t help but want to sing along to this one….So deck those halls, trim those trees, Raise up cup’s of Christmas cheer, I just need to catch my breath, Christmas by myself this year. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas…
6. River, Joni Mitchell – This song was on Joni’s Blue album recorded in 1971, side 2, song 3. I literally wore out the vinyl on this album and it will go down as one of my all time favorites. It’s not really much of a Christmas song but she wrote it at Christmas time, right after her break-up with James Taylor. The lyrics are beautifully sad. Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on.
5. Carol of the Bells, Mormon Tabernacle Choir – That’s what I call belting out a Christmas carol with conviction. Bravo! Perhaps I’ll take up bell-ringing.
4. Merry Christmas, Darling, The Carpenters – A bit sappy, but I still like it, especially the clarinet lick near the end.
3. I’ll be Home for Christmas, Frank Sinatra – You’re dreamy, Frank, I know you and dad are enjoying a toddy or two together in the heavens.
2. The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole – I can still see my dad tending to dinner on the stove and singing this song during the holidays from when I was young all the way to the Christmas before he died in 1998. Such a beautiful memory of a beautiful song. This song has been recorded by many but my favorite is this one by Nat King Cole. If you take a look at the video, I’m going to guess it’s circa 1960.
1. We Need a Little Christmas, Angela Landsbury – From the 1966 Broadway musical “Mame”, performed by Ms. Landsbury. It’s truly one of my favorite musicals and favorite Christmas songs. It’s just a happy piece, it makes me….well, it makes me want to skip, or march, yes, that’s it, marching. Have a listen and you’ll be marching too! We need a little Christmas, right this very minute, we need a little Christmas NOWWWWWWWW!
I hope you enjoyed my favorite top ten Christmas songs and find yourself singing them throughout your day. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; Soon the bells will start, And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing, Right within your heart.”