December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I'm taking a quick break from RPG posts for a holiday post. Forgive me.
Okay, in the spirit of the season, here are my top 10 favorite Christmas songs:

Bonus Track! 11. Happy X-Mas (War is Over)
In this song, John Lennon begs the world for peace … a valuable sentiment, in any season.

10. All I Want for Christmas is You
Ye gods, a Mariah song I like! It’s true. It’s rather cutsie, but I like it.

9. Please Come Home for Christmas
A blues standard. There’s actually a surprising amount of X-mas blues tunes out there, but this tops my list. The Eagles gave it a good effort, and Jon Bon Jovi does a shockingly good cover of this, but for the real McCoy get your hands on the Charles Brown (no, the blues singer) version

8. Santa Baby
Eartha Kitt first sung and recording this in 1953, and she said it was a favorite song of hers. Smoky, bluesy, with a touch of sultry greed … this one charms with its bald-faced honesty.

7. Holly Jolly Christmas
Johnny Marks wrote a number of good Christmas songs, this among them. Burl Ives wasn’t the first to record it, but his happy voice is probably the first folks think of when this song is mentioned.

6. Let it Snow
A great love song that never bothers to mention Christmas, this tune has been covered at least 30 times to my count. Great stuff.

5. Christmas Wrapping
In 1981 the New Wave band The Waitresses spun a great tale of love lost, and found, and lost, and found… Charming, humorous, and something that touches a common chord.

4. What Child is This?
My favorite version of this lovely song is the Vanessa Williams version, well sung and passionately rendered.

3. White Christmas
The film
Holiday Inn made this Irving Berlin tune immortal, and with good reason—no one does it like Bing Crosby.

2. The Christmas Song
This wonderful tune was written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells during a particularly hot streatcch of summer, when Wells jotted some wintery-sounding thoughts on paper to cool off (mentally at least). Nat King Cole recorded several versions, beginning in 1946. Others have made covers of the song, but to me Nat's buttery voice invokes hot rum cider sipped before a warm fire.

1. Jingle Bell Rock
A fast, spirited song that, to me, sums up everything cool about holiday music. It gets me in a good mood every time I hear it for the first time in the season, without fail. That’s enough to earn it first place!

There are many, many more songs I could have mentioned, but this list is good enough for this year!

Get the lyrics and hear many of the songs mentioned here.

I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and the very best going into 2009!

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