[MUSIC] My Most Favourite Christmas Songs

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or so I’m told, but it’s hard to disagree when I’ve been listening to such joyful Christmas tunage. Don’t get me wrong, some seasonal music is just awful, overplayed rubbish, and after six hours of Christmas shopping one might consider stabbing oneself in the eardrum in order to escape the repetitive chiming madness. I like to save my delicate aural sensibilities for my most favourite of the jolly offerings. 

We’ll kick off proceedings with Carol Of The Bells. This is a beautiful piece of choral music. I’m a sucker for a decent choir, but apart from that this piece conjures up wonderful, almost magical images of Christmas as I listen. It’s based on an old Ukrainian folk chant and its four-note motif is simple but extremely effective.

No Christmas song playlist is complete without a bit of Mariah. All I Want For Christmas Is You has become one of the most played festive songs of my generation, and for good reason. It’s instantly recognisable and always succeeds in making me twirl around, singing into a roll of wrapping paper while I decorate the house and make all of the Christmas goodies pretty with bows and ribbons and all of that girly crap. Whatever else you may say about Ms. Carey, she certainly had a fine set of pipes back in the day.

When I hear Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas I get an instant happy. I know Chris Rea isn’t everyone’s cup of eggnog, but this is one of my Dad’s favourite Christmas tunes and whenever I hear it I think of him. I get the warm and fuzzies. It also makes me think of all of my many friends who travel over the holiday period, excited to spend some time with their families and loved ones.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas; the cutest entry on my list. My fondness for this song most likely comes from its placement in Home Alone (which has the most wonderfully Christmassy soundtrack of all). During the days leading up to Christmas I’ll bounce around singing this song, but only the first line, I never get passed that because I don’t know the rest of it.

Many of the great crooners have done versions of this song, and a particular favourite of mine is Bing Crosby’s, but for today I have Johnny Mathis for your listening pleasure.

Speaking of crooning gents, it’s time for an entry from the best of them. Dean Martin with Let It Snow, another of my Dad’s favourites (and mine!). “Oh the weather outside is frightful It sure is Deano, but your voice will warm us up.

I was just about to open this segment with an apology for including Wham’s Last Christmas, but I just can’t do it. I love it. I know what you’re saying to me now, you’re mentally yelling, “How can you include this after spouting out of your hole about musical standards?” To you I reply, “How can I NOT include this cheesy poptastic treasure!?” I have this wonderful memory of leaving my Grandmother’s house with my Mam, this song coming on the radio and her singing along to it at the top of her lungs, loving every second of it, every note. Little four year old me was sitting in the back of the car trying to figure out what the lyrics meant. I just could not wrap my head around the literal meaning of removing your own heart to give to someone else. I was a weirdo even as a child.

In yet another memory inspired entry, I first heard Do You Hear What I Hear? in Gremlins. For years I found the song seriously creepy because of the association but there’s no denying how brilliant this is. Johnny Mathis again singing it beautifully, but it is always ruined by my father who insists on performing a rather special rendition of it in his “Gremlins voice” whenever it comes on.

 —

No Christmas party or night out here is complete without the DJ playing The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York at least half a dozen times in quick succession. It’s probably the most overplayed song here on the radio EVER during the month of December, but that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl do a fabulously magnificent job on a song that would become the drunken Christmas anthem for Irish people throughout the world. And let’s face it, only in Ireland would you get away with singing lines like, “You’re a bum, you’re a punk. You’re an old slut on junk”, at the top of your voice in celebration of Christmas. And that is why this thoroughly “Irish” carol is my favourite of them all.

And there you have it my festive friends; my own special Christmas playlist, comprised of all of my merry listening for today and tomorrow. Be sure to let me know what your favourites are in the comments below!

I’ve been on the missing list for the latter part of this week as the party season kicked off big style, but I promise to catch up on everyone’s special posts today and will return tomorrow with The Christmas Spew. Peace out, little lambs!

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Categories: List ALL The Things!, Music, Review

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44 replies

  1. Great choices, Carol of the bells is such a beautiful song.

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  2. Oh this is an awesome list! If it is cool with you, I want to throw it in with the #Listmas celebration.

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  3. I generally don’t like Christmas music, but I do like Gremlins, so I’ll call that my favorite Lon this list. ;-)

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  4. An truly special and entertaining concert! I especially enjoyed “Driving Home for Christmas” and “Last Christmas.” Dean Martin has been one of my favorites since I was young. My mom seemed to be playing his records constantly as I grew up so I suppose he’s imprinted on my soul.

    This is one of my classic favorites from Bing Crosby.

    Eartha Kitt’s original version of “Santa Baby” is hard to forget. Her sultry voice still resonates in my mind when I close my eyes. Having said that, I also like the cover that Megan Nicole Flores posted a few weeks ago on Youtube.

    There are hundreds of other great Christmas songs that I love to hear. But I’m with you, once you hear them over and over, some of them stick to you like a thistle ball on a wool sweater. It’s a good thing that they only surface once a year.

    As always, an outstanding post!

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    • A beautiful classic from Bing. His voice is like syrup! I actually meant to include that one in some capacity, we’re always pretty excited here if we see snow around Christmas time. I also meant to include “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” because as a child I completely misinterpreted it and would run to skip it on the Christmas CD. ;)

      Looove Eartha Kitt’s Santa Baby. That version you posted is adorable too. Two great additions to the playlist there JF, my thanks!

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  5. A friend of mine, who used to work at a department store during Christmas, agrees that listening to Xmas tunes for hours on end does increase one’s urge to self harm.

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    • I can imagine, give your friend my sympathies. I only have to spend a brief amount of time shopping but I always feel for the staff. Listening to the same awful Christmas CD over and over again cannot be good for one’s mental health.

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  6. Can’t stand listening to Mariah Carey, except for around the holidays. Only then is she tolerable. Nice list!

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  7. I have a soft spot for “Last Christmas” by Wham too, totally in my Christmas mix.

    My favorite version of “Carol of the Bells” is by Bird and the Bee

    I really like the Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas CDs, they make me want to dance around.

    But my favorite album of all time is the John Denver and the Muppets – A Christmas Together.

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  8. Just as you associated “Do you hear what I hear?” with Gremlins, I associate Carol of the Bells with the myriad of Slasher films happening on Christmas, so that song is as creepy for me as The Omen’s Ave Satanis hahahahaha

    I can barely make out the guy’s lyrics on Fairytale of New York, sounds like mumbling hahaha

    And of course, Let it Snow, the only “Christmas Song” I like and actually listen to. I must admit I’m not very Christmassy on the music side :)

    It’s the first time I’ve heard “It’s beginning to look like Christmas”, it’s pretty good!!!

    Does this count as a Christmas Song? I love it and it cracks me up!

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    • That counts!

      And ha! Nobody understands Shane MacGowan because he’s permanently drunk as a skunk. Even we can’t understand him a lot of the time. A fantastic musician though, The Pogues are one of my all-time favourite Irish bands.

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  9. I actually prefer (Christmas) Baby Please Come Home which is at the beginning of Gremlins. Now THAT is a song! You can find it on the Phil Spector Christmas album which is amazing by the way!

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  10. Sweet list. I never get tired of Last Christmas. :)

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  11. Good to see Johnny Mathis getting some love. He has a helluva voice!

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  12. For me it’s got to be Wizzard’s “I Wish it Could Christmas Everyday”. The ultimate Crimbo song for me (although I don’t necessarily wish it was Christmas everyday, no-one would survive that!) and beats Slade any day!

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    • Definitely agree on Wizzard over Slade! I used to love that one when I was a kid. Only difference is when I was a kid I really would have wished for Christmas every day. Now, like yourself, not so much. ;D

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  13. Very nice selection :) I’d have to find space for I believe in Father Christmas and War is over but that goes back years. I am not even close to matching Mariah’s singing so I just tend to dance/move around wildly

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  14. Really enjoyed your musical selection! I, too, am a sucker for good choral pieces. This holiday season I was posting a song or two a day of my favorites. CupidOrCats just promoted you on my blog as I’m having a blog share party. So far, I’ve enjoyed the couple of post I’ve clicked and look forward to further exploration of your blog. (bTW, Wham! Is one of my guilty pleasures.)

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  15. Oooh these are awesome Christmas music!! I LOVE the Carol Of The Bells and that Mariah Carey one, too. Though I like some of the traditional ones, this is one of my fave: Grown Up Christmas List by Natalie Cole: http://youtu.be/QLZ9skvw1gY

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  16. The video for Last Christmas is hysterical. Especially since George Michael wasn’t fooling anybody.

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  17. I think this one is modern and enjoyable:

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Trackbacks

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