Home > Music > Top 10 Christmas songs… at least to me… stop judging!

Top 10 Christmas songs… at least to me… stop judging!

The other day, I heard Jewel’s rendition of “O Holy Night.”  It was one of the worst holiday efforts I’ve ever heard, causing me to spend several minutes trying to find a single word that signified just how awful I was.  Finally, I gave up and had to make one up.  It was fuckin’crapsuckasstinabular.  Seriously, I considered switching to Judaism or going with Festivus afterward.  But, then I realized just how bad I would do at the “Feats of Strength.”

Anyway, the Jewel experience, while harrowing, did make me assess what makes a good holiday tune.  The list quickly turned into the 10 songs I really need to hear every Christmas season.  Not really the “best” in terms of quality or impact on the world… but, in many ways, for my reasons, these are the “definitive” versions in my view.  I’m sure you won’t agree with a few of these, but as long as you agree with me that Jewel should never sing “O Holy Night” again, we’ll be just fine.

  1. “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys. This has all the makings of Brian Wilson on cruise control.  It sounds like several other Beach Boys tunes, but the part about the “run, run reindeer” and the “Christmas comes this time each year” always strike me as lazy but unforgettable lyrics.  Yes, we know that Christmas comes this time each year.  You’re not really breaking new ground with that statement. What puts this over the top, though, is my memory of the guys from the “Don and Mike Show” out of DC singing this one holiday season.  Don was a huge Beach Boys fan, and he got a kick out of the song.  The fun was infectious.
  2. “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Pressley.  If Elvis wasn’t the first one to sing this one, he definitely made it his own.  Great, great song.
  3. “Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives.  This one’s on the list for several reasons.  I always think of Burl as the snowman on the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” special, of course.  But, more recently, my buddy Jon brought this song to a new level by practically yelling the, “Have a holly, jolly Christmas” part when we worked together.  Bear in mind that for a year, we’d share an office, and even in October, you were liable to get some Burl.  To this day, he gets a phone call from me each Christmas season when I hear this on the radio for the first time.
  4. “Silent Night” by The Temptations.  I almost went with another R&B group, as I think that Boys II Men’s version was pretty good, but the Temp’s version is pretty solid.  The version I’ve heard lets the bass singer have a little fun and belt out some low-register goodness at the end.  I’m sure this is exactly what the German folks who wrote the tune had in mind.  Couldn’t find the right audio on the interwebs… sorry.
  5. “Merry Christmas Darling” by The Carpenters.  Yes, the Carpenters.  I said it.  Want to fight about it?  Like a good many Gen-X’ers I’ve talked to, my parents played the Carpenters’ “Christmas Portrait” album nonstop after it was released in the 1970s.  I gotta admit, if you had ever broke up with a girlfriend/boyfriend around the holidays, this song would send you over the edge.

Stay tuned for numbers 6-10.  I’m out of words and hyperlinks.

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Categories: Music

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