Home > Sports > Top 10, er, 12 Christmas songs part 2, electric boogaloo

Top 10, er, 12 Christmas songs part 2, electric boogaloo

Here they are – the second five from my top 10 12 Christmas songs.  They were 10 in my first cut (check out the first five), but I found a couple of more while listening to XM the last few days.  Ultimately, I couldn’t leave any of these out.  And really, 10 was an arbitrary number anyway.  So, here are the second seven.  Enjoy the snow-covered goodness.

  1. O Holy Night” by Eric Cartman from South Park.  This beautiful song really is best performed by a fat, profane 10 year-old singing while getting shocked by a cattle prod.  Naw, I’m just kidding.I’ll go with: “O Holy Night” by … the brass band in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  Aaron Zorkin’s grand TV failure did manage to have one lasting memory, at least for me.  On the Christmas show, a band of New Orleans musicians, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, played an incredible rendition of this song.
  2. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Dean Martin.  This is on the list because, more than any other Dean Martin song, it sounds like he’s just abso-friggin’-lutely hammered throughout the piece.  I like to visualize the recording this way.  Dean steps into the recording booth on a balmy July day in Burbank with a martini in one hand and a cigarette dangling from his lips.  Looking through blood-shot eyes at a music score that appears in a fuzzy haze, he props himself on the stool while an equally inebriated engineer starts the track.  The production staff must have been hammered, because Dean alternates from “Rudy” to “Rudolph” over and over (even going with “Rudy the red-beaked reindeer” at one point) and they didn’t realize just how, well, drunk he sounds. Or perhaps, nobody cared in the Mad Men era. Ah, what times they were.
  3. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey.  Much like Elvis and “Blue Christmas,” Mariah was destined to sing this song. It uses a considerable amount of her range, and the girl can just belt it out.  Plus, the fast pace doesn’t allow her time to try a lot of her vocal flourishes, which tend to get annoying in some slower songs.  Add to that a slick production, a pre-crazy Mariah video and solid background vocals, and you have a top-10 Christmas song.
  4. “Please Come Home for Christmas” by the Eagles.  My friend Jill suggested this after the first five came out, and it made it after much thought and consideration.  Another great “woe is me” Christmas tune, and Don Henley – unlike a lot of other pop stars over the years – really commits to the Christmas song. Plus, I found a kick-ass version that has a Griswold-esque house with its lights synced to the song.  To be honest, this video put this song over the top.
  5. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen.  If Don Henley committed to “Please Come Home for Christmas” then the Boss just… well, he just went all Bruce Springsteen on this song.  Just five minutes of fun.   Found a really great, grainy video from a 1978 performance.  I’m thinking this is probably in hour 4 of the concert, because  Bruce doesn’t even look winded yet.
  6. “Christmas in Hollis,” by Run DMC.  Man, why hasn’t holiday rap ever caught on?  Perhaps it’s because this song is so damn good.  Enjoy the video.
  7. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Bing Crosby.  This song has to be on any list, especially as I’ve read some World War II histories that mentioned this song.  Written and recorded in 1943, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” was tailor-made for a country with millions of fathers, husbands, sons and brothers fighting overseas. It’s a great rendition, but when you think about how this song hit at a perfect time – when the war seemed to be years and years from any resolution – it’s an all-timer.  You just can’t leave this off.
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