Sunday, December 5, 2010

Greg's Favorite Christmas Songs

I put up the Christmas tree yesterday, and to get in the mood I broke out the Christmas songs. For me, that means taking Christmas Songs playlist out of its folder and back to the main iTunes menu.

I am looking for better Christmas songs. Why? Because I have not got all the good ones yet. 

I poke around on the internet looking for recommended Christmas songs, and I never find much. I thought I'd put mine out there. [It occurs to me that is what iTunes's Ping is all about, but I don't like Ping.]

Greg's Top Christmas Songs

1. Gaudete by Mediaeval Baebes - Great a capella hymn; Happy and pretty. One of my favorite songs of all time. It's the only a capella song on the list.

2. Pat A Pan by Mannheim Steamroller; I'm never tired of hearing this one. Mannheim Steamroller are modern Christmas classic, but they are overplayed.

3-5. Carol of the Bells by The Bird and the Bee
Two more versions of Carol of the Bells: Harry Connick Jr, and the classic by Vienna Boys Choir. This my favorite traditional Christmas hymn.  I have a dozen versions.  Honorable Mentions are by Celtic Woman, Los Lonely Boys, and Mannheim Steamroller.  This will give you a big variety of music styles in the same song.

6-9. The whole album The Christmas Eve by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but especially Christmas Canon Rock, What Child is This, The Lost Christmas Eve, and Anno Domine.

10. Greatest Time of Year by Aly and AJ  -  Adult singers are too cynical to sing such happy music. Their "Little Drummer Boy" is pretty good too.

Honorable Mentions

A. Linus and Lucy by Vince Guardaldi Trio - great song, but not Christmassy enough for the main list.

B. Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel by Enya - Very slow and quiet, so you need to be in the mood for it.

C.  Soul Cake by Sting - This song was new last year, and I really like it. It is a folk song, so it not church music, but still traditional in feeling. It has a great mood. I can picture the poor people in the English countryside asking for food.

D. Baby Its Cold Outside by Dean Martin - This is the best of the Rat Pack Christmas songs.  So cute. The lyrics are so well delivered. I don't know who the female singer is, and I have looked.  This is better than all the other versions.

E. Christmas Time is Here by the Boston Pops Orchestra - Very traditional and very nice

F-G. The Holly and the Ivy and The Little Drummer Boy by Mannheim Steamroller; Two more of my favorites from the large body of good Mannheim Steamroller songs.

H.  Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring by Sarah Brightman; very traditional and pretty.

I. Santa Claus is Coming to Town by the Jackson Five, as a placeholder for the whole Christmas Collection Album. These songs are a little too gimmicky and dated, but they have such a free-spirited feeling that I put them on. I also expected static from the family if I left it off. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is really good too. "Little Christmas Tree" is the most sincere on the album.

There are so many others. Snow Angel by Tori Amos is a nice song, but not quite at the level. Tori is probably a Druid anyway.

Sorry Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra fans. Your guys did not measure up.