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19 December 2011

Your Five Favorite Christmas Songs?

The Christmas season tends to make me really happy. Except for the parts that involve shopping in the midst of hyper-populated stores (this year Hobby Lobby and Sam's Club win the "isn't this number of people a violation of fire code?" awards).

At its ideal moments, Christmas lights and music whisk my mind back to my childhood in the 70's, when my parents had green shag carpet in their room and my mom wore trendy dresses with poofy sleeves. In my mind, though Christmas defies time and space, it exists in a few eras: 2000 years ago, the 1970's, the 1940's, the late 1800's, and the middle ages. The last three of those are particularly accessible in my imagination via music. This is why I tend to dislike modern Christmas music. While many are about Jesus' birth, they just don't represent Christmas past to me.

My perennial favorite artist/group award goes to the Ray Conniff Singers. They take me back to my early childhood; Ray Conniff was always on the record player during the Christmas season back then. Same thing with Billy Vaughn. Last year I purchased the mono version of "Christmas Carols" (this album was originally recorded in both stereo and mono versions).

Given that background, here are my five favorite Christmas songs. This list was more difficult than the one that named my least favorite ones.

  1. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (Veni, Veni, Emmanuel)
  2. The Holly and the Ivy
  3. The Coventry Carol (the link goes to an freebie!)
  4. Pat-a-Pan
  5. The Sussex Carol (On Christmas Night All Christians Sing)

I wish there were room on the list for "The Wassail Song (Here We Come A-Caroling)" and "Sing We Now of Christmas".

Now, if I had to use songs from this century, my list would look like this:

  1. Sleigh Ride (orchestral or Johnny Mathis' version)
  2. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Andy Williams)
  3. The Christmas Song
  4. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
  5. A Charlie Brown Christmas (the Vince Guaraldi Trio album). This 16-song album is a must-purchase download at the Amazon MP3 store -- only $5.00!

Time for your input -- share your favorite five (or more) with everyone in the comments below!


Christy said...

O Holy Night
What Child is This
Drummer Boy
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Bethlehem Morning
Mary, Did You Know
Handel's Hallelujah Chorus (does that count as Christmas?)

Lisa Laree said...

This one is harder! So much good music! But if I HAD to pick 5...not in any particular order...
Silent Night
Joy to the World
It Feels like Christmas (from the Muppet Christmas Carol)
I Wonder as I Wander
Carol of the Bells
are the first five that come to mind...

Tara Smyth said...

Based on my opinion, I think that your five favorite Christmas songs are amazing. I also like them and I love to sing them during Christmas Season. I know that many people also love it just like me and you.

Dean Lusk said...

Tara, thanks for the comment! I can tell you have incredible taste in music. :-) Thanks for making me think of Christmas in February!

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