I love holiday tunes…there is nothing quite like turning on the radio and knowing the words to every song that comes on! Of course, the playlist does get repetitive after a while, but there are some REALLY good ones out there that I can listen to over and over again. Unfortunately…those aren’t always the ones that get played.
Anyway…in honor of the season- here are some of my personal favorite renditions
1. O Holy Night: This is a classic carol that can be sung with full on forte or or in a breathy hush that honors the solemnity of the occasion. While a lot of people like Mariah’s version of this (and it is certainly impressive,) it’s a little too over-the-top for me. I like Celine Dion or Josh Groban’s version in terms of powerhouse vocalists and love Jewel’s simple take on the song that is easy to sing along with.
2. Go Tell It On the Mountain Medley: This song isn’t featured on a lot of holiday albums, so I was really excited when Jewel included it on hers and paired it with a couple of non-Christmas tunes such as “From a Distance” and “Life Uncommon.” Somehow it all fits and it is beautifully appropriate for the season. (honestly…the whole album is REALLY good so if you haven’t added it to your holiday collection…I highly recommend it!)
3. God Bless Us Everyone: Found on Celine Dion’s Christmas CD These are Special Times, this tune is beautifully written and doesn’t beat you over the head with holly, jolly lyrics. Make no mistake, it is a holiday song, but focuses on the gratitude we should have all year long rather than one day a year.
4. Christmas Eve: Last Celine Dion song, I swear…love the rock and roll beat of this one that evokes a 1960’s girl group feel. Sadly, I never hear it on the radio. “Walking with you in a winter snow, kissing underneath the mistletoe, people smiling everywhere we go, it’s Christmas Eve and they can see we’re in love…”
5. Mary Did You Know?: It’s really hard not to be moved by a song that calls into question what the Blessed Mother might have been thinking as she cared for her Son who was unlike any other person on the planet. I like Wynona’s version of this one..mainly because it’s in my key.
7. Little Drummer Boy: This is a strange song. I have learned that people either really like it or really hate it. Not a lot of middle ground there. My youngest son loves the Bob Seger version while other family members prefer the traditional choral renditions…personally…I like the Bing Crosby/David Bowie collaboration as well as Josh Groban’s version. Pa rum pa pum pum…
8. Carol of the Bells: Any song that challenges a vocalist’s breathing ability THAT much is a good idea.
9. Do They Know It’s Christmas?: When this song came out, I loved the idea of so many musicians getting together for a good cause, but at the time, I hated the fact that it was a one-time only kind of song…BOY, was I wrong! Now that it is a holiday classic, I get to enjoy it again and again and relive the ’80s idealism that music could save the world.
10. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: When it comes to the kids’ songs…few can compare to the story of the outcast reindeer whose talent surpassed all of those who bullied him and gave him the top spot on Santa’s Sleigh Team.
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