The other day while working, I listened to the Christmas music episode of Top Four on a whim. It’s not a podcast I usually listen to, but I was browsing through Relay FM and it caught my eye because guess what, I love Christmas music. U_U Afterwards I was compelled to compile some lists of my own Christmas music. I had no idea where to shove the list since it doesn’t really fit the content on my website or Tumblogs or anything, and then I remembered I had a blog specifically for my completely irrelevant opinions on inconsequential things, nevermind that I haven’t posted here in four years. :P
But anyway. Christmas music!
People are often surprised and/or weirded out that I love Christmas music as much as I do because I’m super atheist and not a particularly jolly person. And yet I’m that asshole that plays Christmas music off-season, with Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mariah Carey blaring in June or whatever. But I think it’s less surprising when you consider that I love singing and I love good singing, regardless of subject matter, language, or anything else. Christmas music happens to comprise of a lot of choral music, duets, ensembles, and a capellas — all of which lend themselves to beautiful vocals. So, yeah.
A lot of people get sick of Christmas music quickly because it’s so ubiquitous for two months out of the year, but I’m also that person who loves hearing all 3781219 versions and covers of a song and who breaks in new favourite songs by playing it on repeat for literally days. Seriously. Sometimes it will just be one song looping for an entire week on my playlist. It takes a lot for me to get sick of a song I like. I guess it also helps that I work from home and have total control over what I’m listening to most of the time, so the limited selection of songs at retail locations and restaurants don’t really bother me since I don’t spend a lot of time outside.
There are too many songs I like, so I did top fives by category… of which there are probably too many. :’)
- O Holy Night
- Carol of the Bells
- Little Town of Bethlehem
- Do You Hear What I Hear?
- The First Noel
Even though I know why I like them — I guess it is still kind of weird how into some hymns I get… Fact: the only car accident I’ve ever gotten into happened because I was too busy rocking out to “Little Town of Bethlehem” to see a pickup truck coming from behind a tree. Yeah.
“O Holy Night” tops the list because 1) basically every single version of it is beautiful, and 2) it’s less creepy than “Carol of the Bells.” For the most part, because there are so many good ones, I’m not fussed about which version of these songs I’m listening to.
- All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
- Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) – Mariah Carey
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra
- It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
- Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
I don’t really have much to say here except I love 1) dumb poppy love songs, 2) baritone, 3) Home Alone.
- Music Box Blues – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- Somewhere in My Memory – John Williams / Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
- That’s Christmas to Me – Pentatonix
- Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson
- This Gift – 98 Degrees
“This Gift” is probably the most embarrassing thing in this whole post, but it’s a great shippy OTP song and boy bands were bloody great at harmonising okay.
- Home Alone Main Title – John Williams
- Wizards in Winter – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- Winter Solstice – Michele McLaughlin
- Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi Trio
- The Holly and the Ivy – George Winston
I gave TSO their own list because I love them. Bite me. You might be surprised that “Christmas Canon” is only third if you know that Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” is my absolute favourite musical thing ever, but listen: there are better arrangements of “Canon in D” that aren’t Christmas-related, the canon in “Remember” is also amazing, and the vocals in “Music Box Blues” are just. So good, so emotive. Also see: baritone bias. “Wizards in Winter,” meanwhile, became a favourite partially because of this.
Parody & Humour
- Home Alone: The Song – The Gregory Brothers (spoilers)
- Santa’s Gonna Kick Your Ass – The Arrogant Worms
- 12 Days of StarCraft – Blizzard
- Christmas Can-Can – Straight No Chaser
So I obviously love Home Alone (and Home Alone 2 and to be honest, Home Alone 3 wasn’t bad either, though not as musically phenomenal). It’s a legitimately good movie, but there’s admittedly lots of nostalgia for me, too. My family loves Home Alone. My youngest brother’s name is Kevin because of Home Alone. Therefore, there is no greater treasure than The Gregory Brothers adding lyrics to the Home Alone overture about how silly the whole thing is. The rest of the list is just a bunch of silly Christmasy things I’ve come across over the years and enjoyed, but I don’t listen to a lot of parody music really, which is why this list is short.
- Home Alone & Home Alone II OST
- The Christmas Attic – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- Merry Christmas – Mariah Carey
- Christmas Plain & Simple – Michele McLaughlin
- A Charlie Brown Christmas OST
Also, maybe it’s cheating that I lumped both Home Alone OSTs together, but man, it was hard picking between TSO’s multiple Christmas albums but I did that, okay?? Runner-ups: Edward Scissorhands OST and That’s Christmas to Me by Pentatonix.
Christmas Songs I Actually Dislike
- Baby, It’s Cold Outside
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Jackson 5
- Santa, Baby
- Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer
Yeah, even I have a few songs that grate my nerves. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” will never not be creepy. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is also kind of weirdly uncomfortable. For #3, I’m just… really not fond of the loud, punctuated “Santa Claus”s in Jackson 5’s particular version of that song. And I don’t even know why Rudolph annoys me, but there we go. I think there are probably more Christmas songs I don’t care for, but I can’t think of them because I never listen to them? But these are the ones that I keep having to thumbs down on my Pandora station, which after so many years should have figured it out by now, honestly…