Folks, I know I don’t need to tell you guys that it’s holiday time. There are bell-ringers everywhere, people putting pictures of their decorated trees on Facebook, it’s getting colder (in my neck of the woods, anyway), the mall is nutso. And – one of my favorite parts – it’s time for Christmas music. Or really, holiday music, since some of my favorites have nothing to do with Christmas, but you know what I mean.
I’ve always loved Christmas music. I learned many extended verses to traditional songs and carols as a child. My sister and I used to put on a Christmas recital on piano for our parents in our basement every year. And as an adult, I collect Christmas music, especially the unusual, the kitschy, the weird, the creepy, and the interesting (I have plenty of the classic greats, too, promise!). I have pretty eclectic taste in music, so it makes perfect sense that my holiday music collection is also pretty eclectic. And I have a LOT of it. A LOT, I tell you. I put it all into one big playlist in iTunes called “MiXmas” and learned I have over 550 songs that qualify as holiday music. I’m pretty sure that’s more than a lot of people have on their entire iPod of all the music they own. This month, I’m going to share some of my Christmas music with you.
I’ve chosen four categories from my collection for you, and I’m going to start off this week with traditional music. This would be songs you’ve probably heard of, pretty normal Christmas carols and songs. Now, not all of them are sung in the most traditional way, but they’re all songs you should recognize, and they’re some of my favorite versions of those songs. I mentioned I have eclectic taste – you’re going to hear rock, country, swing, and another of other musical styles represented here.
I tried desperately to find a way to embed a playlist, and I was not satisfied. I would either have to settle for a site that didn’t have all the songs I wanted to share, or else the site had trouble embedding a playlist (because as much as I love WordPress, they’re kind of a pain about that sort of thing). So – I made a YouTube playlist for you that you can access at the link below, and then I’ve listed the titles and artists of the songs in the playlist for those who just want to see what’s on it and don’t really care to listen.
- “O Come O Come Emmanuel” from Sufjan Stevens
- “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from Bing Crosby
- “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” from Jack Johnson
- “White Christmas” from Otis Redding
- “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” from Johnny Cash
- “Sleigh Ride” from Ella Fitzgerald
- “Joy to the World” from Willie Nelson
- “O Holy Night” from Tracy Chapman
- “Baby It’s Cold Outside” from She & Him
- “Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming” from Sufjan Stevens
- “The Christmas Song” from Nat King Cole
What are some of your favorite versions of traditional holiday tunes?