I’m going to take a brief break from the Top 500 Songs lists to dip into Christmas music, since it’s that time of year. I was inspired by this Statesman story in which a number of their features writers contributed their favorite holiday songs, so without further ado, here’s a collection of ten favorites from my Christmas songs playlist.
1. Twas The Night Before Christmas – Asleep At The Wheel Clement Moore’s classic poem reimagined by Ray Benson.
2. Blue Christmas – Asylum Street Spankers Very tough choice, with their Rudolph-crossed-with-Muddy Waters tune “Red Nosed Reindeer Blues” a close runnerup. But Christina Marrs’ plaintive voice and soft ukelele gets me every time.
3. Merry Christmas, Baby – Bruce Springsteen Gotta follow up those two mellow numbers with something lively.
4. Go Tell It On The Mountain – Christmas On The Border I’m largely avoiding the well-known religious songs because they’ve been done and overdone to death. I don’t understand why this joyous little number is so overlooked.
5. The Christmas Song – Ella Fitzgerald And I’m also mostly avoiding the well-known secular tunes, but how can you resist Ella Fitzgerald on a classic like this?
6. Mele Kalikimaka/Waters of Babylon – The Priestess and The Fool I actually prefer the Spankers’ version of “Mele Kalikimaka” but I didn’t want to repeat artists for this. Plus, TP&TF’s segue into “Waters of Babylon” is cool.
7. Sleigh Ride – Squirrel Nut Zippers A rollicking, jazzy instrumental from a fine swing band.
8. Another Christmas Song – Stephen Colbert If you’re going to include a parody song, it’s got to be funny. This one is a riot, and as a bonus it really swings, too.
9. My First Christmas – Trout Fishing In America A zippy and slightly silly look at Christmas from a baby’s perspective.
10. Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi Trio Do I need to say anything here? I believe this is the most-recognized jazz song in the world, as well as being truly one of a kind. Anyone disagree?
What would you consider your ten favorite Christmas tunes? Alternately, what songs are you already sick of hearing or never want to hear again? And if you really want to wallow in Christmas music badness, there’s always Mellowmas. Be very afraid of clicking any of the links you see there.
Entire song list report: Started with “Scotland Uber Alles”, by SixMileBridge. Finished with “She’s No Lady”, by Lyle Lovett, which is song #4625 for a total of 130 tunes this week. At this point, I’m about three quarters of the way through the list. When I’m done I’ll have to go back to the beginning to pick up the songs that I’ve added to the collection since I began that were already passed in the alphabet at the time of acquisition. That shouldn’t take too terribly long.