In my ongoing effort to get into the Christmas spirit and stay there over the next twelve days, I've been listening to the local adult contemporary station, which became "all Christmas all the time" after Thanksgiving. Their playlist is pretty traditional--Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, lots of Carpenters and Amy Grant, plus the occasional Harry Connick, Jr., Barenaked Ladies and Paul McCartney.
I definitely have my favorites. My top songs in the "secular Christmas" category, in no particular order:
Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson
A clean, fast-paced version of the classic, with a jazzy little interlude near the end. Love it, love it, love it.
You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft
How can you not love a song with a jazzy beat, Ravenscroft's ocean-deep voice and lyrics like: "The three words that best describe you,are, and I quote: 'Stink. Stank. Stunk.'"
Carol of the Bells - David Foster
Synthesized instrumental with a flourish. It's this close to over the top, but doesn't quite make it into cheesy territory.
The Holiday Season - Andy Williams
I dig it, man. Don't forget to hang up your sock, 'cause just exactly at twelve o'clock, he'll be comin' down the chimney down! I'm there.
Deck the Halls - SheDaisy
The tight harmonies of this pop-country trio are amazing, especially on this song.
And in the religious Christmas songs, my favorites in no particular order:
Silent Night - no particular artist
The simple beauty of Silent Night never fails to move me, no matter who sings it.
We Three Kings - Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan
I just heard this one for the first time a few days ago. It has a light, breezy sound to it that somehow manages not to eclipse the spiritual essence of the carol.
Do You Hear What I Hear - Bing Crosby
My all time favorite from childhood. I can still remember sitting in the back seat of my dad's Plymouth Fury, listening to Bing sing this song on the radio. We kids knew all the words and sang them at the tops of our lungs, much to my father's annoyance. Good times.
O Holy Night - no particular artist
Like Silent Night, O Holy Night is gorgeous and moving regardless of who sings it.
The Little Drummer Boy - Lou Rawls
Another one of those childhood holdovers. I'm not sure it should even be considered in the "religious" category, since it's not strictly biblical, but it captures the wonder of Christ's birth as told in the Gospel of Luke.
Do you have any favorite Christmas songs?