Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Tunes

Winter is my second favorite season of the year behind Fall.  Yes, I'm a fan of snow, cold weather and even ice when it comes to ice skating.  I know it isn't Winter yet and that Chicago really hasn't had it's first official snow fall in my eyes.  Nothing has stuck to the ground yet.  I'm in full swing holiday mode.  Well, not exactly since I don't have my tree up.  I'm talking about all the holiday lights, the bustling shoppers and the wonderful Christmas music I've been playing since a few days before Thanksgiving.  Then there are the really good ones I sneak year round or for my Christmas in July.  Yes, it's never to early to listen to a catchy holiday tune. Today's blog will be about my 10 favorite holiday songs.
10.  War is Over - John Lennon & Yoko Oko
I really like songs talking about social/political issues.  I wonder if Marvin Gaye and John Lennon ever collaborated on anything.  The lyrics to Happy Xmas (War is Over) are simple, yet they tug at my heart.  The kids backing up John and Yoko are too precious.  It's has a great sing-a-long chorus part too.
9.  All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
 I liked the video for this song.  It's a very catchy little tune.  This is the perfect song to sing to a significant other while dressed up in a cute little santa suit.  Santa Baby would be fun as well, but I think there's a chance to be categorized as a gold digger.  We don't want that hovering over our pretty little heads. 
8.  It Must Have Been Ol Santa Claus - Harry Connick Jr.
Mr. Connick Jr. is a brilliant musician & composer.  His acting isn't too bad either.  Who wouldn't want to be the little kid in this story?  You believe in Santa when you're little, but once you become a big boy, you know it's dad.  Then one magical Christmas Eve you meet the big fellow and a talking Rudolph!!  Santa lets you take a ride above the city in his fancy sleigh and he gives you his cool red hat.  What an awesome ride Connick takes us on.  You know what the best part for me is?  It's the syncopated rhythm with that jive hand clap.  I love trying to keep count during the entire song.  There's a lot going with this song.  Great New Orleans feel.  This is one of the songs I play year round. 
7. Do They Know it's Christmas Time - Band Aid
It's another great social song for a good cause.  I'm still fans of some of the artists who participated in this collaboration.  It's a song that makes you realize how blessed you really are. 
6. Merry Christmas Darling - The Carpenters
For some reason Karen's voice haunts me during this song.  It reminds me of a life that vanished too soon.  It reminds me of family back east.  This is a great holiday love song for that special someone you're missing.  
5. Last Christmas - Wham
Taylor Swift and the Glee cast did a nice job with the remakes, but no one touches George Michael's rendition.  It's my you broke my heart, shame on me, screw you, now on to better things.  See it all works out in the end.  I play this song after some promising dates go sour.  It's a year round song in my household. 
4. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
I just love the way Judy Garland sung this song in the musical Meet Me in Saint Louis.  It was sung from the heart with love.  
3.  White Christmas - Bing Crosby   
When it's 95 degrees, humid and too hot during those dog days of summer, this is the song I pull out of my CD collection.  I rather have the snow over hot weather :)  A white Christmas is what most people and kids would want.  It's the quintessential postcard photo: nice ranch house, smoke coming out of the chimney, huge wreath on the door, a vibrant red bow on the mailbox, the tree showing through the living room window and a snow covered yard. 
2. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Johnny Mathis
I think my birthday is the real most wonderful time of the year, but that's in October.  The winter season is a close second.  This song excites me for what's coming.  I must confess I've experienced none of them: caroling out in the snow, roasting marshmallows, parties for hosting or mistletoeing.  Go figure.  This time of year brings forth hope for the new year.  That's what counts.  Mr. Mathis makes me happy when he sings it.  Andy Williams does a good version as well.  
1.  O Holy Night
This is my favorite holiday/Christmas song of all time!  I love Celine Dion's and Clay Aiken's version as well as many others.  The first time I really remember hearing this song was in high school.  There was a young lady name Geraldine Montgomery.  I'm sure I don't have her first named spelled correctly, so forgive me. She performed this song at the winter concert.  I remember watching in awe at how beautiful and angelic her voice sounded.  It was then where I tried to really listen to the lyrics.  As my mom drove me home from my orchestral concert, I thought about the song and wished I could sing like Ms. Montgomery.  This song, this hymn is what the true meaning of Christmas is for those of us who celebrate this holiday. 
What did you think about my list?  Yes I omitted some big ones like The Christmas Song and Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, but it's a free country.  These were my favorites :)   Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas!!

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