Top 12 holiday songs

Published by siroutlier_tt2i6p on

We’ve probably been forced into hearing Xmas music for weeks, if not months, thanks to commercials, stores, radio stations, and well, me. But since it is December, I can now unabashedly speak of my fervor for holiday tunes. I mean, no other genre of music is quite as effervescent, nostalgic, joyful and triumphant. Sure, there are some dark and dispirited songs, but I tend to leave those poor saps on read. So, let’s celebrate my top 12 Christmas carols of the season.

Bonus: Baby It’s Cold Outside by John Legend and Kelly Clarkson – Takes a problematic classic and delightfully turns it on its ear. I do enjoy the hundreds of earlier versions, but even before #Metoo, I knew it was a sticky wicket ballad. I am sure the original intent was innocent and playful, but I try to have empathy for someone who actually lived through a similar scenario with a sweaty, lecherous guy named Trace that didn’t have a Hallmark Christmas movie ending.

I can’t stop looking at John’s pants. Is he trying to start an ugly Christmas pants trend?

12. Christmas Time Again by Extreme – The one-hit Christmas wonder from the 90s gives us an original melodic tune that is both festive and haunting. Taking a page from the movie Scrooged, it asks us to make that holiday sentiment last throughout the year. Even during election season.

This song is more than words to show how you feel… about the holiday season.

11. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon – For my money, this is the most John Lennon song of all time. Captures his wit, sentimentality, and his agenda of peace all wrapped up in a single, indelible tune. Celebrates the season along with reminding us that we can do better.

Sure, its lyrics are idealistic, but then again, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

10. We Need A Little Christmas by Johnny Mathis – I didn’t quite understand the lyrics of this peppy classic in my youth, but it speaks to me on a whole new level now. I don’t just look forward to Christmas, I NEED IT. Almost as much as someone with white privilege needs to play the victim.

I live my life by a single edict… if Johnny Mathis sings it, it must be true.

9. Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses – Is this tune catchy as hell or what. Might even be the earwormiest song on the list, and I mean that in the best possible way. An amusing stroll through the year ending in a Christmas miracle, this song is basically the template for every sappy Christmas movie.

I can honestly say this is the only song that makes me miss the A&P.

8. What’s This? by Danny Elfman – The true theme song for A Nightmare Before Christmas, this tune encapsulates the magical discovery of all the yuletide goodies of the season. And definitively proves that the film is a Christmas movie, albeit through a Halloween lens.

I want a house in both Christmas and Halloween Town.

7. The Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler – How could you leave this cheeky tune off your holiday playlist? For some, this was their first introduction to Hanukkah and all its spiritual traditions. For the less enlightened (i.e., moronic), this is all the specious proof they need that the Jewish community rules over Hollywood with an iron dreidel.

Adam Sandler may age, but his humor doesn’t.

6. Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry – The true pioneer of Rock & Roll gives us one of the first and still best, rocking Christmas songs. Chuck takes the character of Rudolph and elevates him to the leader of Santa’s sleigh instead of that mutant freak they only use when there’s a weather advisory.

Not only did this legend invent Rock & Roll but apparently the ugly Christmas sweater.

5. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer by Elmo & Patsy – The pinnacle of novelty Christmas tunes, this was the All I Want for Christmas of the 80s. Okay, yeah the 80s was an unconventional and frankly bizarre decade, but that’s why we love it so much. You could not make this record today without incurring the wrath of the AARP, PETA, and Santaphiles everywhere.

Did they ever do a Behind the Music: The True Elmo & Patsy Story?

4. Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives – This might just be the merriest song of all time. Not only does it check the nostalgic box for everyone who perennially watched Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, but it’s known to plant a Grinch-sized perma-grin on anyone’s face who hears it.

I found out last year that Burl Ives wasn’t just a snowman, but a respected performer with years of accomplishments. Who knew?

3. Do They Know it’s Christmas by Band Aid – The best trojan horse Christmas song. Gives us all the uplifting beats and melodies while slyly hitting us lyrically with the plight of those less fortunate. A song that asks you to open your hearts and hopefully wallets during the season of giving. Not only is it the progenitor of We Are the World and Live Aid, but it’s also the signature Christmas song of the 80s.

Not to highjack this list, but Daddy’s Home 2 is a hilariously underrated Christmas flick.

2. Christmas in Hollis by Run-D.M.C. – Argyle was right, “This IS Christmas music.” Proved rap can be genre-bending, this is without a doubt the hippest tune on the list. It’s so good it slaps the Christmas spirit right across your face.

You can’t argue with the kings of rock!
  1. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2 – A special shout out to Darlene Love for her wonderful original, this version by U2 is my ultimate holiday song. I know it’s more on the somber side, but it’s that perfect balance to all the mirth and cheer of all the other Xmas tunes. Recorded by U2 during the peak of their powers, it represents the euphoric highs and the drinking spiked eggnog alone lows of the holiday season.
Think about it, Bono would make a terrifying ghost of Christmas whenever. “Am I bugging you? I don’t mean to bug ya. Okay, Edge, play the Christmas blues!”

1 Comment

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