Christmas should live the fourth dimension of adept cheer and celebration. Unfortunately, due to the sum of naff Christmas music, it tin stop upwards beingness the fourth dimension of annoyance as well as irritation. Whether you’re out Christmas shopping or listening to the radio, hearing the same festive tunes over and over once again tin exit you desperate for the new year.
It’s not the best-selling Christmas anthem and heck, and it didn’t fifty-fifty brand it to Number One in the UK, merely Mariah tops our listing of the greatest always happy songs for one good reason – it’s catchier than a Christmas cold. Initially released in 1994, this selfless plea to live alongside a loved one has everything: sleigh bells, big hooks, the correct remainder of schmaltz and soul, and uplifting vibes potent plenty to launch a jump-jet. Sure, Wham! Know their manner about a chart-topper, merely who wants to intend almost beingness jilted past an ex inwards the holidays? Darlene Love’s classic at number 4 shares a similar sentiment, just her bluesy howl can’t replicate the gaiety of Mariah’s falsetto. Nor can The Pogues’ rasping Shane MacGowan for that matter. The acid examination of a great Christmas vocal is whether all of you become bored of it, together with this one, we’re sure, is for life.
A ballad of doomed romance, ‘Last Christmas’ features sleighbells and synths, plus some great knitwear in the video. But what sets ‘Last Christmas’ apart is George Michael’s heart-on-sleeve delivery: his genuine heartbreak horror and sad, sexy whispers. The words ‘Merry Christmas’ never sounded so sultry.
Ronnie Spector’s distinctive as well as sensual vocals could easily melt whatever Christmas snow. On this highlight from the classic Phil Spector Christmas album, she purrs almost getting cozy nether a blanket on a sleigh ride piece her boyfriend Ronettes ‘ring-a-ling-a-ling-a-ding-dong-ding’ inwards the background. Spector’s organization may live the total of trilling bells as well as clip-clopping hooves, merely the melody’s irrepressible warmth hints at the fact that this vocal was composed (by lite orchestral maestro Leroy Anderson) during a July heatwave.
It’s impossible to keep your cockles cool once this galloping soulful sleigh ride gets going. In typical Spector style, ‘Christmas’ is the sound of a large group of people singing and playing their hearts out in one take. It radiates fellowship, community, and togetherness and still manages to shine brighter than the star of Bethlehem.
The power of Christmas nostalgia itself is more excellent than real memories. Hence, all of us can hark back with Bing on this Irving Berlin-penned ’40s number to a white Christmas just like the ones we used to know, even if our right past is full of crushing disappointments (December 25, 1993 – no Hornby train set).
Euphoric and scathing, as hopeful as it is resigned, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s final festive peace-on-earth song has transcended its original anti-Vietnam War purpose of becoming a Christmas stalwart.
As we get older Christmas begins to feel like little more than an inconvenience, but this bouncy new wave gem reminds us to resist the impulse to scream ‘bah, humbug’ and go with it. It may be the end of a tiring year, and you may even be facing the possibility of a Christmas dinner for one, but, one way or another, the festive spirit will see you through. And if this song’s stomping disco rhythm section doesn’t pep you up, nothing will.
At the beginning of this somewhat unlikely 1979 Christmas smash, you can hear the moment at which hip-hop arrived. Interrupting a starchy recital of ’A Visit from St Nicholas,’ Kurtis Blow launches into his yarn about Santa showing up to a Harlem Christmas party, producing a Yuletide classic – and rap’s first major label hit.
Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s 1984 reaction to the Ethiopian famine, with contributions from Phil Collins, Sting, Macca, and Bono, was a publicity machine of epic proportions. It worked: ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ Stayed at the top spot for five weeks, and was the biggest UK chart success of the decade. Put that all aside, and it’s also just a great pop song.
Recorded at the height of his powers, Chuck Berry rolls out his original frenzied twelve-bar blues in reverence of everyone’s favorite reindeer. Despite not even managing to break the top fifty when it was first released, it has become an enduring holiday favorite and spawned plenty of covers.
Being Jewish, songwriter Johnny Marks didn’t celebrate Christmas, but in the ’40s and ’50s, he wrote some of the greatest Christmas songs of all time. Among them are ‘Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ ‘I Heard The Bells of Christmas Day,’ and this – an easy-on-the-ear rock ’n’ roll tune sung by a 13-year-old Brenda Lee, which needs no introduction.
Rat Pack star Martin recorded this version in 1959, fifteen years after it was originally sung by Frank Loesser and his wife at the end of a party as a gentle suggestion that their guests should probably get going. The lyrics have caused some controversy (does the female companion want to stay or is she being held against her will?), and this version offers little enlightenment, but by replacing the female part with a choir, Dean gets himself out of some potentially hot water.
A tribute to Phil Spector’s ‘wall of sound,’ according to Elton as well as songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, ‘Step Into Christmas’ has proved to accept at to the lowest degree approximately of the staying ability of the super-producer: it’s been covered past both The Wedding Present and The Puppini Sisters.
There are versions of this vocal past everyone from Bieber to Bublé, merely Michael, as well as the gang’s attempt, is the grooviest as well as the about fun. And since the vocal is mainly used a bargaining tool equally past parents, it does brand feel to accept kids on the mic.
A bit like the ‘Frasier’ theme tune, it’s impossible to listen to this version of ‘O Tannenbaum’ (from the soundtrack to ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’) without doing the classic jazz lean-and-nod. Press play and you’re suddenly more relaxed. This could be a good one to change up the vibe from Christmas lazing to some Christmas love.
Owing to Justin Hawkins and the boys of the Darkness’ kitchen sink approach to festive songwriting, this surprise Number 2 hit song has (somehow) stood the test of time. Really, ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End’) has it all: sleigh bells, singing children, tight-trouser vocals, protracted guitar solos, fundamental changes and penis puns that could make Santa Claus blush. It is, as they say, as camp as Christmas.
In this hip-hop Christmas classic, Run raps about finding Santa’s wallet while DMC lets us in on the traditional festivities in Hollis, Queens. Pop it on during the Christmas Day wind-down when you too feel
The King adds approximately feature swagger to this embrace of the 1948 state original. Spawning enough of tributes of its own, Presley sealed the bargain for ‘Blue Christmas’ – it’s immediately a festive staple.
The godfather of funk gives Father Christmas his marching orders, insisting he caput directly to the ghetto as well as ‘tell ‘em James Brown sent ya.’ It may enhance a smile, as well as there’s something serious at the center of this all-horns-blazing tune: JB wants the kids on the wrong side of the tracks to bask the classify of Christmas he never did.
With an injection of sass and unabashed materialism, Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle turned a cozy old holiday favorite into a bumping R&B Christmas carol for our times. A fine achievement.
100 Greatest Traditional Christmas Songs
- White Christmas (1942, 1947) - Bing Crosby
- The Christmas Song (1946, 1953, 1961) - Nat King Cole
- Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1949, 1957) - Gene Autry
- Sleigh Ride (1950, 1959) - Leroy Anderson
- A Holly Jolly Christmas (1964) - Burl Ives
- The Little Drummer Boy (1958, 1965) - Harry Simeone Chorale
- Do You Hear What I Hear (1963) - Bing Crosby
- There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays (1954) - Perry Como
- Frosty The Snowman (1950) - Gene Autry
- Mistletoe and Holly (1957) - Frank Sinatra
- It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (1963) - Andy Williams
- Santa Baby (1953) - Eartha Kitt
- The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) (1958) - Chipmunks
- Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane) (1948) - Gene Autry
- Mary’s Boy Child (1956) - Harry Belafonte
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (1944) - Judy Garland
- Jolly Old St. Nicholas / The Little Drummer Boy (1962) - Ray Conniff
- Happy Holiday / The Holiday Season (1963) - Andy Williams
- Silent Night (1928, 1935, 1942, 1947) - Bing Crosby
- We Need A Little Christmas (1966) - Percy Faith
- It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas (1986) - Johnny Mathis
- Jingle Bells (1946) - Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters
- It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas (1951) - Bing Crosby
- Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful) (1960) - Nat King Cole
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1947) - Frank Sinatra
- The Star Carol (1958) - Tennessee Ernie Ford
- Blue Christmas (1949) - Ernest Tubb
- Sleigh Ride (1958) - Johnny Mathis
- Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (1945) - Vaughn Monroe
- A Marshmallow World (1966) - Dean Martin
- Christmas Time Is Here (1965) - Vince Guaraldi Trio
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (1952) - Jimmy Boyd
- Happy Holiday (1956) - Jackie Gleason
- Christmas Time’s A-Comin’ (1951) - Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys
- I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1957) - Frank Sinatra
- Silent Night, Holy Night (1941, 1962) - Mahalia Jackson
- Hark, The Herald Angels Sing (1960) - Nat King Cole
- We Wish You A Merry Christmas (1951) - Weavers
- The Twelve Days of Christmas (1962) - Ray Conniff
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1960) - Peggy Lee
- Mele Kalikimaka (1950) - Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters
- All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) (1948) - Spike Jones and his City Slickers
- Winter Wonderland (1958) - Johnny Mathis
- Baby It’s Cold Outside (1959) - Dean Martin
- I Love The Winter Weather/I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (1968) - Tony Bennett
- Caroling, Caroling (1960) - Nat King Cole
- (Everybody’s Waiting For) The Man With The Bag (1950) - Kay Starr
- Zat You, Santa Claus? (1953) - Louis Armstrong
- White Christmas (1954) - Rosemary Clooney
- Must Be Santa (1961) - Mitch Miller & The Gang
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (1957) - Frank Sinatra
- Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey) (1960) - Lou Monte
- Sleigh Ride (1960) - Ella Fitzgerald
- We Wish You The Merriest (1964) - Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby
- Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1959) - Dean Martin
- Jingle Bells (1955) - Singing Dogs
- Up On The Housetop (1953) - Gene Autry
- Winter Wonderland (1968) - Tony Bennett
- Nuttin’ For Christmas (1955) - Barry Gordon with Art Mooney and his Orchestra
- Christmas Island (1946) - Andrews Sisters
- O Tannenbaum (1965) - Vince Guaraldi Trio
- Joy to the World (1960) - Nat King Cole
- Donde Esta Santa Claus (Where Is Santa Claus) (1958) - Augie Rios
- Toyland (1964) - Doris Day
- Sleep In Heavenly Peace (Silent Night) (1967) - Barbra Streisand
- God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (1967) - Ella Fitzgerald
- It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (1986) - Johnny Mathis
- ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (1942, 1950) - Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians
- It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas (1951) - Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters
- I Want A Hippopatamus For Christmas (1953) - Gayla Peavy
- Silver Bells (1950) - Bing Crosby & Carol Richards
- Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) - Burl Ives
- The Night Before Christmas Song (1952) - Gene Autry & Rosemary Clooney
- Christmas Waltz (1954) - Frank Sinatra
- There’s No Christmas Like A Home Christmas (1950, 1968) - Perry Como
- Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy (1965) - Buck Owens
- Deck The Halls (1960) - Nat King Cole
- Sleigh Ride (1949, 1959) - Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops
- The Twelve Gifts of Christmas (1963) - Allan Sherman
- Frosty The Snowman (1950, 1969) - Jimmy Durante
- Baby It’s Cold Outside (1949) - Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1959) - Ray Conniff
- Christmas Carols by the Old Corral (1945) - Tex Ritter
- Christmas In New Orleans (1955) - Louis Armstrong
- Joy to the World (1954, 1959) - Percy Faith
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1960) - Ella Fitzgerald
- Jingle Bells (1957) - Frank Sinatra
- Go Tell It On The Mountain (1950) - Mahalia Jackson
- O Come All Ye Faithful (1967) - Jim Nabors
- Will Santy Come To Shanty Town (1953) - Eddy Arnold
- Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow (1959) - Dean Martin
- When My Heart Finds Christmas (1993) - Harry Connick, Jr.
- Silver Bells (1966) - Earl Grant
- O Holy Night (1968) - Mahalia Jackson
- Here We Come A-Caroling (1965) - Ray Conniff
- Christmas Is (1966) - Percy Faith
- Kay Thompson’s Jingle Bells (1963) - Andy Williams
- Happy Holiday (1942) - Bing Crosby
- An Old Christmas Card (1963) - Jim Reeves
- Snowfall (1968) - Tony Bennett
Source: 100 Greatest Traditional Christmas Songs