So folks, upon reading about my ire and distaste for one particularly noxious Christmas song in particular, as denoted here, have asked me about my choices for holiday songs that I enjoy listening to.
So who am I to argue? Here’s a list!
- Silent Night – a beautiful song, the simpler the rendering, the better. Trans Siberian Orchestra’s solo acoustic guitar version from “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” is almost perfect.
- California Guitar Trio – Their entire “10 Christmas Songs” album, particularly Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring
- Bela Fleck and the Flecktones with the Alash Ensemble – Jingle Bells (get to about 1:15 in this video and be amazed at Tuvan Throat Singing at its finest).
- Victor Wooten – The Christmas Song
- The Pogues – Fairy Tale of New York
- The Pretenders – 2000 Miles
- Vince Guaraldi Trio – The Entire “A Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack, but especially including Christmas Time is Here – this entire CD gets me in the mood for the season, but the song itself is just sheer perfection. Steve Vai does a lovely version of it on Merry Axemas Volume 1.
- Trans Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve/Sarajevo – When I heard the original Savatage version, I realized that Christmas music could rock beyond what Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp could do…
- Jonatha Brookes with Kevin Gilbert – O Come, Emmanuel – chilling, dark, yet hopeful. Yes that’s a helicopter blade you hear cycling in the background. A commentary on the militarization of the holy lands.
- Skydiggers – Good King Wenceslas – a simple version of a wonderful hymn, I just love the Skydiggers’ harmonies and voices working together!
- Christmas with John Denver and the Muppets – The entire album, especially It’s in Every One of Us
- Greg Lake/Emerson Lake and Palmer – I Believe in Father Christmas (I can’t believe I forgot this one! Thanks to Steve K!)
- Jethro Tull – Ring Out Solstice Bells – A little something for the pagan in all of us!
So there’s a good start of ten songs that I will actually stop, sit and listen to when they come on the radio…yeah right – Tuvan throat singing, solo bass and dark versions of religious music on the radio – as if! This list is by far not complete, but gives you a good start of holiday music that puts me in the spirit…
Not to mention, of course, a little holiday CD put out by Balderdash and Humbug in 2008!
And that’s probably the last I’ll write about Christmas music – for this year at least! Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, a Blessed Solstice, Happy New Year and…most of all…Soylent Green is People!