Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Songs Everyone Needs to Hear...

Ok, I admit it. I'm a Christmas goober. I love this season! Pretty much everything about it. (well, not so much the materialistic arms-race approach to buying & gatherings that so seem to have...but that's not what this post is about) I love the decorations: wreaths, lights, stockings, mistletoe, candles, Christmas trees...all of it. I love the family aspects in particular; as I write, James is about to head home from Oxford for a long (& well-deserved!) Christmas break. I can't wait! Anne & I will soon have a lunch @ either Red Lobster, Suwanna's, Rio Grande, or Crescent City Grill. Can't wait for that either! I love the friend aspects; catching up w/ former students over coffee, lunch w/ buddies,...And I hope it's obvious to my regular reader (smile) that I love the faith aspects. Watch this space for more on that.

But as I was just doing a bit of cleaning, I was listening to a very nice jazz guitar Christmas CD (Larry Carlton - Christmas at My House...highly recommended for chilled out Christmas music lovers...). In fact, I've been keeping the ipod hopping w/ Christmas music this week. This got me pondering my favorite Christmas music. Here goes...


Bethlehem Morning - The version I have is by Sandi Patti. This one makes, um, my allergies act up *sheepish grin* 100% of the time. This one makes me wish I had been sitting next to the author when he woke up that one morning in Israel & looked @ the sunrise over Bethlehem...

The Way He Came (Truth) - My allergies seem to act up frequently in this one too..."Just to think such royalty would come the way He came...no crowds, no throngs, no big parades..."

Christmas is All in the Heart (Steven Curtis Chapman) - ditto the allergies thing. Remembers Christmases past when he was a "little blond-headed dreamer", and carries that on to "Now I've my own little blond-headed dreamers..." Throat-filling material for me

Merry Christmas With Love (Sandi Patti) - Now this one is guaranteed to cause severe hay fever attacks...Christmas through the eyes of a senior adult lady who is alone at Christmas until her friends come caroling at her door. (dang...just writing that brought on an allergic reaction...)

I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm & Baby, It's Cold Outside - The one I have is Dean Martin singing; the CD is "Christmas w/ the Rat Pack;" the whole CD is great!

White Christmas (Bing Crosby, of course) - The biggest selling song (not just Christmas song btw) of all time, with good reason. Although, I've always said that it was written by someone who had never lived in snow...*smile* Snow's pretty & a lot of fun for about a half-hour; the rest of the time, it's a hassle. Still though, I do love this song.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Chick Corea's Elektric Band) - A smokin'-hot fusion jazz version that is awesome.

Little Drummer Boy (Whiteheart) - A very nice hard rock-ish take on this song.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel - by anybody; the versions I listen to the most are those by Margaret Becker or by Selah. Slow & soulful, as this song was meant to be sung.

Carol of the Bells (David Benoit) - a very nice jazz piano rendition of this one. Aside: I also like Steven Curtis Chapman's fast acoustic guitar rendition.

Joseph's Lullaby (Mercy Me) - interesting idea to examine the most unexamined character in the Christmas story.

The Christmas Song (Nat King Cole) - great performance by one of the great singers

Silver Bells (Dean Martin)

I'll Be Home for Christmas (Frank Sinatra) - possibly the saddest Christmas song; I remember that 1st Christmas when a job kept me in Tuscaloosa all by my lonesome. This song clicked pretty good w/ me that time...

O Come, All Ye Faithful - the version I love is done by 3 ladies on a hammered dulcimer, a harp, and a flute. The result is great!

Once Upon a Christmas (Selah, with Dolly Parton) - this is a song Dolly wrote, and she sits in w/ Selah. Love it!

Every Valley Shall Be Exalted - The version I love is the jumpin' funk version by Larnelle Harris, one of the great singers around. It's on "Handel's New Young Messiah" and gets heavy airplay @ casa beach bum.

Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs - again, Handel's New Young Messiah. This one is sung by Steve Green, Larnelle Harris, and Michael English. With those three teaming up, it is incredible.

(Note: the previous two Handel songs are not necessarily Christmas songs, but that's when they get played the most.)

Diana Krall's Christmas CD
Christmas w/ the Rat Pack
Nat King Cole's Christmas CD
Steven Curtis Chapman's Christmas CD
Young Messiah
Soulful Messiah
Sandi Patti's Christmas CD
Larry Carlton - Christmas at My House (aforementioned jazz guitar...very pleasant!)

There are others, but that's a good start at pondering some Christmas songs & albums everyone needs to hear. (My ipod has something like 350 Christmas songs on it...a sure signal of Christmas goober-hood!)

What are you listening to this season?


Anonymous said...

I like all the ones you mentioned. My personal all time favorite is Oh Holy Night. Then, O Come O Come Emmanuel, and Little Drummer Boy...but our choir did a song called 'He Made a Way in A Manger' and it was incredible. I moved it up the list.

Anonymous said...

Mike- I can't believe you left out "Christmas in Hollis" by Run DMC, no Christmas song list is complete without it

Jay Gemes