Eight Top Songs for the Holidays

Eight Top Songs for the Holidays

By JP Infortuna, Staff Reporter

Top 8 Christmas songs

            Every artist is different, and Christmas music gives them an opportunity to either create their own new classics or put their own twist on the standards.

 

8) The Christmas Waltz- Frank Sinatra

            Personally, this is my favorite Christmas from Sinatra’s catalogue. From the slow harmonies that start it off, it gradually quickens, giving not only an exceedingly enjoyable performance, but almost paralleling the arc of the holiday season itself.

7) Peace on Earth- David Bowie, Bing Crosby

            So, what happens when two of the most important recording artists of all time get together and blend the voice that defied the greatest generation (more on that later) and a British baby boomer who redefined how music is preformed and altered the face of the industry, CHRISTMAS MAGIC. Once you make it through the cheesy banter at the opening of the track, Bowie and Crosby deliver an astounding union of musical evolution, bouncing in and out of different decades it seems, moving from harmony to harmony with the grace and style of seasoned professionals.

6) This Christmas- Donny Hathaway

            Easily one of the best vocalists of all time, Hathaway gives us a groovy Christmas classic, that has been covered and covered. The more you listen to this song, the more layers you hear, from the subtle strings to the bells in the background. It is a superb vocal performance on the part of Hathaway. Also, worth noting is the Whispers song, “A Song for Donny,” set to the same tune, but paying tribute to the late Hathaway, not giving us endless holiday instruction.

5) Do They Know Its Christmas- Band Aid

            This has to be on the list, cause its every major musician of the 80’s, a Beatle, and its for a spectacular cause. Coming as a rousing call to action in a decade of greed, Band Aid reminded us of what the holidays are all about. Following the trend of the day of an excessive super group of celebrity, this far and above the best example of celebrity action through song.

4) Santa Claus Is Back in Town- Elvis Presley

            If you needed the Last name of the King to known who were referring to, then you need to study your music history a lot more. Many will point to “Blue Christmas” as Elvis’s great contribution to Christmas, and unfortunately, many of his other hoppin’ holiday jams go unloved. This perfectly captures Elvis’s style and uses his voice far more effectively than most Christmas songs can. This is sure to be the most rockin’ number on this list, and if your foot ain’t tappin’, have your pulse checked. 

3) The Christmas Song- Nat “King” Cole

            No list is complete without this magnum opus. Arguable Nat’s most recognizable number these days, it has come to be synonymous with not only him, but with egg nog, ornaments, and all the trappings of the season. The Da-Dum at the beginning is one of the most effective and recognizable openings in music history. Serving to even further demonstrate a subtle Les Paul like smooth guitar, showing an early incarnation of the plugged-in machine that would dominate music for decades to come. It’s a beautifully intimate song to underscore the loving air of the month.

2) Happy Christmas/ War is Over- John Lennon

            Need we say more than John Lennon, the Harlem Boys’ Choir, and protest. NO. But I will, this is just a fantastic arrangement. Carrying some of a dramatic feeling with it in an almost carol of the bells tradition, the former Beatle treats us to a feast for the ears. The boys’ choir reminds us of the innocence of Christmas, and also the cost of war. If I couldn’t hear Yoko in it, it would probably be number 1.

1)     White Christmas- Bing Crosby

Originally written for the movie Holiday Inn (WATCH IT), by Irving Berlin, this is the best selling single in history. Not just Christmas single, best selling song ever, and had a chart run that rivals Dark Side of the Moon. It came to represent the homesick G.I.’s fighting in Europe, and with them a generation of strife and of hope.

 


JP Infortuna can be reached at [email protected]