Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Favorite Christmas Music, Part One!

Christmas music! It is, and always has been, one of my favorite things about the season.

Can you imagine Christmas without the iconic songs and carols, both sacred and secular, that fill the air during this time of year?

I do have a small caveat, though.

Too much, too soon?

I admit I enjoy the radio stations that play nothing but Christmas music from Thanksgiving on. MOST of the time. But to quote from a post I wrote a couple of years ago ("Say NO to inferior Christmas music!":
Yes, I love hearing some of those songs over and over. Bing Crosby crooning “White Christmas” will never get old. Most versions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” are decent; many are excellent…same with “The Christmas Song,” AKA “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” although Mel Torme’s is undoubtedly the best.

But if you’re not Karen Carpenter, don’t even try to sing “Merry Christmas, Darling.” I heard some un-named chanteuse try to do it justice the other day, and not only did it fall pitifully short of the mark, it was actually PITCHY in places!

And trust me, I will be perfectly happy if I never hear another version of the smarmy “Baby, It’s Cold Outside." It’s always been annoyingly cheesey, but I think Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson’s version took it to new lows.

As for Madonna squeaking and mincing her highly annoying, cringe-inducing, faux Betty-Boop way through “Santa Baby”…well, please just shoot me now.

We all have our favorites

Much as I support radio, I'd rather listen to my favorite Christmas CD's. I'll talk about my personal favorites in a later post, but I thought I'd poll my Facebook friends, and got some interesting answers--so many, in fact, that I'm going to have do post a sequel tomorrow!

Andrea Whitehead: Anything TSO (Trans Siberian Orchestra)

Cindy Long: Relient K "Let It Snow, Baby...Let It Reindeer" and Mannheim Steamroller

Katrina Johns: Muppets Christmas with John Denver...seriously

Stephanie Knigge: Oak Ridge Boys Christmas-- it reminds me of growing up

Tammy Johnson Poulisse: Nat King Cole - Christmas. His voice is so smooth and soothing to me. I close my eyes and feel his brilliant interpretation of words.....

Beverly Garrett Nickson: Kenny and Dolly. Brings back wonderful memories.

Aaron D. Wolf: The Johnny Cash Family Christmas. It's worth it just to hear J.R., June, Mama Maybelle, Carl Perkins and others sitting around talking about Christmas.

Tabitha Brown Pitney: Bing Crosby and Perry Como, because they take me right back to my childhood Chirstmases...back when Christmas came to me and I didn't have to do anything but write a letter to Santa, color in Christmas coloring books, eat bowls of snow and cookies, while watching Rudolph on t.v., shake my gifts to try to guess what they were and then of course open presents on the big day!!

Lisa Garrett Walther: Mariah Carey, Harry Connick, Jr. Two good new ones, Kristen Chenoweth and (even though I don't like the show) last year's Glee Christmas album is really good. It has the prettiest arrangement of "O Holy Night" I have literally ever heard.

Nicole Marshall Barnard: Harry Connick, jr. when my heart finds Christmas... his voice is incredible and I love his style of big band music

Patricia Hunter: JOY - An Irish Christmas with Keith and Kristyn Getty - I love their music in general, and Christmas music with their celtic flavor is perfectly lovely.

Chuck Sweeny: One of the Firestone or Goodyear compilations my dad got every year at his gas station. Those old albums bring back memories of Christmases long ago. I play them every year. Yes, I'm old enough to still have a turntable and a record collection.

Kathy Bigbee Wingo: I always get out my James Taylor Christmas CD first and play it the most. It has sacred, secular and lots of different music styles. Great instrumentation and ~ as always ~ a great voice.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post for the rest of my Facebook friends' Christmas music recommendations!

Meantime, I'd love to hear your faves in the comments section!


lawyerdoll said...

I know exactly what you mean! It's so difficult to listen to inferior versions of well-loved songs.

My "guilty pleasure" is "All I Want For Christmas"... even though I don;t normally like Mariah Carey. But the song itself fits so perfectly with how I feel about Christmas with my Hubby

Teresa Lester said...

I have so many to list. From Garth Brooks there is the "Nightinggale" song. This chokes me up everytime I hear it because it used to make my mom cry every year at Chriatmas. I love Barbra Streisand's "Jingle Bells" rendition because it takes me back to a borrowed christmas album and college away from home. When we were small, my dad used to sing "Wait for the wagon" (I was too little to care who sang it) but it meant Christmas to him so I looked forward to hearing him sing it some time during the holiday. When I worked at Kmart a hundred years ago, the piped in music played the standards all day but occassionally they would pop in a song I never heard..something about "close your eyes and listen to the skies. All is calm all is well, soon you'll hear Chris Kringle and the jingle bells". I am a sucker for Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby and Harry Connick, Collin Raye, Charlotte Church and Randy Travis Christmas albums. I think I'd have to start my own blog on the subject because I could go on and on about the music I love. Let me last say that the spiritual song that shakes my core has been" It came upon a midnight clear". I was a young girl when we went to see the Christmas play at our old Berean Church. It was the closing song that night and I was greatly moved by the sight of dozens of kids in white robes and tinfoil halos singing this and when the audience was asked to join in, to me it sounded like what I imagined heaven sounds like.

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