Thursday, December 15, 2011

Top Five: Christmas Songs for 2011

Every Christmas, I find that there are a handful of songs that I could listen to over and over again. "Dominic the Christmas Donkey" is NEVER one of those songs, but over the years tunes like "Last Christmas", "All I Want for Christmas is You", "Jingle Bell Rock", and "Holly Jolly Christmas" have crossed the list. This year, there are - as always - a few songs that I find I can't get enough of. Some of them are repeats from previous years, others are new to the addiction list this year. I thought that this year I would share my favorite Christmas songs of the season with you.

Danielle's Top 5 Christmas Songs for 2011

"White Christmas" - The Drifters: AAAAAAAH!!! That might be something that comes to mind for a lot of you when you hear this song. Why? Because it was made famous in the original "Home Alone" film, and ended with Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) smacking aftershave on his face and screaming into the mirror. With all the versions of "White Christmas" that are out there, this has always been one that every year gets me dancing around while I put up the Christmas ornaments.

"Believe" - Josh Groban: Confession - I am infatuated with Josh Groban's voice. There. I said it. Don't you feel better knowing that I have openly put that out there? I do. Phew! Anyways... this song found during the end credits of The Polar Express is a beautiful, beautiful one - especially during the Christmas season when there is so much to turn our hearts towards and believe in. The spirit of the season can arguably be summed up when one listens to the lyrics of this song closely, "You've got everything you need if you just believe..." (OK... so really that's applicable at MORE than Christmas... but still...)

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" - Barenaked Ladies ft. Sarah McLachlan: I'm not sure if it's true or not, but I heard once that this super fun recording of this song was a fluke. The story that I heard was that BNL and Sarah were hanging out at Christmas time, decided to jam and record it, and this song was the end result. Whether or not that's true - I have no idea. What I do know is that the end result of this collaboration is a fun version of this song that is fantastic for Christmas car driving singing, dancing around the house, and Christmas cookie baking.

"O Holy Night" - Tracy Chapman: This is another song that has a lot of versions out there, and I actually spent a good amount of time in the car the other day debating with myself whether I liked Tracy Chapman's or Josh Groban's version of this song better. I landed on Tracy's version for a couple of reasons. The first is that I feel like her voice is incredibly calming which lends an air of serenity to the song that's appropriate - I think - to the holy birth of a babe in a stable. The second is that I love the simplicity of the guitar in this version. It compliments Tracy's voice perfectly.

"Little Drummer Boy" - Bob Seger: Steve LOVES the "Little Drummer Boy" in just about every version, though his favorite is the one by Jars of Clay. Me? I like the song generally speaking, but my favorite is the version sung by Bob Seger. I think it's a combination of the strong percussion in the song with the rock edge of the overall music with Seger's rough voice that draw me to this song. It FEELS like a song about a drummer to me more than other versions (for example: a choir version doesn't really scream "drummer boy" to me). 

There are lots of other songs out there that I enjoy, but these 5 are ones that will get my hand reaching to turn up the volume on the radio when they come on (if not dancing and singing along). Christmas music is such a huge part of the atmosphere during this time of year that it's tough not to have a few favorites. 

What songs help to get you in the Christmas Spirit? 
What makes you rock around the Christmas Tree or belt a few lines out in the car or shower?

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