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My Top 4 Christmas Songs

red and gold ornaments

It was bound to happen. The massive supersized malls have readied their neverending-repeat Michael Buble Christmas playlist. The ugly Christmas sweaters have been dug out from the Narnian closets. The winter wear that makes you look the Stay Puft ghost from “Ghostbusters” has just been taken out of the dryer. So let’s hitch onto the holiday bandwagon and and get right to this top four list, shall we?

 

4. Burl Ives – Silver and Gold

This song holds a special place in my heart. I remember watching that stop-motion 1964 Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer television special as a kid, and thinking that Sam the Snowman looked way too much like Colonel Sanders. even though the sound would waver between pitches sometimes or the animation would stutter awkwardly, I still watch this film every year. This same tv special, along with “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman”, are the only television specials from the ’60s that’s still played on modern television. Which means somewhere in Canada, there’s a third-generation child that’s watched the same tv special as his grandfather around the exact same time.

And now my head hurts. Let’s move onto the next one before I lose consciousness.

 

3. Mykola Leontovych- Carol of the Bells

Ah, one of the classics! It has this effect on people, an effect which I call: “The Macarena Effect”.  Basically, you don’t know of the lyrics, so you kind of just stumble your way through and try to sound like the instrument (or voice, depending on which version you’re listening to.

Either way, it sounds pretty badass for a Christmas song. It’s a tad repetitive, but that’s what makes the song so addicting. The song sounds like Leontovych (the composer) took the rhythmic motif of a cellphone vibrating, and stuck it into four-part harmony.  Only the addicting tones layering on top of each other sound…well, epic. It’s like a dyslexic kid tried to summon Satan, but he summoned Santa and is dealing with the consequences.

Or maybe I just remember the version that Trans-Siberian Orchestra did instead of the actual version. It’s hard to tell when everyone from Pentatonix (as linked to above to above), ThePianoGuys to Libera. Regardless, the song still sticks to its same repetitive motif, and I wouldn’t want to hear it any other way.

 

2. Mariah Carey- All I Want For Christmas is You

Who doesn’t know the lyrics at this point? This Christmas office party staple sounds just like any other ’90s pop song, excluding the jingle bells and the Christmas-based lyrics. But that “modern’ style of music combined with the warm Christmas feeling makes the song perfect for anyone during the holidays. It differentiated itself from  songs like Bing Crosby’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” or “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer”. Since its release in 1994, it’s been played multiple times and currently holds over ninety million views on Youtube.

 

1. Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

Everything about this song is amazing. And I don’t throw “amazing” around a lot in my vocabulary. The crispness of Nat King Cole’s velvety voice, the occasional static in the background, and the slightly out-of-tune strings section all culminate together to make something quite magical. It brings me back to a time where things were much simpler, and how Christmas hasn’t changed since then (or at least, that’s what I’d like to think). The only other singer who I get this feeling from is from Frank Sinatra’s version, but Nat King Cole’s effortless tone blows Sinatra’s version out of the water.

 

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About John Mendoza (8 Articles)
John is a writer.

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