Friday, November 25, 2011

"Feliz Navidad" Friday: Christmas Songs

It's the day after Thanksgiving, which means I can officially start spazzing about Christmas without making everyone mad at me.  So every Friday until after Christmas, I'll be posting about Christmasy things.  If I had my way, I'd probably post about Christmas all the time.  I love Christmas!  I kinda celebrate it all year long, but most people don't appreciate me talking about it/playing Christmas music/singing Christmas songs/watching Christmas movies/decorating/etc. all year long, so I try to control it.  But now, everyone who celebrates Christmas is free to celebrate it openly, so I am, too.  Yes, my friends, it is officially the most wonderful time of the year.

And speaking of "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," I want to point out right now that Andy Williams should be the only one allowed to sing that song.  Ever. 

I feel that way about a lot of Christmas songs.  I have fallen in love with one particular version of a song, and any other version just sounds/feels completely wrong.  And this is problematic because everyone and their mother likes to cover Christmas songs that have already reached perfection.  Andy Williams' "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is the definitive version, yet every year I hear the radio stations playing some other version.  Come on people; you can't improve upon Andy Williams. 

And if you're not Gene Autry, then you should not be recording your own jazzed up version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."  "Frosty the Snowman" is only supposed to be sung by Jimmy Durante.  Judy Garland has to sing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." "White Christmas" belongs to Bing Crosby.  And if I hear any other version besides Burl Ives' "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas," I seriously want to go find the person who recorded the other version and punch him/her in the face.  And that's not very Christmasy, so please don't drive me to that point.

I'm also quite partial to Manheim Steamroller's version of "Deck the Halls."  I'm not sure why, but the upbeat synthesized melody is like audible happiness.  Maybe it's because this version has no annoying lyrics about trolling ancient yuletide carols, or maybe it's just because it reminds me of Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade...I don't know.  All I know is that I really don't like any other version of "Deck the Halls," but there's something about Manheim Steamroller that makes me feel good.

Now, as far as the "Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum-pum Song" (AKA "The Little Drummer Boy") goes, most versions are corny, and some of them make me want to pa-rum-pum-pum-pum-pum my head against a brick wall, but there is one version that's actually quite good.  The Jars of Clay version of "Little Drummer Boy" is the best. 

Now, one of my favorite Christmas carols happens to be "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."  When Casting Crowns came out with their version, which is a little bit different from the traditional carol, I kind of got a little pouty.  But the thing is, the more I listened to it, the more I discovered I kind of liked it (maybe more than the traditional carol, but probably not--the jury is still out).  But then, if you include a good children's ensemble, then almost any Christmas song becomes better.

My absolute favorite Christmas carol is "Joy to the World," (just about any version--Handel wrote the music, so that's why it's awesome) but I also really like "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Angels We Have Heard on High," and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." And recently (as in the past three years or so), I've been obsessed with a song by Todd Agnew called "God With Us."  If you haven't heard it, you need to, so here you go:

"God With Us" comes from an album entitled "Do You See What I See?" which comes from the song, "Do You Hear What I Hear?".  "Do You Hear What I Hear?" is probably one of the most ridiculous songs ever.  Tim Hawkins has a great sketch that explains this ridiculousness:

So, what are your favorite Christmas songs, and what versions do you like the best?  Are there any Christmas songs you don't understand or that you hate?

No comments:

Post a Comment