I’ve got a few posts in the pipeline before the apocalypse ensues, but I’ve been working my behind off and I’ve been sick, so I haven’t blogged much recently. Fear not, Franklets. More substantial posts are on the way. For now, I wanted to help you celebrate Friday and help myself get into the Christmas spirit (it seems I’ve lost it… again) by doing one of the things I love most: recommending music.
(Also, “celebrate” is a term to use loosely.)
This is an actual top 10 list, too. As in… #1 is my most favorite Christmas song. However, that being said, everything from 6-10 is sort of about the same to me.
And one more note: there are literally (literally, I say!) 128 zuperillion* ways to do this list. Classic Christmas, original works, newer artists, older artists, religious themes, etc. I chose a little bit of everything (although you will see that original songs rank high for me).
*I don’t know what this means. I made it up. But it’s big. I’m sure of it.
10. Bob Rivers – “Walkin’ ‘Round in Women’s Underwear”
I like humor. Also, this song used to make me giggle like crazy when I was in elementary school.
9. Elvis Presley – “Blue Christmas”
This is a weird one, as this is quite frankly the only Elvis song that I really like. I blame it on my Christmas job in 11th grade.
8. The Christmas Jug Band – “Santa Lost a Ho”
And speaking of humor. Where’d the other ho go?
7. Straight No Chaser – “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
I like pretty much everything Straight No Chaser does, especially their Christmas stuff. “12 Days of Christmas” and the “Christmas Can Can” are also very good. I chose this one because, if you know me, you know that I love the Grinch (the original, not the Jim Carrey. I’m a Grinch snob like that). I can pretty much recite it by heart.
6. Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, & Nat King Cole – “What Child is This?”
This one makes the cut because 1.) I enjoy Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” album on which this appears; 2.) These are classic performers, and, mostly, 3.) “What Child is This?” is my favorite Christmas hymn. I loves me some Greensleeves.
Bonus: “The Holly & The Ivy” is part of this, too.
5. The Carpenters – “Ave Maria”
While this isn’t a Christmas song per se, it appeared on The Carpenters’ 1978 Christmas album. If you listen to nothing else on this list, listen to this one. I’ve got mad love for Karen Carpenter and she sings the living daylights out of this song. I’m talking… to the point where I can’t even listen to other people sing it. Not even in church (which is why I was thinking about The Carpenters during my friend’s Catholic wedding). Also, I sing this to my dogs at least once a week when no one else is home. Don’t be jealous.
4. Dolly Parton – “Hard Candy Christmas”
I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t even think this song is actually about Christmas, it just uses Christmas for the simile. I listen to it during the holidays anyway, and I love it because I have, for various reasons, managed to slip into a funk every year for the past, oh, five years during this season. And I end up listening to sad Christmas music.
(Although, perhaps not quite to the same extent as my father. Yet.)
3. Vince Guaraldi Trio – “Skating”
The Charlie Brown Christmas album is probably my favorite, start-to-finish. I really like jazz music, and this particular song especially satisfies that interest. Plus you’ve got all of the other classics that appear on it (like “Christmastime is Here”). Good stuff.
2. The Carpenters – “Merry Christmas, Darling”
Karen Carpenter SLAYS ME with this song. This is another one that I attribute to my Christmas job in 11th grade. (Because I hope it’s that and not that I remember my dad telling me that this is what was playing on the radio when he found out his father died.) ::Insert Debbie Downer “wahn-wahn”:: Again, to recap, my favorite Christmas songs aren’t really cheery. Between this and “Ave Maria” … their Christmas album is well worth your money.
1. Wham! – “Last Christmas”
There is a CD that I made myself in December 2002 called, simply, “Merry Christmas, Renee” (it’s the most normal CD title I ever came up with in college, named not because it’s all Christmas songs [it’s not] but because it was just before winter break). This is the first song. That CD stays in my car, and I listen to it all year long, really. Again, not a “happy” song, but alas. It is my favorite. What’s not to love about lyrics like “Crowded room, friends with tired eyes. I’m hiding from you and your soul of ice”? Love. It. Incidentally, I hate every single cover I’ve ever heard of it, with the exception, oddly enough, of Jimmy Eat World’s (also on the CD).
And this video? KILLER. I love the “Merry Christmas and Thank You” at the end of it.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker Suite (The link takes you to “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”). Something not a lot of people know about me? I love ballet. Especially ballet that involves Tchaikovsky.
Cary Brothers – “O Holy Night” — I do like my indie music.
Unfortunately, I can’t find a link to a good version of Cary singing it, so… here’s Josh Groban‘s live version (which I probably don’t have to tell you is freakin’ amazing, like his entire life). And please. Look at that last link. You won’t be sorry. You’ll be entertained. Immensely. Josh Groban is hilarious. “Classical music is tight, yo.”
Okay, so there are my Frank Recommends: Christmas Music picks. What are yours?