I've been listening to holiday music pretty much nonstop all week at work (last week as well). Today, instead of the usual Pandora Holiday Jazz or Bing Crosby stations, I created a grooveshark list with the top songs that I love to hear at Christmas time.
1. Silent Night, Simon and Garfunkle
A gorgeous rendition, with the reading of the seven o'clock news read in the background. The juxtaposition of the depressing, violent news with a song of love and peace makes me tear up.
2. The Nutcracker Suite, Tchaikovsky
Thanks to a father with a very particular taste in music, I was exposed to classical at an early age. I loved, loved, LOVED the Nutcracker ballet, and still do. The music is so familiar, its like an old friend you see once a year.
3. Santa Clause is Coming to Town, Bruce Springsteen
I sang a pretty cool version of this in high school choir (with lots of bops and doo-das) but Bruce's is by far better. I love recordings of live concerts, and that's what this one is from. The opening is the best, when he starts asking his band if they have been good little boys and girls this year, so Santa will bring them a new saxophone.
(yes, I did just need to spell check saxophone. don't judge)
4. Frosty the Snowman, The Roches
I was likely the only 5-year-old in kindergarten who even knew the Roches, but they were my favorite band at the ripe old age of 5 and 6, and were second in my musical heart to only the original Broadway cast soundtrack of Cats. The Roches hail from Park Ridge, NJ, and thus like to sing in a Jersey accent every so often, like in their version of Frosty.
5. All I Want for Christmas is You, Mariah Carey
I'm sorry, Dad. You tried to bring me up right, with Bach and Beethoven regularly in my childhood vocabulary. I'm sorry Mom, you tried to lead me down the path of classic rock. And I still ended up loving a Mariah Carey song. Its just so darn upbeat! So darn catchy! So darn heartfelt! She's no sultry songstress, crooning to Santa Baby for sables and diamond rings and deeds to properties. She just wants her love for Christmas. And at the end of the day, isn't that what we all want?
There are more. After all, I didn't even mention Bing or Burl, Frank or Dito. Too many to name, really. But this is a good start.
What are your favorites, friends?