Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Songs

Not long ago I heard somewhere that Last Christmas by Wham! is the UK’s most popular Christmas song. Well, they should really call it a Christmas anthem, not a song, as it proves the point I was making a few days ago when I wrote about Music and Lyrics and cheesy 1980s pop songs. Today I sorted out this year’s Christmas compilation, a conglomerate of over one hundred jazzy pieces, classic carols, country versions, lounge remixes and, yes, cheesy ones as well.

Naturally, I’ve got Last Christmas too which, together with Hilary Duff’s (no less) Jingle Bells Rock, is one of those favourites that always prompts my own renditions belted out as soon as iTunes transmits the first two notes. For a while, Victoria used to walk up to me wagging her tail every time Jingle Bells Rock started; now she stares in disbelief as I persist to broadcast it in a loop, sometimes as many as twenty times an hour.

Of course iTunes has made the scouring for songs (Christmas or otherwise, if truth be told) as easy as getting a parking ticket; type in Winter Wonderland and 150 versions will fill up your screen ready to be tried and tested before you buy. I haven’t got all 150 versions but I have nine, for this is one of my favourite songs, as is Please Come Home For Christmas, which even Bon Jovi recorded many years ago, when Cindy Crawford was still a model and not the semi-retired mum she plays at these days.

I am also big on Blue Christmas (four versions), which for a time I referred to as my favourite Christmas song, and Let It Snow! (five versions) which always makes me think of New York in the middle of 2003’s blizzard, even thought that came in February. Above and beyond the classics that every Christmas compilation should include (by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra), you must get:

Michael Bublé Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow from the mini-album of the same name which also includes one of the most under-rated Christmas songs of all times, Grown-up Christmas List;

Kenny G’s Miracles: The Holiday Album and Wishes: A Holiday Album, fabulous jazzy songs from the guy who makes his sax sing, very grown-up Christmas music especially good for dinner parties (if you've got the space and stamina for those);

John Williams’s Home Alone Soundtrack, which includes the superb Somewhere In My Memory (you should also get the version in Sally Harmon’s A Cozy Christmas of course);

Putumayo New Orleans Christmas, the ultimate Christmas album from the Big Easy, it’ll make you wanna move there; and

Oh Holy Night which, no matter who sings it, is always an emotional affair.
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