I’m a big fan of all Christmas music. It’s a wonderful source of childhood memories.
There are dozens of songs to pick from. I’m listing only a few examples.
The kid in me loves Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, Sleigh Ride, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To TownLet it Snow! Let it Snow! etc.
I also like the traditional songs, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, I’ll be Home for Christmas, Winter Wonderland-Silver Bells, Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire), Christmas Waltz, Home for the Holidays etc.
There are the religious ones. Ave Maria, O Holy Night, Christ is Born, Silent Night, Hark! The Herald Angels Singing, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, The Wexford Carole, Don Oíche úd I mBeithil - To That Night In Bethlehem etc.
What is your favorite type of Christmas Song (Childrens, Traditional, Religious)?
Please Name your favorite song, in the three styles.
I like them all, and traditional onces can be really fun, but the religious ones move me the most – especially Christmas hymns like “Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming” or “Once In Royal David’s City” – songs you don’t hear on the radio.
Nearly all of what I do like are traditional and religious, but non-mainstream. I’m capable of liking some nontraditional and some nonreligious though.
a) Allan’s JING rule: Anything that “jings” is awful. From the OP: “Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, Sleigh Ride” … ::barfsmilie::
b) Overplayed non-jingy songs aren’t good either: Please, no more Joy to the World, Silent Night, or First Noel! And if it’s Hark the Herald Angels Sing or We Three Kings or O Holy Night it better be a damn good rendition. Silver Bells, likewise, and can we please give The Holly and the Ivy a rest for a while?
Here’s my idea of a good rotation: Ave Maria (Schubert); Gesu Bambino; the Coventry Carol; For Unto Us a Son is Given; Lo How a Rose e’er Blooming; I’ll Be Home for Christmas; I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day; I Wonder as I Wander; Good Christian Men, Rejoice; There’s a Song in the Air; Estampie Natalis; The Cherry Tree Carol; Carol of the Bells; A Star in the East; Patapan; The Wassail Song; Masters in This Hall; O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Angels We Have Heard on High; In the Bleak Midwinter; Kyrie Eleison; Jubilate Deo; Adeste Fidelis; The Gifts they Gave; Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.
Except don’t rotate them. After the last one, dip the dipper in the songbucket for another set loosely similar and play those. Don’t keep playing the same damn songs all the time.
Really nice choral arrangements and/or great solo voices count for a lot.
Living in a summery place makes a lot of the snow themed songs hard to reconcile, and I am not one for the whole Jesus thing, but I do like modern twists on traditional carols, like Carol of the Bells and Little Drummer Boy. They just sound pretty and evocative.
Most of my favorites are the children’s ones, I think. Mostly because my favorite Christmas songs are the ones Phil Spector produced versions of for his album (Sleigh Ride, Frosty, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus). Though I’m not sure where my favorite of all time, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) should be classified…
I prefer a mix of religious and modern. Pretty much evently split, actually.
Carol of The Bells
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Come All Ye Faithful
We Three Kings
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
All I Want For Christmas Is You
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
Mary Did You Know
Santa, I’m Right Here…
I like Bob Dylan’s version of Must Be Santa. Wikipedia says it was written by Mitch Miller–who passed on last summer. And that Bob uses Brave Combo’s polka-style arrangement! Hearsome samples from the* first* Christmas album by that great group from Denton, Texas.
So I can enjoy silly, childish Christmas tunes. Plus the Old Favorites. And religious ones going back the Middle Ages. Only in good versions, that is!
I like to have a mixture of styles, myself, though I do tend to steer clear of the overplayed favorites of the season unless it’s a unique/creative arrangement.
On the sacred side, Handel’s Messiah is an annual tradition around here (not least of which because I am part of a chorale that performs it).
My absolute favorite sacred piece (and IMO one of the most gorgeous settings of music ever, for anything) is an acapella choral arrangement by Morten Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium
Leaning towards the more secular side of things, I generally prefer the jazzy loungey arrangements you hear in cheesy romance movies that take place during the holidays. Jazz just makes me feel good in general.
IMHO, most Christmas songs are designed to be put away with the lights or dragged to the curb with the tree sometime in January. FoNY isn’t a Christmas song so much because it is awesome 365 days a year, and maybe gets extra relevance around this time.