I thought there’d be some sort of thread for this already, but since there isn’t (at least not an active one), I’m going to count down mine this week, intending to finish up on Christmas Day. Feel free to add your own, or tell me how wrong I am.
First up, Perry Como’s “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” at #25. Bing Crosby released a fine version around the same time, and Michael Buble did a nice recent update as well; but I just love the weird little laugh Como lets out from 1:21-1:25, so that sealed the deal.
My #24 is from Frank Sinatra, whose 100th birthday was celebrated last week. Here he croons “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. Ol’ Blue Eyes famously asked to have the “muddle through somehow” lyrics changed to make them less gloomy, which is how we got the alternate version “hang a shining star up on the highest bough”.
My #23 song is Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, which managed to seem to me as a kid, even decades after it was released, at least mildly transgressive for its genre. It’s now nearly six decades old, recorded when Lee was only 13 years old; but it still has an edgy sound IMO. Those swingin’ sax riffs are hot!
Also “rockin’” the holiday season a year earlier than Lee (in 1957) is “Jingle Bell Rock” from Bobby Helms, coming in at #22 on my countdown. It’s not as saucy as Lee’s song, but still has a nice groove to it that I’ve never tired of. I think the song really hits its stride and earns its spot on my list about halfway through, at the 55 second mark.
The first four holiday songs in my countdown were all recorded in the 1950s (three of them in '57 or '58), so of course this one, #21 and my last for tonight, is from…1981. The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” may not feature virtuosic crooning, but it’s funny and just plain cool.