With Christmas, oh, y’know, one week away I thought I’d spice things up just a smidge by sharing with y’all some of my favorite holiday songs!
Right! So, seeing as how, like, 90% of my Christmas decorations (including all of my tree ornaments) are Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang, I have to start this list off with the classic “Linus & Lucy”. Only I’m taking a more unusual twist and going with the Bela Fleck & The Flecktones cover. Because it is awesomesauce squared.
Next up, Trans Siberian Orchestra and “Mad Russian’s Christmas,” which is a reworking of some of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker music, including “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” and “Russian Dance.” (As an alternative option I offer Trans Siberian’s Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24)
Keeping with the whole revamped Nutcracker theme, we now jump back to the swinging ’60s and Duke Ellington’s Harlem Nutcracker album. I first heard his “Sugar Rum Cherry” [Sugar Plum Fairy] in college and have forever been cast under its spell. Every time I hear it I picture Don Draper and Joan Holloway and the rest of the Mad Men cast at some swanky office holiday party.
Ah, “Carol of the Bells.” Another timeless holiday song with so many variations and covers. Personally I always go for good ol’ George Winston.
Now. Technically speaking, “Greensleeves” is not a traditional Christmas song. In fact, it is often credited as being written by King Henry VIII as a song for his lover and future queen Anne Boleyn. (The fact that I have loved this tune since childhood and have a slight
obsession adoration for Tudor history is entirely coincidental. Especially considering there’s actually no proof that good ol’ Hen wrote the song. And while one of the things I couldn’t get past on the television show The Tudors was their gross reinterpretation of history, I did get a small kick out of seeing them have Henry play this.)
All of that being said, what gets this little English folk ditty on the list is that it eventually went on to become the tune for “What Child Is This.”
Finally, if I had to pick just one Christmas song that I love beyond all others it would be “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” There’s just something so, I don’t know, hauntingly bittersweet about the song that I simply adore. I am also completely unable to pick a favorite version as I have two that I adore equally. First up, Tori Amos.
Finally, the version Kenny G did on his 1994 holiday album (and no, I am not at all embarrassed to admit the fact that, yes, I do in fact enjoy a little Kenny G every now and then).
Looking at this list I realize that I apparently really, really, really like jazz inspired Christmas music. Huh.
What are some of your favorite Christmas or holiday songs?
Love from the ashes,Lady Lazarus