This week, I’m going to share my top five favorite classic Christmas songs. Now, what I’m defining as “classic” songs here are (a). Christmas songs that don’t qualify as carols and (b). Christmas songs too “old” to be modern but have been covered many times over the years. So let the festive countdown begin!
(Just a side note: I included links to complete versions of these songs, so the links were good as of the time and day I originally posted this. Should they expire some time in the future, I apologize in advance and ask that you do not blame me. I did not break the Internet.)
Sci-fi Fantasy Lit Chick’s Top Five Favorite Classic Christmas Songs:
Honorable Mention: “A Marshmallow World.” This track has been redone times before but probably the version everyone is most familiar with is Dean Martin’s (though the version I own is sung by a woman on some random Christmas Lounge album). I’m not really sure why I like this song but I think it’s because it just isn’t that well-known. (Though thanks to a series of Christmas ads by Target, it just might ring a few more bells during the holiday season of 2014.) Lyrically, it’s cute but avoids being kiddie or cloying. Plus, it’s a fun metaphor to compare snowy weather to marshmallow fluff (as opposed to blankets, the standard go-to metaphor), so kudos to the original writers’ creativity for that.
5. “This Christmas”
I first heard this song during a Christmas episode of “The Bernie Mac Show” (RIP Mac Man!) and I loved its Motown vibe as well as Donny Hathaway’s impeccable vocals. Most people probably don’t connect this style of music with Christmas (as opposed to a more traditional big band sound) but “This Christmas” melds some of the best memory-making moments of the season with a classic R&B sound that is sure to please.
4. “Jingle Bells”
I confess that “Jingle Bells” isn’t one of my favorite Christmas songs…that is until I heard a jazzy, bebop cover by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. (Actually, this version is played briefly over a scene in A Christmas Story, which is where I first heard it many, many years ago.) Normally, this song annoys me but I do make a special exception for it if it’s done right – and Crosby and Co. do it right.
3. “Santa Baby.”
This song seems to follow me around every Christmas. It must like me for some reason. Madonna and Kylie Minogue have remade this song but, to be fair, nobody beats Eartha Kitt. (She was Catwoman after all!) Almost every other female artist tries to add more sex to the equation but this isn’t supposed to be a sexy song. In fact, I think it’s downright hilarious in a good way. The singer, who is clearly a grown woman, is still asking Santa for gifts but not the normal kind. Nope, this chick wants bling from Tiffany & Co., a car, and a platinum mine. You know, the usual stuff. Granted, Kitt’s vocals make this song sound sultry but it’s not littered with innuendo. Every time I hear it, it puts a smile on my face.
2. “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”
This song is every snow-hater’s worst nightmare, not to mention it’s the last words they want to hear. But for those of us (like myself) who adore the white stuff, I say…
This classic Christmas song is just fun to listen to and, yes, makes a perfect mantra for anyone who wants a truly white Christmas.
And speaking of which…
1. “White Christmas.”
As a die-hard snow-lover, it would be a crime for me to not include this as my top favorite classic Christmas song. “White Christmas” was originally performed by Bing Crosby but it’s been remade over the years and, thus far, I haven’t come across any version I openly hate. Normally, I don’t care for holiday songs with slow melodies but this mellowness fits “White Christmas” just fine, almost as if the music itself represents snow falling slowly from the clouds. Lyrically, it brings to mind the fun things about the holidays that makes you feel all warm and cozy. Put it all together and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect Christmas classic.