Top Twelve Holiday Songs

By Joe Miller | December 15, 2016

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Here are my top twelve holiday songs. (It would have been thirteen with the Mr. Grinch song.) They’re good, they’re bad. They’re mine. And all of them mean something to me. If you like, share some of yours! I’ll start slow and cool:

1. Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt

Ya’ll don’t know nothing bout this… a sable under the tree. It’s not so much the song as her singing of the song.

2. What are You Doing New Year’s Eve, Ella Fitzgerald

Anything by Ella, but this one creates a special kind of joyful, tearful ache.

3. The Christmas Song, Mel Tormé

The classic version, unless you’re a Nat King Cole fan, which I am. Take your pick.

4. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Ella Fitzgerald

Again, anything by Ella. This one really swings.

5. A tie — Father Christmas, The Kinks / The Season’s Upon Us, Dropkick Murphys (some adult content!)

A couple of unaffected, punkish, working class Christmas songs. It’s why I love them!

6. So This is Christmas, John Lennon

Wish he was here to write a song for these times. So what have you done?

7. Christmas Time is Here, Vince Guaraldi

The whole soundtrack is a favorite, but this one is the signal that the Charlie Brown special was beginning.

8. Please Come Home for Christmas, Charles Brown

The original. I know the Eagles version is great and so is Aaron Neville’s… but I like the original.

9. 2000 Miles, The Pretenders

Just listen to it. It’s a great song, for any season. Every year it causes me to shed a few tears, and I’m not sure why.

10. Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming (Es Ist Ein Ros Ensprungen), Kathleen Battle with Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestra of St. Lukes

Gotta have at least one traditional holiday song from my youth. This one was a favorite of my German-born grandparents.

11. Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (Silent Night, Holy Night), Father Joseph Mohr and Franz Xavier Gruber

My Mother’s all time favorite. My family still sings it, in German, on Christmas Eve in her memory.

12. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Harry Belafonte

Peace on earth. Good will to men. We could take these concepts more seriously.

There you have it. I dare you to make a better holiday song list. I wish all of you peace in every facet of your lives.

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Joe Miller

Joe delivers copy, generates concepts, and helps determine strategy. He’s been doing it since 1991 when he started working with a small downtown Cleveland marketing firm. Joe joined the designRoom team as a freelance writer in 1993. He has an annoying knack for finding the core of a problem and the heart of a solution. He also makes the best coffee in the office. In early 2008 he joined the Marketing & Communications team at the Ohio Lottery. While there, Joe led the team that developed and implemented the Lottery’s first-ever social media initiative and crafted the Ohio Policy and Procedures and Terms of Use that guided all the Lottery’s social media involvement. In addition, he created a Winners are Everywhere campaign and managed the creative agency responsible for its implementation. Joe is also a professional musician and educator and occasional composer. He’s the Jazz Trumpet faculty and Jazz Combo conductor at Cleveland State University and has performed all over the world.

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