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.
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.