Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Christmas songs ever

 Merry Christmas.

Most of the Christmas songs playing now have been written very recently, say in the last 25 years.  The really good ones, though, are old.  And the best one is REALLY old.  These are my favorites at this time of year:

5.  Jingle Bell Rock.  This little ditty was pumped out around the infancy of rock and roll by a guy named Bobby Helm in 1957.  It's a catchy tune, and was very popular in its day, and you can't go very long at this time of year without hearing it played. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itcMLwMEeMQ)

4.  Rockin Around The Christmas Tree.  Brenda Lee was only 14 when she recorded this favorite in 1958.  Again, this tune has legs and has been one of the more popular Christmas songs for over 50 years and running. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6xNuUEnh2g)

3.    Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song). Amy Grant has a number of outstanding Christmas songs under her belt, but this one is a jem of jems in the jewelry box of outstanding tunes.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPbV_HTpyx0)

2.  It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year. Andy Williams really hit it out of the park with this one in 1963, although Amy Grant's rendition years later is also a real toe tapper.( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2urlriwjcg)

1.  Messiah by George Frideric Handel, composed over 250 years ago, in 1741.  This one is my favorites owing to a performance I witnessed many years ago on a Christmas Eve, in a little Lutheran church in Manassas, Virginia.  The congregation at the time was perhaps 150, and the choir consisted of a gifted music director with perhaps 15 singers.  When they were done with their performance of Messiah, those perhaps 80 worshippers burst into applause, and there simply wasn't a dry eye in the church, it was done so beautifully.  I've never heard it done as well before or since, not even by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the link below.  It was the closest thing to a miracle I've ever witnessed in my life. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_VARtvgGBY&feature=related)

16 comments:

Silverfiddle said...

I love those as well. Add to in Feliz Navidad, Silver Bells, and no list would be complete without Jingle Bells by the barking dogs.

Fredd said...

Silver:

Jose Feliciano's rendition of Feliz Navidad is most excellent, and probably should have made the list.

And the Barking Dogs doing Jingle Bells also makes a list, but the other one: Worst Christmas songs ever, and it joins Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, and the McKenzie Brothers' '12 Days of Christmas,' remember that one?

Recall Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis in their SNL gig as those two loveable clueless Canuck inebriates, (ay hoser?) singing "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me; a beer.'

And it got worse. Much worse.

Kid said...

Silent Night is what Christmas is about to me.

Z said...

I sang BREATH OF HEAVEN last year at events where I was asked to sing.Beautiful song.

This year, it was WHEN LOVE WAS BORN; WOW, what another gorgeous CHristmas song! YouTube it!


"Starlight shines, the night is still
Shepherds watch from a hill
I close my eyes, see the night
When love was born

Perfect child gently waits
A mother bends to kiss God's face
I close my eyes, see the night
When love was born

Angels fill the midnight sky, they sing
Hallelujah, He is Christ, our King

Emmanuel, Prince of peace
Loves come down for you and me
Heaven's gift, the holy spark
To let the way inside our hearts

Bethlehem, through your small door
Came the hope we've waited for
The world was changed forevermore
When love was born

I close my eyes, see the night
When love was born

[ Mark Schultz Lyrics are found on www.findlyrics.com ]

Friends want me to record that so I may in a few weeks and I'll somehow link it at GeeeZ and BEG you to listen to me :-)


YOu guys LIKE "Feliz Navidad"? Gad, if I ever have to listen to that again.. :-)
It's like the CHipmunks (HELP!)

I love Dean Martin's "Rudolph the..." and Pavarotti's "O Come All Ye Faithful"

Fredd said...

Z:

Yup, Feliz Navidad is a real toe tapper, I like it, and it's easy for a poor guitar player like me to play this ditty on an accoustic guitar and actually sound OK.

And obviously, I am OK with both secular and religious views on Christmas, and am not a Charly Brown type who eschews the commericalism of it all, and wails 'doesn't anyone know the true meaning of Christmas?' I like both. As Andy says, 'it's the most wonderful time of the year.' Although he says it way better....

Fredd said...

Kid:

Since you and I are about the same age, I am guess you remember singing 'Silent Night' in elementary school about this time of year way back when?

Yes, in a PUBLIC school. Do it now, and you get thrown in jail...

Z said...

Fredd, I couldn't agree with you more on secular CHristmas music, it's wonderful!
I was told that a local public elementary school had their PROGRAM last week...they didn't even sing Frosty or Rudoph...
ready?

They sang IMAGINE and LEAN ON ME.

that'll cheer the poor kids up, huh? Our kids don't have joy, they don't have fun....they can't even win a darned game because scores shouldn't be kept lest the losers feel badly. And we're doing nothing to stop it.

ptui

I sound like a Bah, Humbug, but I'm not: MERRY CHRISTMAS, FREDD!

By the way, is that you in the picture? Or a relative?

Kid said...

Fredd, I was a Choir Buy. :)

Hard to believe.

The Conservative Lady said...

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year.

Fredd said...

Z:

First time anyone asked me about that icon, Z. That guy and I share the same last name, but his photo was taken in 1900 when he was 19. That guy is my grandfather Lars, born in 1881 and was a farmer and later a state senator.

He was a handsome devil back in the day, eh? I only remember him as a really old man with a cane when I was 6, and he died at age 80 in 1961.

They Say/We Say said...

When most people pray, the first thing most say is --I need or Please help; BUT the most important thing is forgotten. Praise Him first then pray for His guidance, for He already knows our needs.

Merry Christmas

WomanHonorThyself said...

love the tunes Fredd! HAPPY HOLIDAY mornin to ya..blessings and wishes to u always.:)

Z said...

I've always wondered about it and am happy to hear it's your grandfather.....yes, he was definitely a handsome guy!
Thanks for telling me........

sue hanes said...

Fredd - I concur on your choice of the best Christmas songs.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Hi Fredd. Hope your Christmas and New Year were most excellent.

I tend to enjoy the older Christmas tunes, too. However, I must take exception to your bashing of Dave Thomas' and Rick Moranis' version of the 12 days of Christmas. It's very funny; however, I like hearing it on the radio around the 10th of December, and once is sufficient. But when I'm relaxing at home or with family over Christmas, give me the five on your list before any other.

BB-Idaho said...

I guess Christmas is past and gone,
but I'd note one of my favorites,
Silver Bells, originally from the
1951 black and white film Lemon Drop Kid
with Bob Hope and Marylin Maxwell.
Bob had returned from his USO show
in Korea just the year before...