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Favorite Christmas Song


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My first reaction to favorite Christmas song is "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee (and only Brenda's version). 

I like a lot of Christmas hymns - I couldn't say which is my favorite. A lot depends on how it's performed.  I love Vanessa Williams' jazzy "What Child is This." I love "O Holy Night" mostly when sung by a male; I don't know why.  "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" and "O Come O Come Emmanuel" are so lovely; I do like the ancient hymns. 

We have a Christmas playlist that has a lot of different stuff on it. My husband dislikes jumping from, say, Tom Petty's "Christmas All Over Again" to "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" to "For Unto us a Child is Born" but my daughter and I love it. I think my son just tunes it out.  

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Decades ago, I bought Amy Grant’s first Christmas album on cassette. I played Love Has Come over and over and over. As a favorite, it still holds up. (The song, not the cassette.) 

Hallelujah by Darlene Zschech

Some versions of O Holy Night 

Baby, It’s Cold Outside makes me smile every time. (I know, I know . . . ) 

 

Edited by Hyacinth
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Favorite religious song: O Holy Night

Favorite secular song : Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Favorite contemporary  song: Step Into Christmas

(I LOVE Jackson Browne. Now I have to check out Rebel Jesus - can’t believe I never heard this!)

Edited by Amethyst
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Hard to pick one favorite-I love so many. I love Mary Did you Know, O Holy Night, Christmas in Dixie, Rockin Around the Christmas Tree, Frosty the Snowman, I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus, Walking in a Winter Wonderland, anything by TransSiberian Orchestra, I Hear Christmas, Silent Night.

I could go on and on.

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I love Winter Wonderland and Silver Bells.

Fairytale of New York - the Pogues

Christmas Wrapping - the Waitresses

Christmastime in New Orleans - Bernd Hasel & his Santa Claus Jazzband

A Marshmallow World - Dean Martin (my kids loved this when they were little🙂)

Downton Christmas Suite - Budapest City Orchestra

Christmas Canon - Trans Siberian Orchestra

Jingle Bells - Frank Sinatra version

Last Christmas - Wham (super cheesy & it irritates my dh to no end when I play it 😛)

Any Christmas songs by the Glenn Miller Orchestra

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Ooh, thank you for starting this thread, Gardenmom! One of my annual traditions is to get a new holiday album, and I'm hoping to get some ideas. 
 

I have too many favorites to list, so I’ll just pick a few. 
 

Traditional: In the Bleak Midwinter (Holst setting), O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Modern original religious: Bethlehem by Chicago. (Yes, Chicago! This is always the first song I play to start my holiday music listening binge.) 

Modern original secular: Christmas Can-Can by Straight No Chaser and Elf's Lament by Barenaked Ladies 

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Hymns are mostly my favorites. Difficult to pick favorites.

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Handel's Messiah! 

I also like Manheim Steamroller,  Nat King Cole, George Winston's cd Winter, and the Peanuts' Christmas soundtrack.

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Another vote for traditional hymns.  I think my favorite is Angels We Have Heard On High because it's fun to sing in a group.

Otherwise, I prefer the really good instrumentals, such as those by Mannheim Steamroller & Trans Siberian Orchestra and the Charlie Brown Christmas.

Or maybe Ave Maria?  Yeah, I think it's Ave Maria.

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My favorites to SING: Silent Night and Joy to the World. And I don't think it's just because I know the alto part by heart. They just give me deep satisfaction and joy to sing in harmony with others or in harmony with a recording.

Others that stir deep memories of contentment:

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (the organist in the church I grew up in played this during most every communion. I didn't know it had words until I was an adult because we didn't sing that one).

Still, Still, Still (heard a great choir arrangement of this when I attended my husband's parents' church for Christmas Eve our first married Christmas.

II Est Ne Le Divin Enfant (had to google the spelling on that one! My mom was a great pianist and had a book with Christmas songs from around the world. One year family friends came to visit and their daughter who was a few years older than me and was a great singer sang this as a duet with my mom playing the piano. Just a happy Christmastime memory that comes back when I hear this song)

Feliz Navidad (we have a rocking version on the green GRP Christmas CD. It's a song that will always cheer my disabled dd. And it's fun to dance to.)

Nat King Cole's Christmas album, and Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire in particular (another favorite and calming song for dd).

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O' Holy Night, hands down. I love Martina McBride's version.

 

Every year I get hooked on a different album. Last year it was Kasey Musgrave's album. It's not traditional at all but it was a lot of fun.

Edited by sassenach
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I love the lyrics of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, and We Three Kings. All the verses, on all of those.

For something fun to listen to, I love Bing Crosby's Jingle Bells.

ETA: If anyone knows of a recording of We Three Kings that includes all five verses, I would absolutely LOVE a link so I can buy it. 

Edited by purpleowl
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2 hours ago, purpleowl said:

I love the lyrics of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, and We Three Kings. All the verses, on all of those.

For something fun to listen to, I love Bing Crosby's Jingle Bells.

ETA: If anyone knows of a recording of We Three Kings that includes all five verses, I would absolutely LOVE a link so I can buy it. 

Barenaked Ladies does all five verses on their Barenaked for the Holidays album. That’s another one f my favorites. Link to YouTube video.

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Three that are not so well-known, but are favorites of mine:

To make your heart soar with joy:  John Rutter's The Angels' Carol (from "The John Rutter Christmas Album", which also gets my vote for favorite album).

To make your heart ache with beauty:  Hector Berlioz' The Shepherd's Farewell.  

To give your heart peace:  Pietro Yon's "Gesù Bambino",  performed by Jessye Norman, or this version by Luciano Pavarotti

Edited by Quarter Note
to fix a spelling mistake
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Religious: O Come, O Come Immanuel.

My childhood church had a carol service where we would start the with pitch dark, only the candles lit at the altar and a lone violin playing. It always made me cry. We are an Anglican congregation with a pipe organ so this was unusual, but some priest started this traditional long before I was born and this continues even now. Still has the power to make me cry when few songs do. 

Defines what the season is: Good King Wencesles. 

Favorite Carol Program: Festival of 9 lessons and Carols

Secular Carol/I want to collect ornaments for this: 12 days of Christmas. 

Favorite Live Christmas Music - Trans Siberian Orchestra 

WTF What is this Secular: I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

Try understanding this one in a culture where Santa is an obscure person, the father does not dress up as Santa and it come across like mom is cheating on Dad with Santa. Needless to say moms in my culture were not amused when this one came out ! 

I usually love the old religious Carols which I grew up singing. We used to go caroling, singing by candle light in church and as a family. I love this season so much and much of it is because of Christmas music.

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O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - traditional hymn

No Eye Has Seen/All is Well - Michael W. Smith - I love the way the first song fades into the second one on his Christmas album

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day - Casting Crowns version - the history is phenomenal

 

Edited by TechWife
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Faves to sing:

Oh Rejoice Ye Christians Loudly

Joy to the World

Silent Night

I Heard The Bells (minus the Civil War verses)

Oh Holy Night

From Heaven Above To Earth I Come

(There has to be a Paul Gerhardt in here, but I can’t think of it right now, drat.)

And The Glory Of The Lord (from the Messiah.  I can sing the alto part of this against a whole choir.  Love it so much.)

Angels We Have Heard On High

Oh Jesus So Sweet

Oh Come All Ye Faithful

The First Noel

Beside Thy Cradle Here I Stand

Break Forth Oh Beauteous Heavenly Light

Faves to hear:

For Unto Us A Child Is Born

The Holy City (Jerusalem, Jerusalem)

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I make a Christmas playlist every year. Some are not technically Christmas songs but fit the spirit of the season. My (many!) favorites so far:

Santa Lucia / Valens Solistensemble

Va, Pensiero / Russell Watson

I'll Be Home for Christmas / Russell Watson

You're All I Want for Christmas / Caro Emerald and Brook Benton

Mele Kalikimaka / Kacey Musgraves

Jingle Bells / Cumberland Gap Reunion

Jingle Bells / Ella Fitzgerald

Silver Bells / Dwight Yoakam

Beautiful Star of Bethlehem / Ralph Stanley

Run Rudolph Run / CeeLo Green

Silent Night / The Temptations

White Winter Hymnal / Pentatonix (very dark and perhaps not Christmas-y!)

Purple Snowflakes / Weeping Willows

Someday at Christmas / Weeping Willows

Pretty Paper / Weeping Willows

First of May / Sarah Brightman

Mary's Boy Child - Oh, My Lord / Boney M.

Snowfall / Manhattan Transfer

Christmas / Leslie Odom

My Favorite Things / Leslie Odom

Snow / Leslie Odom

Little Drummer Boy / Anthony Hamilton

Little Drummer Boy / Harry Simeone Chorale

Schedryk / Pink Martini

Joy to the World / Cimorelli

The Holly and the Ivy / Mediaeval Baebes

O Holy Night / Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Carol of the Bells / Straight No Chaser

O Tannenbaum / Evandro Olivah

2,000 Miles / Mark Kozelek

Snowman / Sia

Walking In the Air / Sang Froid

Let It Be Christmas / Alan Jackson

I Believe in Father Christmas / Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Merry Christmas / Carpenters

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O Come, All Ye Faithful - I so want to be counted among the "faithful" who come to worship Christ today.

O Holy Night - I just love to hear it...except when our young worship pastor insisted on doing it on Sunday morning 3 weeks before Xmas Eve every single year. What part of "Night" did he miss?? I grew up hearing it only on Xmas Eve so it always seemed strange to hear it at 10am.

I Heard the Bells

And while I generally can't stand a lot of Christmas songs I can listen to "A Toolbox Christmas" over and over. Even my "cringe" songs are tolerable when performed with shop tools. 🙂

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4 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Rend Collective released a Christmas album this year. They have it on your tube. This is my favorite one. But all of them are SOOO fun. 
 

Good king Wenceslas is a favorite of the family too.

 

 

 

I just learned about this group this year!  I love their music!  My favorite songs of theirs (so far -- I haven't heard all of them!) are Christmas in Killarney and Today is the Saviour's Day.

Otherwise, I've always loved Away in the Manger.  Something about the humbleness and simplicity.

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9 minutes ago, J-rap said:

I just learned about this group this year!  I love their music!  My favorite songs of theirs (so far -- I haven't heard all of them!) are Christmas in Killarney and Today is the Saviour's Day.

Otherwise, I've always loved Away in the Manger.  Something about the humbleness and simplicity.

Same. I heard an interview with them and they sound like a really fun bunch of people.

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I like the Burl Ives versions of songs that were on those animated Christmas specials from the 60s? 70s? (Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer and the rest) because of their associations with my childhood. And I love the songs from the Peanuts Christmas special.

I am not religious, but I love Silent Night, especially when sung by Nat King Cole and The Carol of the Bells by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

I love I'll Be Home for Christmas sung by Johnny Mathis because my mom who rarely got to go to her home halfway across the country would always sing it sorrowfully on Christmas Eve while she was cooking.

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! by Dean Martin

Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Bing Crosby

Winter Wonderland by Frank Sinatra

The River by Joni Mitchell

And because my husband doesn't like traditional Christmas music, this year I made him a "Punk Rock" Christmas playlist. I don't recommend it to just anyone with its explicit lyrics, but my husband, a big fan of punk (and similar) in his younger years likes it: Fairytale of New York by The Pogues, Silent Night by The Dickies, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by August Burns Red, White Christmas by Bad Religion, Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) by American Hi-Fi, Jingle Bell Rock by Thousand Foot Krutch, Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight) by the Ramones, The Season's Upon Us by the Dropkick Murphys, and White Christmas by Stiff Little Fingers. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kalmia
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I need to go through and add some of these to my playlist! I'm a little obsessive about my Christmas playlist. Here are my top 20, but I can't find the Linda Stonestreet one anymore:

O Come, O Come Emmanuel–Sufjan Stevens

Merry Christmas, Baby–Otis Redding

Alone on Christmas Day–Phoenix

Fairy Tale of New York–the Pogues

O Holy Night–Tracy Chapman

Tiny Tree Christmas–Ryan Miller

Christmas in Hollis–Run-DMC

Christmas at McKinley Pub–the Stone Foxes

Christmas in Prison–John Prine

Go Tell it on the Mountain–The Blind Boys of Alabama

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen–Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan

Merry Christmas from the Family–Robert Earl Keen

Someday at Christmas–Stevie Wonder

Thank God It’s Christmas–Queen

Children Go Where I Send Thee–Natalie Merchant

Here it is Christmas Time–the Old 97s

Beautiful Star of Bethlehem–Emmylou Harris

Twelve Days of Christmas–John Denver and the Muppets

Christmas Time–Linda Stonestreet

Boxing Day–Reliant K

Auld Lang Syne–Barenaked Ladies

 

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My most recent favorite is also known unofficially as the atheist's Christmas song -

White Wine in the Sun, by Tim Minchin

Favorite religious songs

Adeste Fidelis - I grew up Catholic when they still had Latin Mass and this is how we sang O Come All Ye Faithful. I used to know all the verses in Latin but can only remember the first verse now.

O Holy Night - The music is beautiful. 

Favorite secular songs -

Jingle Bell Rock
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - My mother told me both of these songs were controversial when they came out because rock & roll was new and people didn't think it belonged in Christmas songs
There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays
Silver Bells
Holly Jolly Christmas
- ds used to sing all the verses when he was five. He loved the song then, so I love it now that he's grown up
And always, TSO - Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24

Favorite Novelty Songs -

Dominick the Donkey
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas - It's not that I like this song, but that ds liked it when he was little so it reminds me of my little guy.
 

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I'm feeling nostalgic since we'll be staying home for the holidays this year. So I'm going to pick Sin Rencor, the most famous Christmas Gaita ever. It's not actually a Christmas song, but gaitas are the dominant Venezuelan holiday music and this is the one that everyone knows the words to:

And as an added bonus: The Biggest Christmas Earworm Ever Created, El Tuqui Tuqui:

 

Edited by chiguirre
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My kids have Christmas names so my favorite Christmas songs - 

The First Noelle 

The Gift 

 

Up on the Rooftop or Little Saint Nick 

and because I had a white Christmas as a child - White Christmas! 

and not a song - The Train 

 

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My favourite christmas song is circles by Mac Miller. He was a great artist. I still have the circles album black shirt which I bought when his album was released. Unfortunately, he left us so early but he had made his name in the music field.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4BFGSZ_1ls

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