Friday, December 18, 2009

Top Ten Christmas Songs About Which I Have Strong Feelings

There a a gazillion Christmas songs that could be on this list, but I'm limiting it to ten. And since I already told you about my favorite song, "Thistlehair," it didn't make this particular list.

10. Very Bad. 'Little Drummer Boy." I'm sorry-maybe I'm a huge Scrinch (Scrooge+Grinch) but I cannot stand this song. I mean, playing drums for a baby? A newborn baby? No way is that good for a baby's cognitive development. I realize that's not the point of the song. That I should focus on how nice it is that the little shepherd boy is doing the only thing he can for the Christ child. But the logical side of me (surprisingly, I do have a side like that) can't get past playing a drum for baby. And also, "the ox and lamb kept time." Really? How? Stomping? Swishing tails? It's just silly.

9. Good. Manheim Steamroller's "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." This is the first song on their blue album and it always got me so excited for the Christmas season. If this song was on during our decorating I was much more prone to quickly arrange and display things rather than drag my feet and do as little as possible.

8. Bad. "Linus and Lucy." I mean, really? It's not a Christmas song people! I get that it's on a Christmas movie...but you know what, so is the song you hear George Bailey and what's her face dance to before they fall in the pool. You don't hear that on the radio. Same goes from "My Favorite Things" for Sound of Music. You're taking songs I love and making me angry about them by playing them in the wrong context, people!

7. Good. I'm vaguley ashamed of these two (yeah, they're basically the same so they count as one) but still, I love them: "All I Want For Christmas" Mariah's version and Celine Dion's "Christmas Eve." They're grossly cheesey, but so fun to listen and sing along to in the car. And also to dance to with crazy cousins.

6. Tremendously Bad. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." I struggle with movies and/or books that give animals human characteristics such as, I don't know, talking. (Don't even get me started on a walking, talking pile of snow.) Apparently that carried over to songs as well. Reindeers can't shout with glee. And also, it reminds me of the freakish clay-mation movies that are the stuff of nightmares.

5. Good. "Last Christmas" by Wham. Mostly cuz they say "...but the very next day, you gev it away." Gev. I swear-that's how they pronounce it and it makes me laugh every time.

4. Sort of Bad. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Now really-this isn't a bad song. And it is as Johnny Mathis claims, arguably, the most wonderful time of the year. But, the part where it says, "...there'll be scary ghost stories..." What? Why? Why would there be ghost stories. Hello, it's not Halloween. I'm fairly certain none of my Christmas traditions involve ghost stories. Okay---and as I write this I may or may not have suddenly thought of A Christmas Carol. But I stand by my original belief: Christmas is not a time for ghost stories. Especially not scary ones.

3. Good. Kurt Bestor's "Silent Night." Just hearing that song makes me feel like I should be sitting by the fire in my parent's living room with no lights except those on the tree and drinking hot chocolate. Or maybe I'll turn some lights on so I can read a good Christmas book while I listen. Either way, there'll be hot chocolate.

2. Tremendously Good. "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." I mean, whoever sings this some is made of pure awesome and has a voice cuter than a basket full of puppies. I could listen to it constantly during the holidays and still love it. And really, what's the thought process behind wanting a hippo for Christmas? What would one do with a pet hippo? And also, the hippo doesn't talk. I have no aversion to songs about animals who have solely animal characteristics.

1.5. Really Good. I'm cheating---but I have to include the entire Jackson Five Christmas CD. Except for songs 5-7 (which are mentioned in nubmers 10 and 6 on this list). I love Michael's younger voice---and the arrangements are not unlike my number 7 songs where I really just have to turn up the volume and sing in the car.

1. The Most Good. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Mostly, Judy Garland singing that song in Meet Me In St. Louis. Such a gorgeous voice and sweet moment in the movie (even though I'm mad at her for not staying engaged to John Truitt. And even though Tutti a little bit drives me crazy). It's just awesome.

What songs would you put on the list?


Life is good! said...

i love love love Christmas music, well most of it. can i add to the bad list
Santa Baby- i think is stupid
Christmas Shoes- just because it is a cute story does not mean it needs to be a song!
There I feel better, thanks!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I really like Sleigh Ride just becuase it was one we listened to a lot growing up. And I love love the Amy Grant christmas album. Probably because her voice range is the same as mine.

Kristina P. said...

No 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer?"

Oh, and if I hear that stupid Adam Sandler Hannukah song one more time, I will make it my mission to personally convert any Jewish person I know.

Erin said...

What a brilliant post! I had never paid attention to the fact that they talk about scary ghost stories in a Christmas song. Hilarious!

P.S. I played Tom Roed's version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas for my piano recital last night. So I get bonus points for learning the most good song on your list. And if you haven't seen Tom Roed's piano Christmas music, you must purchase it because it is fantastic.

Homer and Queen said...

I will buy anything that has "O Hoy Night" and I think that Sinead O'Conner did the best rendition of "Silent Night" I've ever heard!

Machen family said...

Christmas shoes is the worst song evah', a close second is Hey Santa.

rychelle said...

i couldn't agree more with your #2!
but, you left off the terribly bad, which is that stupid christmas shoes song. i HATE that song.

Emily said...

I've never heard the Jackson 5 Christmas album. Totally looking it up! Also not a big fan of Little Drummer Boy, but I think Faith Hill has done the best version of it I've ever heard.

Ghost stories . . . I asked Nick the same question just the other day.

Never seen Meet Me In St. Louis. I know, shame on me! I'll rent it over the holidays!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Haha! You made me laugh with this list. You've just got a way of saying things. :)

Disagree about Linus and Lucy though. I think that's a Christmas. AND a Halloween song. :) It's the ringtone on my phone right now too.

Lara said...

I think of Christmas when I hear Linus and Lucy, but I totally get your point.

I used to always be confused about the scary ghost stories, too, and then a few years ago I had an epiphany about A Christmas Carol. I'm sure that's what they mean. Still, it seems odd to have in a Christmas song.

There are a lot I don't love. Frosty the Snowman, for instance.

Becky said...

Funny that you should write about this today. I was listening to "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" yesterday and for the very first time (I know, how can I have been missing it all these years??) noticed the line about ghost stories. It threw me for a loop. I guess I don't equate Christmas and ghost stories, either.

I'm not wild about "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." Or "Christmas Shoes." I do love "Silver Bells," though!

Page said...

Whenever "Last Christmas" comes on the radio, Carson freaks out and brings me a pretend microphone so I can lip synch it really dramatically and make him laugh. This is fun, of course, until we are in the car or in public and people are watching me rock out.

CaJoh said...

I like how you list the good and the bad— but you forgot about the ugly. My wife and I heard a song a few years back by Bob Dylan that made us crack up. Of course he now has a whole Christmas album (I wonder if that song is in it).

Peter and Katie said...

Have you heard the version of Little Drummer Boy by David Bowie and Bing Crosby. I know you aren't a fan of the song but the version is great!

Connie said...

I don't like Neil Diamond singing Christmas songs, especailly "O Holy Night!" Yikes! I also get tired of John Lennon singing, "So This is Christmas."
Hey! How about Bing Crosby's "White Christmas?" Anyone, anyone?
OK, I'm off to hear Josh Groban sing some Christmas songs!

Rachel Sue said...

You and I would get along so very well. Really, we would.

I agree.

Except that I add the "War is over" Christmas song. It really just annoys me .

Eliza said...

I'm watching my favorite Christmas movie right now, White Christmas. It has some fantastice music and great dance moves!

Thanks for your funny post! There is definately a lot of Christmas music that shouldn't be played!

Hampers said...

Thanks for sharing the top 12 Christmas songs. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." is my favourite. It was nice going through your blog.

Deb said...

Love: Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant.

Hate: Christmas Shoes. Really? It's so exploitative, it just makes me mad.

e. said...

Glad that you mentioned that "I Want Hippopotamus for Christmas" song because I was just this day explaining the significance of that song to Adam. He'd never heard it and then it came on the radio and he couldn't stop laughing. Then I told him it was your fave and nearly busted his gut. Oh, and he hates The Little Drummer boy too. Not me though. I'm not Grinchy.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Drummer Boy
Do you hear what I hear and
love the Steamrollers too!

Great list my dear!!

Chief said...

we can no longer be friends

I think we have completely opposite tastes in Christmas Music.

Although I love the Wham one.

I love little drummer boy

I love Rudolph

I love Linus and Lucy


Youngblood4ever said...

I don't think I have ever stopped to think about the "scary ghost stories" but now that you mention it.... WHAT THE HECK!?! You forgot one, though. My list would also include:

Baby It's Cold Outside from Elf. LOVE THAT ONE! No other version, though, k? The rest are dumb.

Shelley said...

I could go on forever! I love music, and Christmas music...well just wonderful. But I chuckled about a couple of your comments. Just yesterday while eating dinner my husband gets up and turns up the radio and is like "what is this doing on as a Christmas song? - My favorite things".
My kids crank up the radio every time "I want a hippomatomus for Christmas" comes on. They love it.
This year Bob River's CD has been a hit; I'm hoping I'm not destroying my kids' love for really good music, but stuff like "The restroom door said gentleman" and "The twelve pains of Christmas" have been played over and over here. If I hadn't rambled on so much, I could give you a great list of some the best arrangements of Christmas music that I love.

charrette said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for rating Rudolph as Tremendously Bad. :)

For me, the categories are very simple. For jazz in the background at a party...most of that stuff you mentioned is good. But for singing, well, I only like singing about the Baby Jesus.

Very best carol of all? What Sweeter Music by John Rutter. LOVE it!

annie valentine said...

Can't stand number one myself, and have you heard Taylor Swift sing Last Christmas? Not too shabby.

April said...

The irony of Neil Diamond singing Christmas songs....some voices aren't made for Christmas songs....not. at. all.

Sher said...

I 2nd everything you said on this list!
I love all things Kurt Bestor!
And when my little girl came home last year singing the "hippo" song I laughed til I died. Love it!

JennyMac said...

I suppose I can forget you put a Mariah song on here.


The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

Oh too funny! I love Manheim steamroller!

JustRandi said...

I have always disliked the Little Drummer Boy. What, the Christmas story isn't good enough? We have to start adding characters now?


Also to your list I would add Very Bad: The Christmas Shoes. I haaaaate that cheesy wanna-be tearjerker.

Great Post!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

U all are killin me here!!! I love all christmas music...human animals to tear jerkers!!! You scrooges!!!

I want a hippo.... For Christmas is one of my FAVS

Along with I love those J-I-N-G-L-E- bells!!!

Becky Dayton said...

Wait a second. She doesn't stay engaged to John Truitt?
This realization is just about as bad as when I realized they were saying "going steady" instead of "hosetty" in Bye Bye Birdie.
Or when you told me that Daniel was Ephraim and Ephraim was Daniel.

Becky Dayton said...

As for the rest of your post....
I absoluely agree and I was laughing at all of your sensible reasoning. Even if I do appreciate lumps of talking snow.

However, Santa Baby deserves worst song ever and it should be next to Grandma got run over by a reindeer!

Chris and Sara Waldron said...

Barb- great post! Where do I start?...totally agree about Little Drummer boy, absolutely love Kurt Bestor and most Manheim Steamroller, love the fun cheesy dancing songs and Michael Jackson album (which you introduced me to years ago), and of course love Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
The ghost stories must be referring to Scrooge's visits. What I don't get is 'marshmallows for toasting.' Have you ever toasted marshmallows at Christmastime?

Shauna said...

Hope you have a blessed and very Merry Christmas! ♥ HUGS ♥

Anonymous said...

Yes, almost same.

Smart Helm said...

I know this isn't going along with the theme of ur post, but I love Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel by Voice Male. I love Voice Male even though they are Mormon.

And I agree with most of ur thoughts although I'm alot more forgiving when it comes to Christmas songs cuz you only have to listen to them once a year :-). Awesome post!

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I've never understood the "scary ghost stories" for Christmas either. And Judy Garland's "Have yourself a Merry little Christmas" is one of my favorites. I love that movie.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Hoggards said...

Barbs, the "All I want for Christmas" by Mariah totally reminds me of high school, ladies choir sang that my senior year.
I'm also fan of Amy Grant's Breath of Heaven!

wendy said...

Hey, loving the new blog look!!

That was interesting, your take on Christmas songs.
My 5 year old grand daughter does the BEST version of Last Christmas I GEV you my heart!!

how about Bob and Doug Mckenzie's..I think that is their name (Canadian group ) singing their version of 12 days of Christmas
1. the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me....a Beer.

and Silver Bells is still my favorite