Five Christmas Songs Worth Hearing

Let me start off by saying Merry Christmas to everyone that celebrates it.  Speaking of Christmas, I’m rather tired of hearing the same Christmas songs repeated every year non-stop. If you like all Christmas music, then that’s great for you since it plays non stop on every radio station beginning in the middle of November and ends today. I wanted to make a list of Christmas songs for the rest of us who tend to sort through all of the coal for the diamonds.

5. “Last Christmas”- Wham!

The 80s was before my time seeing as I grew up in the 90s, but it was probably the last decade in which we had note worthy original Christmas music. A tale of heartbreak on a holiday about peace and family love ending in finding love once more, it stands out as unique in my mind compared to some of the more cheesy Christmas songs made in 60s and 70s. I love the synth chords, George Michael’s heart filled vocals, and the steady beat driving that mellow yet melancholy feel of the song. It’s a classic to me despite being overplayed.

4. “Carol of the Bells”- Pentatonix

A modern Acapela cover of real classic carol composed by Mykola Leontovych in 1904. I normally don’t go for Acapela groups that often, but I really love YouTube artists like Pentatonix and Peter Hollens since that have really breathed new life into a genre best known to be sung by teenagers and theater snobs. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a snob on the arts, ahem. Other than the numerous moving harmonic textures heard throughout the song, I just love how Pentatonix uses their voices to paint a picture of an epic Christmas carol that gets you excited for an epic Christmas.

3. “I WIsh it Was Christmas Today”- Julian Casablancas

And so we have a more cheesy, but still quite enjoyable song about how Julian Casablancas wishes that today was Christmas. Thankfully today actually is Christmas, so that wish has been granted. I reviewed this song a few years back on my old blog, but I still find it enjoyable and it’s a nice little Christmas anthem. The music’s straightforward composing doesn’t leave much to comment on, but I do feel that Casablancas believes what he’s singing in his heart to be proof of great emoting. I also really dig that mini guitar solo towards the end.

2. “Christmas Song” -Dave Matthews Band

While some will scoff at Dave Matthew’s voice and the “white guy with acoustic guitar genre”, I’ve always had a soft spot for this type of music. I find it relaxing and wholesome, the flip coin of aggressive heavy metal or risqué pop music. I recently discovered this today. I find it so mellow, expressive, and wonderful to listen too. It covers religious aspects of Christmas and how the forces of love and peace conquers all things on this day. It’s an added bonus to have an acoustic religious song be subtle rather than some other songs out there which are just too “Jesus Freaky”.

1. “Little Drummer Boy” -John Denver

There have been many covers of this particular piece from Johnny Cash to The Animaniacs, but the John Denver version stands out to me for its overall majesty celebrating the birth of Jesus. I love how Denver uses his 12 string guitar in conjunction with a full orchestra (which was even performed by Denver at The Vatican in the past). I’ve always had a soft spot for this version since John Denver is my favorite folk singer, and Denver believes every word he sings on this song. RIP John Denver, your music will never be forgotten to those who love it.

And so we have my five favorite Christmas Songs, if I missed any songs that you as a reader enjoy; feel free to share them in the comments section. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year everybody!

-Tatteybye

Happy 70th Birthday John Denver

As a 24-year-old millennial from New England you’d probably never guess that one of my favorite Folk artists is John Denver. Well, I was only six years old when Denver’s plane went down in Monterey Bay, California so I couldn’t understand the depth of his tragic death until much later in life.

When I was 20 years old in 2010, I found an old CD of Denver’s music that belonged to my parents. The 90s rendition of “Annie’s Song” is the first song I heard by him. Now, not only did I find myself falling in love with his music, but I found a spiritual respect for the artist. As a Christian I believe in the afterlife, so it was like I felt his spirit nearby when I sang his music. Whether or not Denver’s spirit was actually near me or if it was all in my head is irrelevant. Denver’s music made me happy and helped to heal me in a rough point in my life. For instance, my cat Jack got run over, and a close friend of mine committed suicide among other tragic events in 2010.

For how Denver’s music helped lull me out of depression and back into spiritual and emotional health, I’ve decided to become an environmentalist and will help the Earth anyway I can. Today, I’m sure that John is in heaven smiling down on his fans, friends, and family right now. I’m just so sorry that he had to pass away so suddenly as I feel like he still had so much to live for. So with that I wish happy would be 70th birthday to John Denver, RIP to the one who now flies with Eagles and Hawks.

I wanted to find the video of his final performance and mix it into stereo as a personal birthday gift, but it seems that the video was removed from YouTube for some reason. Here are some of personal favorite songs of his, including ones from his latest tribute album “The Music is You”: