Monday music: classic Christmas songs

When I was growing up I was lucky that my parents enjoyed a diverse range of music, to the great amusement of myself and my sisters this extended to Christmas music.  Over the years we listened to Christmas albums by Elvis Presley, Barbara Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr, Karen Carpenter, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr, Ella Fitzgerald, the Vienna Boys Choir, and the list goes on and on. 

Like old ornaments dusted off year after year, some of the songs seemed to just get better with age, others just brought back memories of seasons gone by.  I have some very fond memories of washing dishes whilst singing a parody of Elvis’, I’ll have a blue Christmas without you into a wooden spoon – or wrapping presents to Sammy Davis Jr’s, Baby It’s cold outside.   

But not all of my favourites are from a bygone era – I’ve included a few reasonably modern tunes to get you into the Christmas groove:

  1. Carmen McRae & Sammy Davis Jr, Baby it’s cold outside – Who doesn’t love this cute little ditty, you can just picture Sammy and Carmen shivering on her doorstep.
  2. Elvis Presley, Blue Christmas – originally released as part of his controversial 1957 album, this catchy song’s hoohooeeeyuu’s would crack us up every time – seriously classic Elvis
  3.  Run DMC’s, Christmas in Hollis – you will either love or hate this tune which caught my attention many years back in Die Hard 1 – probably want to mix this one with some modern tunes.
  4. Ella Fitzgerald’s, Jingle Bells – would have to win the all time best ska in a Christmas carol, definitely one of my all time favourites – Barbara Streisand also does an amazing rendition of this timeless classic – I can’t chose which is better frankly.
  5. Harry Connick Jr’s, When my heart finds Christmas – proves that it doesn’t have to be an old tune to sound wonderfully nostalgic.  I love this entire album.
  6. Mariah Carey’s, All I want for Christmas – well she’s not for everyone – but I love this song and I think with her voice the album is pretty amazing.
  7. Nancy Wilson’s, What are you doing New Years’ Eve is another classic also sung beautifully by Ella Fitzgerald in herSongs for a Swinging Christmas
  8. Bing Crosby’s, Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) featuring the Andrew’s Sisters is one of those songs that’s so quirky and funny – how can you not laugh when you hear this one.  Personally I prefer it to his famous White Christmas cover.
  9. Barbara Streisand’s, The Lord’s Prayer – is also amazing – I don’t know anyone I’ve heard sing it better.
  10. Beyonce’s, Ave Maria – which was probably not meant to be a Christmas song but then again who decides what is?



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