Every now and then, there is a newer carol like “Run, Run Rudolph” and I don’t have a preference or someone covers a song that I don’t necessarily associate with anyone else, like “We Three Kings.” That’s ok. But as a whole, my only exceptions to the ‘original artist’ rule are the Chipmunks and the really sick and twisted Christmas carols that Bob Rivers does (the Christmas version of Weird Al). To me, those technically aren’t the same songs, so they don’t count.
My Favorite Carols would have to be:
10. Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg – I don’t know if this really qualifies as a Christmas song, but its always played in heavy rotation on the Christmas station.
9. The Chipmunk Song by David Seville and the Chipmunks – Come on, you know you love this one. I still want a hoola-hoop!
8. The Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and David Bowie – Its just one of those weird moments in television history.
7. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Rosemary Clooney – I love this song and I get especially annoyed when they play other versions where the lyrics get switched around. I won’t mention any names (*cough* – the Carpenters – *cough*).
6. Jolly Old St. Nicolas – This is one of my favorite traditional songs. Not sure who sings it the best.
5. Didn’t I Get This Last Year? (Do You Hear What I Hear?) by Bob Rivers – The lament of every receiver of poorly thought out Christmas gifts. Even then, I still manage to tear up at the end every time. I’m a sucker.
4. O' Holy Night – I can’t say who does this the best as honestly, I don’t really like any of the versions I’ve heard on the radio. Everyone *thinks* they can sing this song well and it’s a staple on every pop star’s Christmas album, but I find its one of those songs that simply must be belted out with a heart and soul that is hard to capture. I was even disappointed with Celine Dion’s version and you’d think if anyone could belt it out, she could.
3. We Three Kings by Sarah McLaughlin and the Bare Naked Ladies – I only heard this in the last few years. Its very “Peter, Paul and Mary” and I really dig it. No one ever does this song, so its especially cool.
2. Christmas Canon by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Ok, so this isn’t really a Christmas carol, but a children's choir singing words set to Pachabel’s Canon in D. I don’t care. I love Pachabel’s Canon and I enjoy this version too. It’s even my Christmas ringtone.
1. The First Noel by the Crash Test Dummies - This is hands down the best ever and you'll never hear it on the radio. It flies in the face of everything I’ve said before, but its so awesome, it must be noted. Back in the 90's, I was watching a Christmas ice skating competition. One of the guy skaters came out and did a really great routine to the weirdest, creepiest, most beautiful version of the First Noel I’d ever heard. I searched for YEARS to get a copy and finally paid a mint to get one on Ebay. I’ve included a link to the music video for you to listen to. Enjoy the weirdness of it all and be sure to listen to the whole song. (Yes, it’s a crappy video, but the budget is obviously low.)
In mentioning favorites, one must also mention your least favorites. I think I’m one of the few that actually likes "I Want a Hippopotomus for Christmas" and I’m okay with that. What really gripes my soul are the Christmas songs that deliberately and maliciously rip out your guts and serve them to you on a lovely holiday platter. Case in point – "Christmas Shoes." I don’t know who sings it. All I know is that it is a cruel, cruel thing to do to someone. I can name that tune in 3 notes and I’m across the room, changing the station before they can get one sappy word out.
(For those of you unfamiliar with this song, its about a man who is approached by a little boy at the checkout counter of some store and asks him to help him buy some shoes for his mother - HIS MOTHER WHO IS IN THE HOSPITAL DYING AND GOING TO MEET JESUS TONIGHT SO SHE NEEDS PRETTY NEW SHOES! Are you kidding me? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, then THIS? It’s sick. It’s wrong. )
It's almost as bad as that horrible poem from the perspective of a dead person about how you shoudn't be sad for them cause they're spending Christmas in heaven. They read that poem when DB's grandfather died three days before Christmas and I was crying so hard I had snot running down the inside of my suitcoat sleeve. Of course, we were in the family section so everyone could see me blubbering. That's just not nice to do to someone.
Ok, off my soapbox (for now). What is your favorite Christmas carol? Which one do you wish the DJ would scratch and never play again?