Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday 13 - Partridge in a pear tree edition

OK, this is totally predictable, but I'm going to do it now and get it out of my system. For this week's Thursday 13, I've decided to list my 13 favorite Christmas songs. And not just my favorite Christmas songs, but my favorite versions of those favorite songs. There are a lot that didn't make the cut, but I think this pretty much covers it for me.

  1. Sleigh Ride – Boston Pops This is the definitive version of “Sleigh Ride” for me – save perhaps the Captain Kangaroo version that I had on an LP when I was a kid. It was played to absolute death the first year that the radio stations started playing Christmas music 24/7 between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I still love it.
  2. With Bells On – Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers One of the other Dolly/Kenny collaborations (“Christmas Without You”) came on the radio at work the other day and I said “Ah, you just don’t get much better than Kenny and Dolly, now do you?” The tech I was working with just kind of looked at me like I was crazy and I said “You think I’m kidding, don’t you?” and just left it at that. I love this song. It’s one of the new classic Christmas songs.
  3. Santa Baby – RuPaul I’ve already blogged this, but yes, it is the total package. T.P. honey, the total package.
  4. Joy To The World – Whitney Houston Everybody has done a version of “Joy To The World” but I think Whitney’s is the best. Perhaps it helps that she’s backed by a gospel choir, but this one is just a barn burner.
  5. Christmastime Is Here – Diana Krall I know, it’s sacrilege, but I really don’t like the version of "Christmastime Is Here" on A Charlie Brown Christmas. Those kids singing really grate on my very last nerve. Fortunately, Diana Krall has recorded a sultry, cool as ice cubes version of this song. And it’s fabulous with a capital F.
  6. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland You needn’t look past the original version of this song to find the best. Although many have tried, no one has been able to do this song better than Judy Garland.
  7. I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas – Gayla Peevey Anna loves this song. Last year, she got a toy hippo in her stocking. I’m thinking of buying her a hippopotamus of some sort for every Christmas just to create one of our own traditions. For the story behind the song, click here.
  8. The Chipmunks Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) – The Chipmunks Another one that Anna loves. She loves it so much, she wants to hear it in July. And I defy anyone to not get that “hula hoop” part stuck in their head.
  9. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Cher & Rosie O’Donnell Ah, what better than a discofied version of this song. Forget the U2 version on A Very Special ChristmasCher knows what to do with this song. It was recorded around the time of her Believe album, so you get a lot of vocoder and heavy dance tracks. It would probably be better if it were JUST Cher (Rosie’s vocals are kind of annoying) but it is Cher doing a Christmas song, so I’ll just be happy.
  10. The Night Before Christmas – Carly Simon This is another modern Christmas classic. For some reason, this one really appeals to me – plus I always have a soft spot for recently written Christmas songs that have lasting appeal, saving us from the moldy oldies every year.
  11. Feliz Navidad – Celine Dion I know, I know. This is beyond a guilty pleasure. But there’s something about Celine Dion singing a Spanish language Christmas song with her French Canadian accent that just cracks me up.
  12. My Favorite Things – Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Speaking of cracking up over a Christmas song – a few years back, Heidi and I were driving around on Christmas Eve looking at Christmas lights and this song came on the radio. Talk about a loungy version of “My Favorite Things!” I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who did that song, and finally, I figured it out and got my hands on a copy of the track. Yet another guilty pleasure.
  13. River – Casey Stratton Perhaps the most perfect version of this most melancholy of Christmas songs. Casey’s voice suits this well – as just about everything else he chooses to record, but I’m just being biased.


Anonymous said...

I love your list, and I've heard so few of them, how strange!

I know I've mentioned this to Heidi, but my favorite Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is on John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together. John sings it with Rowlf the dog and it brings back such wonderful memories. It reminds me of my parents and I in the car, driving to Gramma's house, looking at the lights and the snow and feeling warm, and safe and enjoying being together.

Dan said...

I loved that John Denver/Muppets album as well - esp. Miss Piggy singing "Christmas Is Coming"

Paul said...

ooo excitement, you know i can't help but love a terribly festive post of such diverse proportions! I love all the muppet christmas movies but you can't top the Muppet's Christmas Carol - must dig it out and watch immediatelement!!