The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published. Views in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the view of Scottish Friendly.
*ok ok this is not a fact, this is my opinion.
Whether you are wrapping your presents, decorating your tree or in an increasingly popular and modern Christmas scenario looking for that last minute Christmas bargain on the internet. Here are my top 10 songs to get you in the festive mood. There are so many to choose from everyone’s list will be filled with different treasures but I hope I have included some that you have possibly never heard before.
10. James Taylor – Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
The first old standard on this list, you could pick a thousand different singers of this song but my personal favourite is James Taylor, but I could listen to him sing the phone book. The song was first introduced by Judy Garland in ‘Meet me in St Louis’ and notable versions include Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and Mel Torme.
9. Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song
There is no denying that this one is about Christmas, an absolute classic if there ever was one but sometimes known best by the first line of ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’. Another one with a whole host of singers to choose from but the definitive version is widely regarded to be that of Nat King Cole.
8. The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride
Originally written as an instrumental version in the mid-40s this version produced by Phil Spector using his famous wall of sound technique has become the definitive Christmas version. His Christmas album released in 1963 is full of 60s girl groups singing Christmas classics and is well worth checking out if you can. This is not the last time one of the tracks from it appears on this list.
7. Badly Drawn Boy – Donna and Blitzen
The most recently written song on this list having been released in 2001 as a special Christmas 7” inch vinyl, Badly Drawn Boy’s take on the first Christmas where Santa had to do with just two Reindeer to take him around the houses. Very festive.
6. John Lennon – Happy Christmas (War is over)
This song was released at the end of a 2 year period of peace activism during which time John and Yoko travelled the world holding bed-ins. Another song on this list with a political anti-war message the song was accompanied by the famous slogan ‘War is over – If you want it’.
5. Dean Martin – Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
The first appearance on this list for Dino, nicknamed the King of Cool for his seemingly effortless charisma. The relaxed crooner released a Christmas in 1959 called ‘A Winter Romance’ and it is filled with old school Christmas standards.
4. The Pogues ft Kirsty McColl – Fairytale of New York
Initially this song wasn’t a smash hit but over time it has grown into one of the nation’s most loved Christmas songs. The song struggled for 2 years to find a female lead until Producer Steve Lillywhite asked his wife Kirsty McColl to lay down a guide vocal and McColls vicious delivery of the lyrics made the track come alive.
3. Bob Dylan – Must be Santa
Coming from Bob Dylan’s 34th Studio album ‘Christmas in the heart’ an undoubtedly catchy and fun song but also very surreal at the same time. In the video Bob Dylan staggers around a Christmas party singing about Santa before the party ends in chaos. I nearly made this number 1 on the list but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
2. Dean Martin – Baby, its cold outside
The second appearance on this list of my Italian granny’s favourite. Dino recorded this classic with a female chorus but there have been a large number of famous festive duets of this song from Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton to Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel.
1. Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby please come home)
Earning the top spot in our list is this song aptly titled Christmas. Another Phil Spector produced track that wasn’t initially popular when it was first released but has slowly built a following over the years. This track was the centrepiece of David Letterman’s Christmas show where Darlene Love performed the song for 29 years in a row! The video above is of her final performance in 2014 after which David Letterman had retired.
I hope you enjoyed making your way through the songs and they put you in the festive spirit!
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