Top 10 Best Christmas Songs

by PaulGoodman67

I make my seasonal selections for the top 10 best Christmas songs.

As well as being a time for celebrations, decorations, trees, gifts, food, and goodwill to all men, Christmas is also a time for music.

There have been traditional Christmas carols around for a long time, of course, but popular culture has added to them its own seasonal songs, many of which have become as much part of a traditional Christmas as carols for lots of people.

So, why don’t you throw another log on the fire, grab yourself a drink and a mince pie and get ready for a Christmas sing-along with my top 10 best Christmas songs.

White Christmas, by Bing Crosby

Written by Irving Berlin, this Christmas classic is the best-selling single ever released, according to the Guiness Book of Records.

The single was recorded by Bing in 1942 and became a hit later that year.

Rudolf, The Red Nosed Reindeer, by Gene Autry

What would Christmas be without Rudolf?

The first time that the public got to hear this song, it was being sung by Harry Brannon on New York City radio in 1948.

The following year, Gene Autry recorded the classic version that is so familiar today.

Happy Christmas (War is Over), by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

This song was recorded in 1972 in New York and was part of a John and Yoko political campaign at the time, during the unpopular Vietnam War.

The song reached #4 in the UK when it was first released and then #2 after Lennon’s death in 1980, but failed to chart in the USA.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Judy Garland

Although Frank Sinatra would later do his own version of this song, the Judy Garland one came first and featured in the 1944 musical, Meet me in St Louis.

The song was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane.

Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy, by David Bowie and Bing Crosby

Bing’s second appearance in my list, this time singing with British pop star, David Bowie in 1977.

Crosby sings the traditional song, while Bowie adds the counterpoint.

Sadly, Crosby died just over a month after this song was recorded.

All I Want For Christmas is You, by Mariah Carey

Released in November 1994, Mariah Carey’s song quickly came to be seen as a Christmas classic, with the New Yorker describing it as "one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon".

Mariah made two videos to promote the song, one in color showing her frolicking in the snow and one in black and white with a 1960s retro feel.

Fairytale of New York, by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl

One of my own personal favorites, this song was released in 1987.

The song is particularly popular in the UK and Ireland where it has consistently been voted the best Christmas song of all time in polls and has charted many times.

Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid

Sung originally by an Irish and British supergroup in 1984, this song was for many years the best-selling single in the UK, until it was usurped by Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana, ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’.

Jingle Bells, by Diana Krall

Taken from Diana Krall’s 2005 album, ‘Christmas Songs’, this wonderfully jazzy version of the seasonal classic features the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra as backing for Krall’s beautiful contralto vocals.

Mary’s Boy Child, by Boney M

This wonderful cover of Harry Belafonte’s 1956 hit was released by Boney M as a Christmas single in 1978.

The song stayed in the UK charts for eight weeks and was top for four of them.

The single was less successful in the USA at the time of release, but now features regularly on the airwaves during the season of goodwill.

Updated: 02/12/2013, PaulGoodman67
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