Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Favorites and Not-So-Favorites

It's that time of the year again, when everywhere you go stores are playing Christmas music. Or holiday music, if you're more inclined to celebrate Hannukah or Kwanzaa or Festivus (anyone know any Festivus carols?) I love most Christmas music, but if I really want to get in the mood (the Christmas mood, get your mind out of the gutter!) I'll listen to traditional hymns and carols. This one might be my all-time favorite.

Or this:

Lest you think I am a fuddy-duddy (did I really just type "fuddy-duddy"?) I do like some of the more modern offerings, like this:

And this:

And even this:

Now for the question I was thinking of as I started this post: If you could eliminate any Christmas song, completely get rid of it and never hear it again, which one would you choose?

I don't need to think about this one for very long; it would definitely be "The Little Drummer Boy." It is ridiculously repetitive and contains far too much onomatopoeia (although if I'm being honest, the only good onomatopoeia is NO onomatopoeia.) The only rendition that does it justice is Dwight Schrute's.


  1. i love that version of "jesus christ the apple tree" - it is definitely in my top 5, but so obscure you hardly ever hear it! it's a heart-stopper (in a good way).

    another obscure but all time favorite christmas song is "kissin' by the mistletoe" by and very young aretha franklin.

    i have so many favorites i almost need to listen all year round. from standards (ella fitzgerald, etc.) to the pogues (fairytale of NY) and everything in between...Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses...I can't stop!

    DELETE PLease: Little Drummer Boy - amen, for the reasons you mention!
    and most versions of the Twelve days of Christmas.

    and seriously: silent night is undeniably great, but i resent it constantly being pulled out for an immediate manipulation of emotional response. am i too cynical?

  2. What about the David Bowie/Bing Crosby Little Drummer Boy?


    Well, I would eliminate that country song Christmas Shoes. I hate that one.

    There was one I heard when I was a missionary called, "Christmas in the MTC." It was by a guy named Ron Williams. It was the worst thing I ever heard. Sample lyric, "This is where we're supposed to be ... Christmas in the MTC!" I guess I don't need to eliminate it, since I haven't heard it since 1985, but it should be eliminated on principle.

  3. about 10 years ago I bought the 98 Degrees Christmas album and I still love it to this day. Of course there is one or 2 on there that I can't stand, but its still pretty good. My faves that really put me in the mood are " The Forgotton Carols" I cry every time I hear them.

  4. I love the Little Drummer Boy! And most Christmas songs... but you can get rid of Grandma got run over by a reindeer! Please!

  5. Anonymous8:34 AM

    The Schrute Drummer Boy is good simply because of the guitar placed neatly between each stanza.

    Even worse than Little Drummer Boy would be anything on Bob Dylan's new Christmas album.

  6. oh thank you, dwight! i love his version, too!

  7. I vote to delete "Do You Hear What I hear?" Because it can only be sung in the key of "shrill."

    One modern version I lovelovelove is the BarenakedLadies/Sarah McLachlan "GodRest Ye Merry Gentlemen."

  8. I'm with you on the first two and the Jewel rendition, but we part company beyond there (though I'm not great fan of the Drummer Boy). You must get Sting's new album, If On a Winter's Night . . . Not all the pieces are Christmas songs (though some are and some are songs I've never heard before), but it is very much in the vein of his recent interest in ancient British music. You'd love it, Chelsea.

  9. Shannon, I love that BNL/Sarah McLachlan colaboration too! Totally forgot about that one. Key of shrill, hee hee!

    Heading over to iTunes to check out the Sting album right now.

  10. I really do enjoy most Christmas music, but I could get rid of "I Saw Mamma Kissing Santa Claus" - my boys have been hearing it on the radio and singing along and it really bothers me that they don't know what the words they are saying really mean. Gag.

  11. Love the boy's choir...thanks for sharing!

  12. Are you KIDDING ME??? I love the Little Drummer Boy! it's one of my favorites. I love to sing the harmony to it. But also, I find the message so humbling and sweet that I ALWAYS cry at the end.

    As for which one to delete, there is one on the Harry Connick Jr. Christmas album that I despise. I can't think which one it is right now--hopefully I've permanantly blocked it out--but next year when I take that CD out, I'll let you know.


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