Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mega Christmas Playlist!

A friend on Twitter posted his Christmas playlist. I thought it might be fun to share my own. This list has been honed and tweaked over years and years. I'll still tweak it here and there but this is the list in its current form. What I'm looking for in my mixes is variety and uniqueness. I think I've achieved that here, for the most part. After each track I'll add a little note describing why I picked it...unless I just don't have anything to say about it!

1. “Christmastime is Here” – Sixpence None the Richer
People have said this song sounds dour and dirge-like. I always found it charming and laid-back. 

2. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” – Weezer
I suppose one could argue this one should be first. But I have my reasons as you shall see. I'm not wild about this song as it is, but Weezer makes it palatable.

3. “Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses
I've always loved this song. It's cute and catchy. And it has a happy ending.

4. “Good King Wenceslas” – Loreena McKennitt
I feel like this song is one you hear a lot of in movies and shows, but no one ever records it or sings it. I've always liked it... so here it is with some Celtic flair.

5. “This Christmas” – Green, CeeLo
I've just recently really started liking this song. I'm actually considering swapping this version out for the Pentatonix version.

6. “Just For Now” – Imogen Heap
For a while I didn't even know this was a holiday song. I just thought it was cool. Apparently it's a holiday song - it's pretty obvious and I don't know how I missed it. Except that it really doesn't sound like a Christmas song.

7. “Babe in the Straw” – The Choir
The Choir is one of my favorite bands of all time. So... yeah...

8. “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” – The Ramones
Hadn't heard of this one until recently, but when I did I fell in love and it quickly earned a spot on the list.

9. “Winter Wonderland” – Eurythmics
This remains my favorite version. Especially the creepy intro. I suppose it's supposed to sound mystical and magical but to me it sounds like Castlevania.

10. “Linus and Lucy” – Guaraldi, Vince

11. “O Little Town of Bethlehem” – Cole, Nat King
I figured this was a good spot on the list for something very traditional.

12. “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” – Sixpence None the Richer
There are several good covers and the original is great too. I use this one because it's the best one I have access too.

13. “In the Bleak Midwinter” – The Choir
Another good traditional song that you don't hear a lot of. Done by one of my favorite bands for a stretch goal for one of their Kickstarted albums. 

14. “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Yeah... gotta have this one. Remember, the title is "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" not "Metal Carol of the Bells." It was originally a Savatage tune. Also... kind of disappointed that I saw it on a Kia commercial.

15. “Snoopy’s Christmas” – The Royal Guardsman
When I was a kid I had an old vinyl record with this song on it. Loved it then, love it now. 

16. “Run, Rudolph, Run” – Adams, Bryan
Aside from the original, I think this version is the best. And even though the one with Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead singing is funny, this version is actually good. 

17. “Christmas Tree” – Lady Gaga
One of the dirtiest Christmas songs I've ever heard. Definitely from The Fame period. I do reconsider this one every year. Then I remember no one actually listens to this mix except me so I leave it in.

18. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” – Viva Voce
Who'da thunk shoegaze and Christmas would go together so well. One of my top favorite versions of this song (along with Loreena McKennitt's version).

19. “Green Christmas” – Barenaked Ladies
This is one of those originals that totally and completely works. As a bonus... you don't hear it all the time.

20. “The First Noel” – Bing Crosby
This is my favorite version of this song. I especially like the little voice over in the beginning. I put it about midway through the mix because I kind of look at it as my own Christmas special. It's a little break that reminds you to have fun and enjoy yourself and I love the song too.

21. “Peace, Love, and Light” – The Choir
Another original from The Choir's Christmas album.

22. “Gabriel’s Message” – Sting
This is one of those unique songs that has a very cool vibe to it. One of my favorites.

23. “O Come All Ye Faithful” – Flight 180
Hey... why not have a ska version of this song? I kind of debate this one every year because there are better versions out there but... I guess I just like having a bit of ska on here.

24. “Christmas Day” – MxPx
Pop-punk and Christmas. A fun song. Though I really need to put something a bit lighter between these two songs...or maybe it's fine the way it is... I don't know...

25. “The Christmas Waltz” – Connick, Jr., Harry
This is my favorite version of this song.

26. “All I Need is Love” – Green, CeeLo
Includes the Muppets. That's all I really need to say.

27. “White Christmas” – Crosby, Bing
Now that I live in the South, the chances of us having a white Christmas are pretty much nill. 

28. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Carey, Mariah
A lot of people hate this song. That's okay. I still like it. 

29. “Wonderful Christmastime” – McCartney, Paul
Another one people tend to hate. I don't understand why though. I like it!

30. “Redneck Days of Christmas” – Foxworthy, Jeff
After almost ten years of having this song on the mix I still find it amusing. 

31. “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” – Pevee, Gayla
Apparently this was written as a fundraiser for a zoo. I adore it. I wish Paramore would cover it though, it needs some updating.

32. “Mary, Did You Know?” – Green, CeeLo
I had a manager that would always request Kenny Rogers' version of this song. I always told her CeeLo or Pentatonix was the best I could do. Fun Fact: the song was written by Christian comedian/singer Mark Lowry.

33. “(It Must’ve Been Ol’) Santa Claus” – Connick, Jr., Harry
Love this one. Not much else more to say...

34. “Coventry Carol” – McKennitt, Loreena
Another traditional song that you don't hear too much of. I mean... the subject matter is kind of a bummer, but I'm a sucker for these types of songs.

35. “Christmas Collage” – Mattea, Kathy
This originally appeared on the first Now That's What I Call Christmas! It has this kind of comfortable wintery dark feel. Like this is the song you listen to by the light of the fireplace cuddled under a blanket.

36. “I Saw Three Ships” – The Choir
Like I said... they are one of my favorite bands. Also another song you don't hear as much.

37. “Caroling, Caroling” – Cole, Nat King

38. “Merry Christmas Darling” – The Carpenters
If you can't appreciate Karen Carpenter's voice - you have problems. Please see a doctor.

39. “Lollipop Parade (On Christmas Day)” – Joy Electric
Totally different from anything else on this list. I'm not really into Joy Electric's regular stuff but I do love this tune.

40. “O Holy Night” – Weezer
Because we love the show Raising Hope and this version was on their first Christmas episode.

41. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – Mellencamp, John
My favorite version of this song by far.

42. “Anti-Santa Is Coming To Town” – Einstein Savage
Another original about an evil Santa. It's in rockabilly style which is also cool.

43. “Joy to the World” – Cole, Nat King

44. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” – Lost Dogs
Another one I debate having on here because of the extended ending where the robo-members joke amongst themselves. I think it's funny, but other people might not. Then I remember I'm the only one that listens to this and I get over it.

45. “Frosty the Snowman” – Connick, Jr., Harry

46. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – U2

47. “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy” – Crosby, Bing & Bowie, David
Another song I absolutely adore. So good... I've always loved David Bowie's vocals and I love Bing Crosby so...yeah... I really have to get to exploring Bowie's discography someday.

48. “Christmastime Is Here (Instrumental)” – Guaraldi, Vince
...and here we bookend nicely with a reprise of the first song. I mean this is the original, of course, but I thought it would be cool to end with the instrumental original as sort of a coda to the previous song. I like that the final words on the mix are about peace on earth. This song is kind of like the "end credits" for the whole mix.

Well... there you have it! Maybe I'll update this in a few years to see how different it is. I hope I've been able to introduce you to a song or a version of a song you haven't heard of that you might like. Also... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

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