One of my favorite things about this time of year is Christmas music. When I was in school I spent November and December at choir practice getting ready for a Christmas concert. So this afternoon, I spent some time shuffling through Christmas tunes and put together my 2013 Christmas mix. Here it is with the reason I included each one, and you can find the entire list on Rdio and Spotify.
Christmas Time Is Here – Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas is a classic, and was something I still look forward to watching every year. When I moved to Nashville to finish college was the first time I spent Christmas time away from my family. This song came on the radio one day while I was at work and it felt like I was at home for 3 minutes.
The Christmas Waltz – Frank Sinatra, A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra is the unironic and original hipster. His rendition of this song in 3/4 time stood out as the crooner classic of my shuffle today.
Marshmallow World – Darlene Love, A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector
Maybe I’ve heard this version of Marshmallow World before, but I don’t see how I could forget it if I had. Classic wall of sound Phil Spector delivers the definitive recording of this song.
Santa Clause Is Coming To Town – The Jackson 5, Ultimate Christmas Collection
No disrespect to the Boss, but Michael Jackson and the rest of the Jacksons own this arrangement of Santa Clause Is Coming To Town.
O Come All Ye Faithful – Weezer, Christmas With Weezer
A Weezer Christmas album should be a head scratcher of an album. Instead you get a set of Christmas classics wrapped up in the signature Weezer sound.
Hark, The Herald Angels Sing – Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas
My favorite Christmas hymn, delivered by the less than perfect voices of the Charlie Brown kids.
Go Tell It On The Mountain – James Taylor, James Taylor at Christmas
James Taylor doesn’t really spin his own version, and fools us in to believing he has stripped this down to the simplest possible arrangement. The video here is a different take than in both playlist, so if you are super into James Taylor be sure to check out both versions.
O Holy Night – Aaron Neville, Aaron Neville’s Soulful Christmas
One time in Nashville I almost bumped into Aaron Neville. He was coming out of the mall. When he said hello it sounded just like you imagine it would coming from Aaron Neville. I turned around and watched him climb into his Bentley.
When I heard this version, I thought of that story but listened to the whole song. It belongs on this list.
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day – Johnny Cash, Christmas with Johnny Cash
First, if you’ve never read Cash by Johnny Cash stop what you are doing and order it for yourself for Christmas. It’s his autobiography and it’s a classic.
This version is different from the playlists, I grabbed this video from a late 70′s performance that included June Carter Cash.
Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter, A Classic Soul Christmas
I don’t have a dirty uncle, but if I did I think Clarence Carter would be his favorite singer. When this came on I just left it on for a gag, but included it because I had never heard this one and it made me smile.
White Christmas – Otis Redding, A Classic Soul Christmas
I’ve never seen Love Actually. Every year I mean to sit down and watch it, because my wife loves it. I’ve got a few days off coming up, so maybe I can finally watch it with her.
Otis Redding could sing me my math text book from high school and I’d want to listen. This is required Christmas listening.
What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? – Ella Fitzgerald, Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas
This New Year’s Eve song sneaks on to the list because it was included on Ella’s Christmas/Holiday album. This song made me glad I don’t have to worry about my plans for New Years any more.
What songs are in your Christmas mix this year? If you have something you’ve been listening to non-stop share it below.