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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Music

I realize I haven't had an entry for a while, I figured I would take a departure for the education posts and make an entry about Christmas music. Considering many of us spend the month of December and perhaps even more I figure it's about time for me to give my opinion on the subject.

First off a few things: I am constantly trying new music and different versions of songs. I have listened to many different versions and different singers/bands to try to find a wide variety of selections of Christmas music. I like traditional versions, but I also like when songs are enhanced/changed just enough to make them unique but still hold true the songs roots. All of the songs mentioned can be found on Spotify, which if you aren't using you need to. Easily the best free way to listen to whatever you want.

Favorite Song: O Holy Night. I love the lyrics, the music, the meaning, and the passion of this song. If I could only listen to one Christmas song it would be this one. I have listened to many versions and find it hard to pick an actual favorite. I most enjoy the versions where the singer bares their soul and all the verses are sung. That being said I really like the classic tones of Nat King Cole. I also like Martina McBride(outstanding vocal performance) and Kerrie Roberts(contains other verses-great piano and a very good voice) for variety I like a band most of you won't have heard of called Act of Congress.

Other favorites: Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant- A newer song that is a thoughtful take on Mary beautifully sung by Amy Grant.

What Child is This by Faith Hill. The violins and the drums bring out the rather serious tone of this song. Faith sings the song with reverence worthy of the subject matter.

O Come O Come Emmanuel by Starfield. Probably a band you are not familiar with but a great version of this wonderful song.

The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath. Another newer song that has great sound and lyrics

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
Carol of the Bells by Manheim Steamroller
Sleigh Ride by Andy Williams
Santa Claus is coming to town by Frank Sinatra

Fun songs: God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman by the Bare Naked Ladies and Sarah McLaughlan. If you haven't heard this you are in for a treat, if you have you know what I mean.

All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. Just a great song all the way around. Try not to sing a long.

Mad Russian's Christmas by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Sometimes you need to listen to song without lyrics that doesn't take itself to seriously but gets you into the Christmas spirit.

You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft. It's not Christmas without the Grinch.

Winter Wonderland by Jason Mraz. A unique version that makes sure the listener has as much fun as the band.

Rudolph by Jack Johnson. The final added verse is worth it by itself to hear. Love that Jack gave Rudolph the voice we always wanted him to have.

Albums you may not be familiar with that are great:
The Essential Christmas Collection (various artists)
Act of Congress
Orla Fallon
Mercy Me
Amy Grant
Peter Brienholt

Weirdest: The First Noel by the Crash Test Dummies (give it a listen and you'll see why)

Most Annoying: Wonderful Christmastime (scary that people thought that was good song once upon a time, scarier still people still do)

Least Favorite: Christmas Shoes (Not gonna get into it. If you like it that's fine with me, I don't)