Alexandra Eby ’12 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
First, I would like to say that choosing these 12 songs was insanely difficult. I’m obsessed with Christmas music and currently own two hundred and eighty Christmas songs. My initial list was 22 songs long and even that was with a lot of sacrifices. I was, however, able to narrow it down to my top 12, but it was extremely difficult. I’m probably going to regret some of my decisions when I look back at this list because so many songs deserve to be on it, but this is what I was able to come up with. This list is, in my opinion, the twelve best Christmas songs. (In no particular order.)
“Believe” – Josh Groban
This song is on the list because it’s beautiful to listen to from the instruments to the vocals. The instruments sound like Christmas with their use of bells and high notes that sound like snow. The lyrics to this song are also great, they embody the spirit of Christmas, and Josh Groban’s voice captures the mood of the song perfectly.
“Twelve Days of Christmas” – John Denver & The Muppets
This version of the Twelve Days of Christmas surpasses all others. The way each Muppet sings their part is original and embodies their character which really makes the song special. Combine the uniqueness of the way this song is sung with the nostalgia factor of the Muppets, and this song easily makes the list for best Christmas songs.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – Band Aid
Although the purpose of this song was for a charity event, it has stuck around and become a favorite. The popular 80’s artists singing an 80’s style Christmas song gives the song a great melody that’s memorable and pleasing to listen to. The singers and the melody make this song one of my absolute favorite Christmas songs.
“Carol of the Bells” – Pentatonix
This song is the newest song on this list, and the moment I heard it I loved it. This version of Carol of the Bells in my opinion is the best, and it’s also a cappella. The overlapping layers intertwine perfectly with each other and the harmonies are amazing. They have a lot of sound for an a cappella group of five, and the song is just incredible to listen to.
“Mary Did You Know” – Clay Aiken
I had never heard of this song until I heard it on Clay Aiken’s Christmas Album. The first time I heard it, I knew it was going to be one of my favorites. The vocals in this song are extremely impressive and can be very powerful. The melody of this song is the best part, although it’s slow it’s catchy. The lyrics are also interesting and original. Everything about this song is perfect and it’s an original song that not many people know of, but should.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Glee Cast
There are so many versions of the classic, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, but the best one in my opinion is sung by Darren Criss and Chris Colfer. The emotion they put into this song is convincing and it actually seems like they are having a conversation back and forth with each other instead of just singing lines back and forth to each other. Their voices also work very well with each other, and the song goes at the perfect pace compared to other versions of this song.
“Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney
Despite how many times I listen to this song, I still love it. The song is fun and merry; and the jingle bells throughout the song also make it feel like Christmas. The chorus is also one of the catchiest choruses of a Christmas song. In general this song is upbeat and fun to listen to, and it’s just not Christmas until this song has played.
“Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” – Bing Crosby and David Bowie
“Little Drummer Boy” is a classic that has many different versions, but this version is my favorite. The combination of “Peace on Earth” sung on top of it makes this version really stand out. The overlapping melodies fit extremely well with each other, and Bing Crosby and David Bowie are a great duo. This message of this song is very meaningful and it gives a lot to think about. Overall, it’s a beautiful song, and the “Peace on Earth” part really brings a lot to “Little Drummer Boy.”
“Last Christmas” – Wham!
This song is a perfect combination of 80’s music and Christmas music. The melody is catchy and it’s difficult to not want to sing along. The message of this song is also extremely relatable to a lot of people which is another reason to want to sing along. The instruments in this song do a great job at sounding both like the 80’s and Christmas at the same time. It’s not Christmas without singing along to this song.
“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Bruce Springsteen
The intro to this song is one of the best parts of the song. When Bruce Springsteen is trying to get his live audience into the Christmas spirit, it translates to the listener even if they weren’t there live at the concert. The energy put into this song puts you in a good mood and really gets you excited about Christmas. I own seven different versions of this song, and this version is by far my favorite. The melody and the way it’s sung stands out among all of the rest, and makes it good enough to be on this list.
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John & Yoko & The Plastic Ono Band With The Harlem Community Choir
The best part of this song is the lyrics. They really make you think about the meaning of Christmas and what it means to cherish peace and not be at war. It’s definitely a sad Christmas song, but it’s lovely to listen to. The melody is very pleasant, and the children singing along in the choir make it special and give it even more emotion. Everything about this song makes it incredible to listen to.
“Wizards in Winter” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
This last song in the list is the only one that’s fully instrumental, but it doesn’t make it any less great. It’s upbeat and fun, and it really captures the spirit of Christmas. The instruments make it feel like there are wizards running around in the snow causing fun and chaos. The song just feels like winter and it’s incredibly well done and easily one of the best Christmas songs that always reminds you of the holiday season.
I hope you check out all of the songs I mentioned, because they’re all marvelous. I wish I could put more songs on this list, but this top twelve, in my opinion, definitely has the best. Happy holidays!