Merry Christmas! In the spirit of the season, I’ve decided to highlight holiday songs that I absolutely love that aren’t your traditional hymnal or tune. I won’t take up your precious holiday time with too much reading.
So kick back, enjoy those new presents, and let these five songs provide the perfect backdrop to your Christmas day or night.
Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie and Bing Crosby
This is a recent discovery for me, but this quickly jumped up to the top of my list. Bowie and Bing seem like an odd match, but their distinct voices and styles make for great contrast and layering. Originally, the song was meant to only be “Little Drummer Boy,” but Bowie wasn’t interested in the song. So they made up a new tune and created the duet with only 30 minutes of rehearsal!
Happy X-Mas (War is Over) – John Lennon
Lennon’s Christmas ode is probably one of the most downbeat and modern holiday songs ever made. But it’s hopeful, too. Part Christmas song, part protest, this is a powerful call to introspection that results in action. This song is relevant all times of the year, but especially Christmas.
Christmas is Coming – Vince Guaraldi
“Linus and Lucy” is typically the first song from A Charlie Brown Christmas that most people think about. But honestly, every song from that classic holiday special is downright amazing. Guaraldi’s jazzy score is timeless and instantly recognizable. I chose “Christmas is Coming” because of its fast, upbeat, and exciting nature. It’s enough to make you feel like a kid on the night of Christmas Eve again!
This Christmas – Donny Hathaway
This is one of the great R&B Christmas tunes. It’s smooth, upbeat, and romantic. Hathaway’s warm but soaring vocals are the standout here, making any cover fall short. When it comes to spending Christmas with someone you love, “This Christmas” feels like the perfect compliment. Turn this on and get cozy by the fire with that special someone.
Santa Claus is Back in Town – Elvis Presley
If you’ve been following my blog for long enough, you may have noticed a pattern. I love Elvis. So of course I’d slide him into this list. He covered plenty of classic holiday tunes in his time, but “Santa Claus is Back in Town” is one of the most quintessentially Elvis. It’s fun, confident, and full of swagger. Every Christmas needs a little Elvis!
I hope you enjoy the songs! Merry Christmas, everybody!