Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Top 10 Best Christmas Songs

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :)  

- Blog #11: Due to excruciating times and struggles of college and school curricular, I've been very negligent in avoiding this site for a bit. However, the near-glacial temperature has given me the necessary motivation in finding a new topic to discuss. Christmas time is a very special time of year. For some, this holiday is the beginning of the end for the previous year. For others, it is a time to reflect on some of the greatest holiday traditions ever. When I think of Christmas, one thing comes to mind right away. That very thing is the holiday music that summons itself out of nowhere. It's the end of Thanksgiving and "Ka-POW!" Christmas music is playing on the radio at 12:00 am, which is the day after. This blog was made to specially commemorate some of the best Christmas songs that I've ever heard. 

1. 12 Days of Christmas (The Muppets Version) - I love the "12 Days of Christmas" song anyway, but I immediately think of this rendition when the song is brought up into discussion. I remembered the good old days where I would sit in the comforts of my living room and put on a cassette (yes...they were still used) with some of the best Christmas music ever. This was back when the Muppets ruled the world. One of the songs was the Muppets version of "12 Days of Christmas" and, the first time I heard it, I said in my mind: "Oh my God....MUPPETS!" This song is great because you think you're going to hear a regular man sing it (which would have worked, since John Denver had a great voice), but nope. Suddenly, Fozzy the Bear comes in! Whoo-Hoo! Then, you got an entourage of Muppet voices and you relive the funny moments of creativity at its best.

2. Feliz Navidad - "Who would-a thunk it?" Spanish lyrics in a Christian holiday song. If I recall, this song was also featured on the very same cassette I mentioned in #1. Sure, it's repetitive and there's really only one set of lines/lyrics to the entire song. However, was anybody else attracted to José Feliciano's voice when this song was played? I was. I'm not going to lie. It's not even about what the song was saying. It's Feliciano's voice and the feeling of joy that you got when you heard this music. I swear it gets better every year.

3. Sleigh Ride - I really enjoy this piece of music. Listening to this song really does give you the sensation that you're riding on a sleigh. All in a beautiful Christmas-like climate. There's another reason that I have this song on my list, though. I've listened to a lot of Christmas songs and, as a musician, I can say that this one is one of the hardest ones to play. I'm sure there are "hardcore" musicians reading this and thinking, "Oh that song's not hard. It's easy!"  Maybe it's easy for THEM to play, but they can't deny this song to be a challenge. Believe's harder than what many people make it out to be. I have a high respect for people who can perfectly play this Christmas beast.

4. Carol of the Bells - Here's another song that gives personification a workout. "Carol of the Bells" can give you the instant vision of bells that are ringing in a harmony of melodic rounds. It doesn't really matter how this song is composed. I've appreciated every composition made from this piece, even Family Guy's Burger King version. Ding...dong...ding...dong......(Ding! Fries are done! Ding! Fries are done!)

5. A Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives has a very unique voice that many people will not be able to top, even in the many years to come. Many people see Ives as the snowman who sings this song on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. To be honest, so do I. I remember Ives the Snowman singing and narrating the show and I believe that every child should grow up watching Rudolph and Ives on Christmas. It's a classic song. The song is telling you to have a merry holiday and do what any courteous person would do and say hello to friends you know...and everyone you meet (I wasn't trying to be cute there).

6. Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song) - This is a song that I'm sure not many people have thought of along the thoughts of Christmas. Indeed. This is a Christian song written by Amy Grant and it was made for the purpose of the popular Christian holiday. It's just a sweet, soothing tune that can warm anyone's heart. I first heard of this song through one of Boney James' Christmas albums, which is where I listened to his saxophone version of "Breath of Heaven." One of Amy Grant's best songs. This piece is a beautiful addition to my list.

7. Silent Night - Unlike "Breath of Heaven", "Silent Night" seems to get all the attention when you get right down to it. It's another Christian song celebrating Christ, our savior. Why this gets more attention than "Breath of Heaven" is beyond my line of logic, but I know that this song has caught many people's ears. It really does give you this inner feeling of peace in your soul. If ever I am asked to sing this for a special Christmas event, I would gladly partake.

8. I'll Be Home For Christmas - Here's a great song. Think about it like this. You have a family member or a very close friend who's away from you...for a long period of time. You're nearing the holiday season and you're thinking about if your loved one will make it home for Christmas. This song could very well be a tribute to those who leave their families to apply their craft, in their trade, elsewhere. War, out-of-state jobs, out-of-country jobs, and even excursions can be the hair's split end. In the end, those people want to return home. Our hopes go out with this song and those who work very hard for what they want to accomplish.

9. O Christmas Tree - Music is sometimes considered poetry in a melodic movement. This song is a poem within music. It tributes the traditional addition to the holiday shin-digs. There are many versions of this song out there, but all revolve around the same point. The Christmas tree remains tall and proud, while all the presents are laid around (my inner-poet). I guess the idea of praising a mascot for nature is a respectable reason for this song to be featured here.

10. Christmas Time is Here - A song that literally tells you that Christmas time is here! I give you my holiday song of choice. This song's most famous role was being the intro music to the first ever Peanuts show made (made possible by the great Vince Guaraldi). Whenever Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown came on the air, you knew that you were nearing the holiday. This song is just wonderful to sing to, listen to, and play a musical instrumentation to. Just now, I'm visioning Charlie Brown and his friends skating on the ice. Remembering the good old days makes me weep in my heart. Shows and music just aren't made the same just can't stop progress. I usually don't like picking favorites to anything, but this song really leaves my mind on the fence. If not THE best song, "Christmas Time is Here" is one of the most memorable Christmas songs ever!

- Done. (Happy Holidays from Steven Chung!)

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