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Blog Carolers

One of the first signs that the Christmas season is upon us, is of course the sound of Christmas carols — on the radio, in the stores, in your home as you decorate your tree. In many places, you can even hear the pretty jingling and soft crooning floating down the main street of town.

As many of you know, music is not a huge love of mine. If I never heard another bar or note as long as I lived, I would be completely fine with that. And while Christmas is my favourite time of year, I’ll admit it … I don’t listen to much Christmas music.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. No. I do. In fact, I’m going to share with you today my 12 favourite Christmas songs. It’s a mix of both classic and modern. In the right setting and situation, I’m sure that I’d enjoy these beautiful melodies enough to want to play them endlessly during the holidays. And that time will come. But for right now, I’ll settle for just an occasional listen as I write you a blog post to celebrate the season.

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So turn on your colourful, twinkling lights, sit back with a glass of eggnog, and listen to some Christmas music with me. The first two songs on the list are my favourites, but the rest are in no particular order.

Please feel free to share your own Christmas favourites below. I’d love to see how my choices compare to yours!

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O, Come, All Ye Faithful

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All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

This is without question my favourite Christmas carol. I first mentioned it in the post “The Perfect Christmas Film: “A Christmas Carol” (1938)”, where I admitted to breaking down in tears when Fred and Bess, Bob and Tiny Tim, are singing this in the church. But even just reading the lyrics here (they’re so beautiful) has me wiping my cheeks in frustration. What is it about this song (and the next one!) that just wrecks me? I don’t know. I wish I knew. It’s probably a good thing I don’t attend church, because I’d disrupt the whole thing when my singing turned into sobbing. God help me, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. :-/

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Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

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Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

I wanted to include all the lyrics to this one because they’re truly wonderful. I think that’s what gets to me when it comes to these first two carols: The message. The world is rampant today with so much disdain and scorn for our Lord. So when I see/hear something that so openly talks about Jesus and in such a reverent, positive manner, it just makes my heart absolutely clench.

These first two carols aren’t just songs. They’re a beautiful explanation of the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. And for that simple fact, I love them.

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Silver Bells

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“Silver Bells” was first recorded in 1950 and is a lovely little song. It’s quiet and understated, and as far as secular Christmas songs go, I really do enjoy this peaceful number. You can listen to the Bing Crosby version here, but I like the Johnny Mathis one a little more.

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All I Want For Christmas Is You

What a great song. Specifically the Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey version. Okay, I just heard all those gasps at the mention of the dreaded “J.B.”, but hear me out. I’m not a Justin Bieber fan (OR a Mariah Carey fan, for that matter), but this song is magical. And I really, really like it. So forget about who’s singing and just enjoy it, okay?

And the video, geez, I know, I’m sorry, truly, it’s sickening, I know. But… all that white fur and sparkling jewellery… I’m a woman, guys! Cut me some slack here. I’m crazy for that stuff! O_o

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The Christmas Song
(Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)

This is probably the Christmas song I most enjoy singing along to. Rod Stewart does a fantastic version, but if I can say the “JB” word again… Bieber does a really nice rendition too. And of course, if you prefer the sharp and clean sound of the classics, you can always listen to Nat King Cole, who recorded the song in 1946.

“The Christmas Song” was written in 1945 by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé, and has been covered countless times. In addition to the three versions I mention above, you can also enjoy a Paul McCartney rendition which has a delightfully soft and smooth flavour to it.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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With the kids jingle-belling
And everyone telling you “Be of good cheer”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

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If you like a good theatrical song, this is the one for you. Andy Williams belts out “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” so convincingly that even the most ardent winter-haters will want to run outside and jump in a snow bank. Okay, maybe that’s just me. Fine. Whatever.

All I know is that if you deny singing the song’s final few bars as if you’re standing under a spotlight in the middle of a Broadway stage, covered in sequins, with fake snow falling all around you, then you’re a liar.

Oh. That’s just me too? Okay, moving on then.

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Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride

Of all the songs listed here, I think “Sleigh Ride” has the most catchy tune. I’ll admit it, I’m partial to the Doo-Wop-y Ronettes version. But if you’d like something a bit more mellow, perhaps the Carpenters are more your speed. Starts out a little slow and kinda creepy, but it picks up. And wow, look at that coat Karen is wearing! I would so wear that.

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The First Noël

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There were quite a few versions of “The First Noel” to choose from for this post, but you know what? I didn’t like ANY of them. Except the one by Frank Sinatra. Sometimes you really can’t improve on the classics. And you know how I know that he nails it? My eyes are prickling again.

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Silent Night

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If I only had a nickel for every time I had to sing this at Christmas concerts when I was in school! I won’t pretend to be some amazing voice, but I did do quite a bit of singing in my younger years, including some very successful competitive stuff, and suffice it to say… well, I don’t suck!

I read that “Silent Night” is the most famous Christmas carol of all time, and apparently Bing Crosby’s version (1935) is the third best-selling single of all time.

I made it all of 4 bars into that video before — yep, you guessed it — tears. *sighs* Hopeless. Hopeless, hopeless, HOPELESS.

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White Christmas

I used to dream of a white Christmas. And living this far north, there really was no other kind of Christmas when I was growing up. But oddly enough, as soon as it was me who had to get up and shovel 2 feet of snow in the morning, and spend 3 hours snow-blowing the laneway just so that I could then risk my life on the treacherous icy death traps we call roads? Ha, funny thing. Suddenly the thought of a GREEN Christmas suited me just fine!

But I DO dream about hearing “White Christmas”. Especially if it’s being sung by Rod Stewart. And if you don’t have Rod Stewart’s 2012 holiday album “Merry Christmas, Baby“? What the heck are you waiting for?

Tip: This is the deluxe version's cover. The regular album has blue Christmas balls instead of pink.

Tip: This is the deluxe version’s cover. The regular album has blue Christmas balls instead of pink.

I don’t like music, and I hate PAYING for music, but even I hustled to the store the day it was released! And do spring for the deluxe version. It includes three bonus tracks. You won’t be disappointed. Rod’s “Auld Lang Syne” is a masterpiece. (More tears with that one too, FYI. ;P)

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

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Of course Rod’s version is my favourite. But Frank Sinatra had a beautiful take on it too.

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“The Christmas Waltz”

This is not a song I grew up listening to, but when someone finally shared it with me? It became an instant favourite. It was written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne for Frank Sinatra in 1954. This is a “grab your sweetheart and dance in the living room” type of tune, I think.

And a happy belated birthday to Ol’ Blue Eyes, who would have turned 100 on December 12th.

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After writing this post, I’ve realized something… Rod Stewart has never done my two favourite Christmas carols. Can you imagine what would happen if I heard Rod sing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”…? I might just die on the spot. O_o Someone needs to make this happen. Not the dying part, obviously, but the songs bit. That would be… amazing.

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a very good girl this year, and all I want for Christmas is to hear Rod Stewart sing my favourite Christmas carols. Pleeeeeeeeaaaaasssseeeeee!!!!!

Wendy

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