Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Daniel Approved Christmas Tunes

Every December for the past couple of years, I've made it my mission to find Christmas music that Daniel likes so that we can listen to it together.  It's taken me hours and hours of playing him samples from hundreds of versions of songs to come up with the following 20 song playlist.  And since he was the first person to put on the Christmas CD this year, I consider it a rousing success.

1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman - Aimee Mann
A very stripped down vocal with some nice music effects. At just over two minutes, it's short and sweet.

2. Carol of the Bells - The Bird and the Bee
I adore this song and can listen to it in most incarnations, but this is the only version that is Daniel approved, probably because it sounds so modern. And it's short.

3. The Christmas Song - The Raveonettes
I love this rock/folk version of this song so much, I could listen to it all year round.

4. Star of Wonder - Tori Amos
This reworking of the Christmas classic is a nice mix of the familiar and Tori's flight of fancy.

5. O Come All Ye Faithful - Weezer
The whole Weezer Christmas album is a winner in Daniel's eyes, but this is the one that I chose for the playlist because I have good versions of most of the other songs from other singers.

6. Rudy - The Be Good Tanyas
Daniel likes this song about "Rudy the Red-Nosed Wino" who dies on Christmas Day more than I do, but I tolerate it for him.

7. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues
The classic Christmas song for holiday music haters.

8. Good King Wenceslas - Loreena McKennitt

9. O Little Town of Bethlehem - Elvis Presley
Still haven't found a version we like better than the King's.

10. Away in A Manger - Sufjan Stevens
Most of Sufjan's Christmas catalogue is a good bet for people who don't like traditional Christmas music.

11. When the Bells Start Ringing - My Morning Jacket
This is a good Americana slice of Christmas.

12. O Come O Come Emmanuel - The Civil Wars
The best version I've found of this song, though I also really like the Tori Amos version.

13. Gabriel's Message - Sting
Daniel enjoys pretty much the entire If On A Winter's Night CD from Sting and I do too. This is my favorite though.

14. Ding Dong! Merrily On High - Chanticleer
Perhaps a surprise for this list considering it's quite traditional. But it's well done, and very short.

15. Blue Christmas - Johnny Cash
Perfectly acceptable!

16. What Child Is This? - Josh Groban
I was surprised that Daniel likes this, but he does. Groban's clear voice is a stunner on this simple version of the song.

17. Rockin Around the Christmas Tree - She & Him
I must have listened to 100 versions of this song before Daniel finally accepted this one. Whew! I had to have it on my list.

18. O Holy Night - Emmy Rossum
This is my favorite Christmas song and the only version so far that doesn't make Daniel's ears bleed (well, besides the Weezer version, but you can only have so much Weezer on a playlist).

19. The First Noel - Leigh Nash
 This is my second favorite Christmas song and the only version so far that doesn't make Daniel's ears bleed (well, besides the Weezer version, but you can only have so much Weezer on a playlist).

20. River - Glee Cast Version
My guilty pleasure on this list, and Daniel hasn't complained. Yet.

Do you have any suggestions I might add to this list?


Zibilee said...

You must hear The Twelve Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser. It's wonderful, and totally hilarious.

Christina said...

Oh man, I like the most ridiculous Christmas music. Here are some of my faves:

Last Christmas - Wham (no joke...I love this for some crazy reason)

Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney

My all time favorite one is Snoopy's Christmas - The Royal Guardsmen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbhzqoYYROA

Oh, and the soundtrack to Home Alone is awesome for Christmas.

This one's the best for lols:
Carol of the Meows - Guster http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QVg8c62sDw

Liviania said...

I love that version of Good King Wenscelas!

And I recommend Sandy Patti's O Holy Night. It's stunning.

Uomo di Speranza said...

A Very She & Him Christmas is a drop-dead-oh-my-goodness-I-have-faith-in-humanity-again Christmas album. They always play it at my local Starbucks, and there's nothing better to associate with music than a Peppermint Mocha...mhmmmmm.

Leanna Elle said...

I love The Christmas song by The Raveonettes! :)

I'll add my suggestions:

Christmas Song by Joy Zipper
Silent Night by The Kills

And for something more upbeat Christmas Tree by Lady Gaga! ;)

Joanna Hennon said...

I'm just discovering the world of Christmas songs that aren't the ones on your standard Christmas cd and am loving these kinds of posts. I will go through your list very carefully - my husband hates Christmas music so maybe there will be something in here that he'll enjoy. The one about the wino sounds promising. ;-)

Alyce said...

We always manage to listen to Elvis, and I do have a weakness for the Beach Boys Christmas Album. :)

Oh, and I second the recommendation for the Snoopy Christmas Bells song by The Royal Guardsman - it's my husband's favorite Christmas song and I like it too.

Jennifer Powers said...

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by The Barenaked Ladies and Sarah Mclachlan. It's a few years old, but made of awesome.

Linda said...

I have to be honest & tell you that I've only heard Elvis and Josh's versions of their songs. I have so many Christmas favorite it's hard to pick just 5 or 10. But you might listen to snippets of Richard Marx's Christmas Spirit CD. Very traditional and I love it!

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blogger10 said...

No Johnny Mathis? Be still my heart! :)
I had no idea Weezer did a Christmas album though. Definitely checking that out!

Sarah said...

I adore Johnny Cash, so so much BUT I cannot stand his Christmas songs (and believe me, I love Christmas music!). I'm glad his Christmas tunes work for someone!

Kristen M. said...

I'm super late but my favorite non-traditional song right now is A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like a Kiss) by Glasvegas. LOVE IT.