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A Few Christmas Songs I Can’t Do Without December 11, 2008

Posted by markgeil in Music, You did ask - didn't you?.
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Now that you’ve read about my least favorite Christmas songs, here’s the good stuff. I’ll start with modern songs you might hear on the radio around Chrstimastime and then reveal my favorite Christmas carol, since you asked.

Category 1: The song that plays on the radio and causes me to say, “Okay, NOW it’s Christmas”

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band

The jingle bells get me every time, along with the Boss’s banter with Clarence Clemons about a new saxophone. I haven’t heard it on the radio yet this year, so it’s not officially Christmas yet. Watching it on Youtube doesn’t count, although I did unearth this fantastic vintage 1978 version:

Category 2: The Coolest Christmas Song Ever

“Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid

I bought the 12-inch vinyl single, doing my part to help the starving children in Ethiopia. I memorized the list of artists. I thought it was the height of cool when Sting drew out the singing of his own name ever-so-slightly in the line, “Where the only water flowing is the bitter ssssting of tears.” I also quite enjoy how Bono simply cannot stand still when he sings. See if you remember all the faces:

Category 3: What happens if The Band Makes a Christmas Song

“Christmas Must Be Tonight” by The Band

I never hear this anymore, but the chorus is forever etched in my brain, in a good way. Robbie Robertson is a master. I couldn’t find a performance video, so here’s the song set to random Christmas artwork. Maybe minimize the window and just listen…

Category 4: Honorable Mention, since we’re on the classic rock theme

“Father Christmas” by the Kinks

A not-so-gentle reminder to remember the ones who have nothing at Christmas time. This video looks like it was shot off a disco ball:

Merry Christmas!



1. Dave Sloan - December 28, 2008

I completely agree on the Boss, always puts a smile on my face. But if you’re sticking to a classic rock theme for your list you have to include Jimi Hendrix’s Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night for the historical value if nothing else.

I’d vote for a shoutout to Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas theme or anything by Karen Carpenter.

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