Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time--December 7

Welcome to Day Seven of The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*:
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
by the Weavers

This popular caroling song is from the West Country of England from the sixteenth century.  The song got its origin from the English tradition whereby wealthy people of the community gave Christmas treats to carolers on Christmas Eve.

This song stands out from other versions due to the unique musical delivery of the words.

"Sleigh Ride"
by the New Christy Minstrels

This version of the popular song is from Christmas with the Christies from 1966.  The enthusiastic and cheerful adaption and unique presentation (there is no other version like it!) gets the Minstrels a spot in The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time*.  Many people think it is the best version.

"Oh Holy Night"
by Celine Dion

Celine Dion gives a rousing rendition of perhaps the most faithful and reverent of all the Christmas songs.

"Ding Dong Merrily on High"
by Roger Whitaker

George Ratcliffe Woodward wrote the lyrics, first published in 1924 in his The Cambridge Carol-Book:  Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter, and Other Seasons.  Charles Wood put music to the words in The Cambridge Carol Book, borrowing from the dance tune "le branle de l'Official", from the dance book Orchesographie by Jehan Tabourot (1519-1593).  

Whittaker's interpretation of the light, airy, almost magical sound of bells stays true to the dance origins of the song.

"Mistletoe and Holly"
by Frank Sinatra

This song was written in 1957 by Hank Sanicola, Sinatra and Doc Stanford and appeared on Frank's first full-length Christmas album A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra.  Sinatra's version is by far the most popular.

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
by Andy Williams

This great song was written by Edward Pola and George Wylie.  It was recorded for the album The Andy Williams Christmas Album and was selected as the theme song for Christmas Seals in both 1968 and 1976.  Since its release, the song has received more airplay each year and, although other versions have been recorded, Williams essentially "owns" the song.  To me, it's not Christmas unless I hear this song.

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