Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time--December 15

We've listened to thousands of Christmas songs over the years, and when you hear a 24-hour Christmas channel or satellite television channel you know there is much filler that you'd really rather not bother with.  Instead, choose the cream of the crop.  We've done the research so you can listen to only the best.  Choose the ones that you particularly like and they make great background music for Christmas parties or on Christmas Day itself.  Our family likes to sit by the Christmas tree listening to these and talking about the songs and why they are so great, sharing memories, and spending quality time together.

Here are six more of The Top 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*.

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
by Judy Garland

Judy recorded this version on April 20, 1944 and it reached #2 the following Christmas.  But it first appeared in the 1943 movie Meet Me in St. Louis.  Written during World War II, it had some depressing lyrics as soldiers went another Christmas being away from the ones they loved.  Garland loathed one of the lines, which followed the title with "It may be your last", especially since she was singing it to a little girl in the film.  It was thus changed to "Let your heart be light."  

"I Heard the Bells"
by Three Irish Tenors

This traditional favorite was written by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  During the U.S. Civil War, Longfellow's oldest son, Charles, joined the Union soldiers against his father's wishes.  Charles soon got promoted to lieutenant but was severely wounded in November, 1862.  This news, coupled with the loss of his wife Francis, prompted Longfellow to write "Christmas Bells".  He wrote the poem on Christmas Day, 1864 but it wasn't until 1872 that the poem was put to music.

"Happy Xmas" (War Is Over)"
by John Lennon

This original song was written by Lennon and Yoko Ono and released in 1971 as a single.  It was a protest song about the Vietnam War that has since been covered by many artists.  It reached #4 in the U.K. for Lennon.

"Silver Bells"
by the Supremes

The great trio the Supremes recorded this holiday favorite in November, 1965 and it became one of the most popular versions of the song.  Their version is much slower and sentimental than others.

"The Christmas Waltz"
by Frank Sinatra

Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne wrote this song.  This is from the Sinatra Christmas Album from 1954 and is one of four that Sinatra has among The Best 150 for All-Time*.  The song still stands the test of time.
"Silent Night"
by Josh Groban

Josh Groban has quickly become one of the world's most beloved singers.  When he sings a song, it's usually fabulous and that's the case here.  Groban successfully captures the magical awesomeness of the occasion.  The backing choir is also wisely chosen.

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