Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Top Christmas Songs of All-Time: December 25

Here are the final six songs for Christmas to wrap up our Top 150 Songs of Christmas*.  

"Christmas Canon"
by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

This song is set to Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major with new lyrics.  It is notable in its departure of TSO's famous rock arrangements, instead being performed with a children's choir with light accompaniment from piano and strings.  It was first featured on the album The Christmas Attic in 1998 and is now one of the top three downloaded Christmas songs of all-time.

"Home for the Holidays"
by Perry Como

This was originally featured on the 1954 album Four Christmases.  As is the case with nearly all of his releases, its tough to beat a Como version.  And nothing like being Home for the Holidays!

"Merry Christmas Darling"
by the Carpenters

This standard was written in 1946 by Frank Pooler while in his teens.  Pooler went on to become musical director at California-Long Beach and it was there that Richard and Karen took a class in the mid-60's.  Pooler played the song for them, commenting that he'd never been happy with the melody.  Richard re-worked the song and the duo released it first in 1970, then again in 1978 with a re-recording.  The nostalgic feel is perfect for the season and is certainly one of the most romantic of Christmas songs.

"The Little Drummer Boy"
by the Harry Simeone Chorale

Although this version by the Harry Simeone Chorale is not the original, it is nonetheless far and away the standard.  The Chorale give the song its most holy sound, even recorded in a Greenwich Village cathedral to give it a signature authentic feel.  It made the charts for five consecutive Christmases.

"Let It Snow"/"Count Your Blessings"/"We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
by the Ray Conniff Singers

The album We Wish You a Merry Christmas was recorded in 1962 featuring the Singers on several medleys.  One of the most popular is this one.  "Count Your Blessings" conveys a message that we all should be thankful for what we have, and the Singers perform "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" with sincerity and joy.  And it is that feeling that I wish to express in hoping that you have enjoyed this Christmas special and in hoping you and your family enjoy the magic of Christmas, both today and through the year.

"The Lord's Prayer"
by Barbra Streisand

We close our Christmas special of The Top 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time* with this, because He is the One we can thank that there is a Christmas at all.  It is on the album Barbra Streisand/A Christmas Album.  Barbra's mastering of tone, enunciation, every little inflection of her voice - draws the listener in closer and you feel as if she's singing just to you.  She gives a spectacular performance on this song that wraps up our special with reverence and a grand finish. 

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