Christmas carols are one thing, but how about those other Christmas songs we all sing along with on the radio?
One of the things I love most about December is singing traditional Christmas songs, although I do have to admit that I get a tad sick of hearing the same ten repeated over and over in the stores, one right after the other. Especially that crybaby version of “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.”
That’s a great song, people. Only not when it’s sung as if the singer (usually one of the fairer sex) sings it slowly and mournfully, as if she’s about to burst into tears at any moment. She probably thinks she’s being bluesy and all that, but that’s a song meant to be sung speedily and joyfully, not like a funeral dirge.
Moving Right Along
Lest this turn into a rant about misguided singers ruining Christmas for me (the black-hearted miscreants!), let’s take a look at a few of my other favorites.
But first, I want to make a distinction between traditional Christmas songs and Christmas carols. You see, while carols like “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night” are certainly traditional songs, there are some songs that don’t exactly work out as carols.
Take, for example, the one that begins “Up on the housetop, reindeer pause/Out jumps good old Santa Claus!” That’s undoubtedly a classic, especially among the kiddies, but hardly a carol. The same goes for a *well sung* version of the Chestnuts song, not to mention “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
Or for that matter, the satirical version of the latter, “Walking Round in Women’s Underwear,” which unfortunately I haven’t been able to forget since I first heard it. And to get some idea of when that was, it mentions Murphy Brown. Remember her?
Some of us are mature enough to remember when certain faves became Christmas traditions, as surely as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” has. “Rudolph” was originally a Gene Autry recording from 1949, by the way, and the second best-selling single ever until the 1980s.
My favorite recent classic is the Elmo & Patsy ditty “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” I have a weird sense of humor, I suppose… but I was on hand in ’79 when this song made its historic broadcast debut. Now Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.
Hows About You?
Surely you’ve got your own favorite Christmas sing-along songs, even if you do get sick of them eventually. Still, like Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, they start out fresh and new, but still familiar, every holiday season. So tell us what Yuletide songs float your boat.
If we get enough responses from you, Dear Readers, we may well issue a second article outlining another batch of traditional Christmas songs, both new and old!