5 Christmas songs to listen to

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Christmas songs | by Lisa Padilla http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisap/3116667150/ via Creative Commons

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping on your nose,” I bet everyone knows this first line from one of the most popular songs played every Christmas season. The Christmas Song popularized by The Nat King Cole Trio in 1946 was written and arranged by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells in 1944.

Apart from this song and the traditional Yuletide music we hear like Jingle Bells, Joy to the World, 12 Days of Christmas, and Oh Holy Night, international song artists recorded contemporary and modern Christmas songs to add to our Yuletide music canon throughout the years.

With over 50 songs to choose from, I picked 5 that I recommend you to listen to while savoring the aroma of chestnuts and the tickle of cold wind.

Let’s time warp in the 1970s with the song Happy Christmas (War is Over) performed by one of the most popular couples and music icons John Lennon and Yoko Ono with the Harlem Community Choir. The song is the 7th single of Lennon outside The Beatles. The highest peak it had ever reached in the UK Singles Chart was No. 2 after Lennon’s death in 1980.

I pick two songs from the 1980s that are worth to be included in your Christmas playlist: Last Christmas by Wham! and Do They Know it’s Christmas? by Band Aid. These singles were both released in 1984 and went head-to-head for the No. 1 spot in the UK Singles Chart.

As we know, Do They Know it’s Christmas? was written to raise fund to help the Ethiopians in the 1983-1985 famine. Through this Bob Geldof’s initiative to write this song, $14 million was raised after the release of the single.

Wham!’s Last Christmas was in fact competing with Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love in the music chart but then got past by Band Aid’s. I guess Wham!’s lead vocal George Michael didn’t feel bad when Do They Know it’s Christmas? snatched the first spot, after all he provided input in the song through his involvement with Band Aid.

Despite having different genres, these songs catch the heart of many. Some chase a lovely celebration with their so-called “the one” after a heartbreaking Christmas last year which is why Wham!’s song appeals to them. We all want a joyful Christmas so “this year to save you from tears, you’ll give your heart to someone special”, I know this is clear enough. Pardon me, George Michael, for tweaking a little of the lyrics. We both know nothing beats the original.

Before I reveal my choice from the 2000s hit songs, I would share my 1990s pick of Christmas music which is no other than Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is You. It’s another Yuletide-theme love song, and we can’t deny the fact that it invaded the music charts all over the world. I think listeners got the message of the song that’s why it got thumbs up, particularly from New Yorkers. Who wouldn’t want to be with their partners on Christmas day? I hope no one.

Okay, this song may be too modern for our folks out there, but hope it still all right to include them in the Christmas music playing at your home. Coldplay’s Christmas Lights released in 2010 that was available for digital download got a positive review anyway. It may be a song for those who would have “cold” Christmas, but this G-major key mid-tempo Christmas music gets attention from alternative rock fans regardless of the meaning of the lyrics.

There you go the five songs I recommend for your Christmas playlist. I was actually listening to them while I was writing, and I really love them all. Hope you would like them, too.

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