Holiday Music that Doesn’t Suck

I’m a grinch. I don’t like the holidays. The holidays are a lot of scramble, cranky relatives, scheduling nightmares, budget worries and consumerism. By mid December I want to send Santa a text with everyone’s name in it to put on his naughty list. (Cut me off in traffic? COAL FOR YOU.) It would take more than Cindy Loo Who to make this heart grow half a size.

That being said, I do have somewhat of a soft spot for holiday music.  Not all of it. There are some (to wit: the Feed the World celebucarol with Bono wondering if poor kids even know it’s Christmas) that make me want to poke myself in the ear with a gingerbread shiv. The following holiday carols, tunes and ditties pass the Selena “F*&$ Christmas” seal of approval.

I must say, one of my very favorite parts of this job is hunting through YouTube for solid gold. I found solid gold for the first song on my list, but the video maker has disabled embedding. You must see it to believe it.  In the meantime, here’s an embed-friendly version of “I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.” I like this chipper singer way more than that whiny fella who saw mommy macking on Santa. This kid thinks things through and is completely pragmatic about her outrageous desires.

On a more serious note, I’m fond of harmony. These are the songs that always made me pay attention in church as a kid. My mom loved harmony too, and would sing the alto part next to me if she wasn’t in the choir. It made me temporarily special in my elementary music class to only know the alto parts amongst all those showy eight year old sopranos.

Look at what a smallish group of really talented women can do when they work together. (The audio isn’t fantastic, but you have to listen anyway. These ladies fill up the room.)  “The Coventry Carol” by AcaBella

Nothing says Christmas like an adorable boys’ choir. Here are the infamous Vienna Boys singing “The Little Drummer Boy.”  West Wing lovers are sniffing loudly right now, recalling how perfectly that show combined this song with the saddest Christmas episode of any television show ever.

It’s also not Christmas without this, “Ave Maria” by Luciano Pavarotti:

Picking up the pace a little, a jazzy version of “What Child is This,” by Allison Crowe.  I love me a jazzy lady with a piano, this is really beautiful.

Let’s lighten things up a bit, shall we? There’s something in my stupid eye. Snoopy and the Red Baron can fix everything.

As can Madonna singing “Santa Baby.”

It’s the King, baby. And it’s a “Blue Christmas.”  Uh-huh.

And another classic, and maybe my all time favorite holiday song, “Someday at Christmas,” by the Jackson 5.

I know I’m forgetting some, so I reserve the right to do another one of these posts before the 25th.  Ho ho ho!

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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