I am a music savant. Not in terms of playing or singing – I’d have better luck carrying a pickup truck then carrying a tune. But I’m good at recognizing who sings a song, especially from the 1960′s to 1990′s. In a few notes I can usually tell you who sang it, the year it came out, the album it’s from and some stupid useless fact about the band.
It’s both a gift and a curse… I used to get texts from friends all the time asking who sang some random song they heard somewhere. Thankfully that has slowed down. Now I just get texts from friends too stupid to download the Shazaam app.
I got one of those texts yesterday from a friend wanting to know about a Christmas song, which made me think about all my holiday favorites. I like old classics, but for some reason my favorites are less traditional. Although each of these still get a stocking-load of radio airplay this time of year so if you like Christmas music at all you’ll know these.
Here are my top five favorites… even though I’m already sick of this music!
5. Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas
It’s a group of mostly British singers who were among the most popular performers in the world when it came out in 1984. The lyrics of this song are good, though not great. But what matters about this song is the message, which is still important today.
4. Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song
This is the only “classic” song on this list because I couldn’t bring myself to leave it off. There are lots of versions of The Christmas Song, but it’s perfect for Nat’s voice. You know… he was too good of a singer to deserve being named after a tiny annoying bug.
3. The Eagles – Please Come Home For Christmas
I love The Eagles. They are one of my favorite bands of all time and they do a great version of this old Bluesy Christmas tune. It’s one of the few holiday songs I can listen to any time of year without getting all pissy.
2. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
There are not many singers out there cooler than The Boss and his take on this classic is a perfect example of that. The fact that it’s live is what does it… I love how Bruce starts laughing while “Santa” is doing his Ho Ho Ho thing. Side note, Santa sure loves his Ho’s doesn’t he?
1. John Lennon – Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
Few songs can bring tears to my eyes, but this one can. Despite living through some turbulent times, John Lennon still saw beauty in the world and always had optimism for peace and love. He made the world a better place. As simple as it is, this song makes me want to believe that peace is possible, and maybe… just maybe… war will truly be over in 2013.
Honorable mentions that just missed the cut… Elvis – Blue Christmas, Bruce Springsteen – Merry Christmas Baby, Brenda Lee – Jingle Bell Rock and Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime. What did I miss?
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!
P.S. and go check out my new humor book. You knew that was coming right?