I do a lot of driving. I work across town, my kids go to three separate schools, and I can never manage to buy more than a few days worth of groceries at a time. I spend at least two hours in my car every day. On Black Friday, most of the radio stations started playing Christmas songs. Though I work in retail (and therefore listen to it in eight hours stretches several times a week), I do like holiday music. It’s festive and heartwarming. It puts me in a better mood, makes it easy to fully absorb the spirit of the season. Unlike standard radio, I know all the words to these timeless songs. I know the rhythm. I know every pause… typically.
I don’t know when celebrities decided to butcher my beloved music, but I really wish they’d stop. Though my preprogrammed stations typically play only the classics, they do occasionally throw me a curve–in the form of some diva who disfigures the notes until I no longer recognize my favorites.
It reminds me of the national anthem at baseball games. The music is familiar, but wait…is that single note supposed to last for THREE FREAKING MINUTES?! Uh, no. If you can’t sing it the way it’s written, please just refrain from singing it at all. Please? You don’t need to leave your mark on this piece. I believe you have excellent range. Don’t eviscerate my music to prove it.
There are exceptions to this, of course. Though I loved John Lennon’s Imagine, I liked what Perfect Circle did to it. Trans Siberian Orchestra created an awesome arrangement of Carol of the Bells. Beyond that, well…I’m open to suggestions, but I’m not optimistic. I like the songs sung when I was a kid, the ones my father played for us while we decorated the tree.
What follows are my favorites (in no particular order). I’ll give you both title and artist, as I’ve found artist to be especially important.
1. Carol of the Bells – either Trans Siberian Orchestra or John Williams version
2. White Christmas – Louis Armstrong (though, come on, ANYTHING that man sang is worth listening to)
3. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole (ditto)
4. O Holy Night – Josh Groban
5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – The Carpenters
6. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
7. Canon – Pachelbel
8. I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Frank Sinatra
9. Let it Snow – Dean Martin
10. So This Is Christmas – John Lennon
Because I’m too lazy to post links here, I’ll just suggest you look them up and enjoy!