(By: Joey Roselli)
We’ve officially entered one of the best months of the year: December. The lights, the snow, the trees, the wood-burning fire, the sweet treats, the hot cocoa, the carolling – it all puts everyone in a jolly mood.
If you’re incapable of feeling cheery and getting in the Christmas spirit, turn on the radio and look out for the top 10 songs that will put you in the mood.
1. Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
This iconic song that was released 23 years ago (1994) still manages to dominate the charts when holiday music begins to play on the radio. In December 2015, it peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is the 11th best selling single of all-time. Released when she was only 24, Carey’s single was in the top 10 in over 38 countries and has been the number one holiday song in the U.K. since 2000.
2. John Lennon – “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”
We can all agree that this song falls in the “rock” genre only because of singer John Lennon, whose entire musical career was mainly rock. We can also agree that this specific style of rock is evidently about Christmas by simply reading the title. However there is a second part to the title, “War is Over,” which is written in parenthesis. Not only is this song about Christmas, but it is also the apex of John Lennon’s promotion on peace regarding the Vietnam War that was occurring at the time.
3. Frank Sinatra – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
This song was originally written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, and first introduced by Judy Garland in 1944. Legendary singer Frank Sinatra asked Hugh Martin to modify one specific lyric in order to make it much more jolly and really enhance the meaning of “happiness” that is delivered within the song itself. He later performed the altered version in 1957.
4. Bruce Springsteen – “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”
A song written for all ages, it is notable for its lyrics and for the originality of it. We hear it in many movies, TV shows and any mall or store that you go to during the holiday season. Over 200 artists including Frank Sinatra, Jackson 5, The Crystals, Mariah Carey and Bruce Springsteen have covered it. Springsteen’s version seems to be the most popular one because of his rock alteration. The pace is much more rapid than any other cover and because of Springsteen’s uniqueness, it receives a mass amount of radio airplay come Christmas.
5. Justin Bieber – “Mistletoe”
Bieber’s first-ever Christmas album consists of 11 songs (or 15 in the deluxe edition). “Mistletoe” was the album’s first single, released on Oct. 17, 2011. Not only is it considered a holiday favourite to the millennial generation, but also a general year-round favourite because of its catchy tune and soft flow that Bieber mastered.
6. Eartha Kitt – “Santa Baby”
This track is not the typical Christmas song that kids can understand. They can sing along to it but won’t have a clue as to what is means. It is a song addressed to Santa Claus (more like Sugar Daddy) expressing Kitt’s desired Christmas wish list, full of an excessive amount of fancy and costly items such as a yacht, an auto space convertible (car), a duplex (large house), decorations from Tiffany and a ring.
7. Bobby Helms – “Jingle Bell Rock”
The first thing that comes to mind when listening to “Jingle Bell Rock” is the movie Mean Girls. The main characters Cady, Regina, Gretchen and Karen dance to it as part of their Christmas special at their school variety show. Helms’ now iconic song charted at no. 13 on Billboard’s Most Played Charts during January 1958. Of all its many covers and remixes, including one by Lindsey Stirling about a month ago, Helms’ is the go-to classic.
8. Andy Williams – “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”
We tend to hear this song twice a year; once during the holiday season, and the second during the last few weeks prior to the start of the school year (obviously intended for parents with young children). This track doesn’t only conform to Christmas but also applies to all the other holidays. It perfectly describes the celebratory feeling one feels when school is over and there are several weeks of break ahead. It also speaks about the gathering of people together, such as friends, families and communities.
9. Wham! – “Last Christmas”
The first verse of the song is the chorus and that essentially explains the message of the song. In the video, we see the Wham! members George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley accompanying their girlfriends at a ski resort. The video is aimed at Michael’s previous girlfriend whom he gave a jewelled brooch to “last Christmas.” In the video, his girlfriend then gave that jewelled brooch to her current boyfriend, played by Ridgeley, stating that she re-gifted it to her new love. This broke George’s heart and brought him wistful flashbacks. This song is a great crowd-pleaser and a staple karaoke choice.
10. Johnny Mathis – “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”
Singer Johnny Mathis recorded this song in 1968 for his album ‘Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis,’ which was the inauguration of the song’s skyrocketing popularity. It gained even more attention in 1992 after it was included in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. To this day, both Home Alone and Johnny Mathis’ “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” are both top 10 Christmas staples.
Think these 10 songs can’t put you in the Christmas spirit? Then let us know what your top 10 favourite Christmas songs are. Happy Holidays, Rams!
(Header image: Stock)