I know the stores already have full on Christmas going on, and some of my friends have even started decorating for Christmas, but we like to wait until the Advent season to start preparing ourselves for the Nativity of our Lord. However, growing up singing in choirs, I have become accustomed to listening to Christmas music starting in November. Ok, I say that, but the truth of the matter is that I love Christmas music so much, I start listening to it as soon as I possibly can without appearing too crazy. The girls and I started listening to Christmas music in the car this week, and we are all thoroughly enjoying it. The older girls beg for it the second we get into the car, and even Wren sings along as we’re listening to it.
I am listing some of my favorites here for your listening pleasure.
1) Handel’s Messiah I can devote an entire post to this one. This is hands down my absolute favorite thing to listen to during the Christmas season. I truly believe that this is the closest thing we have on Earth to how the heavenly choirs must have sounded the night Christ was born. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it was composed by George Frideric Handel in two parts: the Nativity and the Passion. You have probably heard the “Hallelujah Chorus,” which is interestingly enough in the Passion portion even though it is traditionally played at Christmas time. I have pretty much memorized the Nativity part and have practically never listened to the Passion part. I should really remedy that this Easter. Anyway, it is composed of several songs. Some Christmas favorites of mine are “For unto us a child is born,” “And the Glory of the Lord,” and the “Overture.” “There were shepherds abiding in the field” and “Glory to God in the highest” are also spectacular. You can almost hear the angels flying back to heaven after making their proclamation. My old high school chorale (and anyone else who wanted to join) sang the Messiah every year, and it is one of my fondest Christmas memories. I can’t wait to take the girls when they are old enough. Ok, I won’t talk this long about every one, I promise. I have said my piece.
2) Carol of the Bells
3) Christmas Song Obviously the Nat King Cole version is the best. No one can resist those dulcet tones.
4) Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella
5) Betelehemu This one is a Nigerian Christmas Carol. If you haven’t heard it yet, do yourself a favor and take a listen. It is beautiful. My favorite versions are the Morehouse College Glee Club and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (although they are performed very differently).
6) Coventry Carol Gorgeous lullaby to the Baby Jesus. Now, it might just be because I am usually pregnant, but this one always brings tears to my eyes.
7) In the Bleak Midwinter
8) Baby, It’s Cold Outside I just love this song, even if the lyrics are a little bit creepy.
9) I heard the bells on Christmas Day My dad’s favorite.
10) Little Drummer Boy My mom’s favorite.
11) Do you hear what I hear?
12) Oh Holy Night Just be wary of that high note.
13) All I want for Christmas is you Mariah Carey version, because duh.
14) Lo, How a rose e’er blooming Another gorgeous and underrated Carol.
15) White Christmas My favorite is the Bing Crosby version. There is also a movie that goes along with this song, but for that you will have to stay tuned for the best and worst Christmas movie blog post. (I know you are on pins and needles).
My least favorite Christmas songs: (If one of these comes on over the department store speakers while I am shopping, I will walk right out in protest!)
1) I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
2) Santa Baby Sexy Christmas songs?
3) Here comes Santa Claus The Christmas song that will never end. Also, in the oldie version, the singer spends the whole song saying “Santy Claus.” Yikes.
4) All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
5) Grandma got run over by a reindeer Here in the South, we have made many worthy contributions to music. This is not one of them.
Well, those would be my favorites (and least favorites.) What are your favorite carols? I am always looking for new ones to add to the list. My Christmas play list is currently only an hour, and we are going to be traveling for two hours this Thanksgiving. Don’t make my poor husband listen to repeats!