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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Better Christmas Songs

Author Topic: Better Christmas Songs
Member # 8376

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We have a worse thread, so I figured since there are some great Christmas songs we ought to mention them.

I personally enjoy "Once In Royal David's City," as sung by King's College Choir. I'm also a huge fan of "Oh Holy Night."

Manheim Steamroller is also welcome at my home at all times of the season.

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Member # 7039

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I prefer Trans Siberian Orchestra to Manheim Steamroller, not that anyone really has to choose.

The TSO is really something else in concert. It was like a heavy metal concert, but for the Baby Boomer generation. Laser lights, moving platforms, multicolored flames all over the place, but it wasn't really any louder than an average concert would be, and it was mostly families and middle aged people. We missed the first half due to a huge snowstorm that stopped us from getting there on time, but they saved all the Christmas music for the second half, so we got to see most of our favorites. I hope I get the chance to go again this year.

AS for better Christmas songs, I like Nat King Cole's "Adeste Fidelis," (Oh Come All Ye Faithful) and Barbara Streisand's version of "Jingle Bells." And I like "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLaughlin. "So This is Christmas" by John Lennon is good too.

So much in Christmas music really depends on who sings it. It's nearly the exactly same two dozen songs, but there are hundreds of versions out there, and 99% of them can suck, whereas 1% can be excellent.

And of course, "White Christmas" as sung by Bing Crosby. I grew up on "White Christmas" the movie, and "Holiday Inn," so that'll always be a favorite for me.

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Sean Monahan
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Sleigh Ride, Boston Pops conducted by John Williams

Also, I have recently decided that I really like Ray Charles' version of Little Drummer Boy.

I also have to mention Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmastime as one of my favorites. I know, it's poorly written, and poorly executed, but it's nostalgic for me.

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maui babe
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My favorite Christmas song is "O Holy Night" when sung competently. When sung badly it's on the 'worst' list.

A popular local singer, Willie K, has a very good rendition, where he sings it in English, then Hawaiian, then finishes up in English again. It's great.

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We had our Christmas program Sunday at church. Two sisters sang a version of "What Child is This?" that was more haunting than the original. I really liked it.

"Oh Holy Night" (a friend sang it Sunday in English and French)
"Angels We Have Heard on High"
"Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains"
"Picture a Christmas" (LDS children's songbook, a family sang that at our program)

And our bishopric sang "Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel" on Sunday. They tried to get out of it because the meeting was running over the time limit, but relented.

I usually like things I can sing along with (when I'm either by myself or in a large group).

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Member # 6423

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Straight No Chaser!
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Member # 741

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"Traditional" Christmas carols always work for me.

and "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord" by Boney M

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Member # 2150

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"Merry New York Christmas" by Rob Thomas is a good, more recent one.

I do like the Trans Siberian Orchestra "Mad Russian" and "Sarajevo" songs.

The "Twelve Pains of Christmas" is always fun.

Also "Merry *%*!#@$ Christmas" and "Swiss Colony Beef Log" from the South Park Christmas album are a lot of fun.

I like Josh Groban's "Little Drummer Boy" and the Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping", as well as several of the aforementioned songs in posts above.

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Member # 2199

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Andrea Bochelli and Mary J Blige sing :What Child is This" in a new arraignment, and it blew me away.

It's one of my favorite songs, along with "Go Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". I heard an all male version of that once that almost put me in tears it was so good, but I don't remember who it was. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir does a great version of it as well.

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Raymond Arnold
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I'm liking the Ray Charles Drummer Boy.

Carol of the Bells by Celtic Woman (http://www.last.fm/music/Celtic+Woman/_/Carol+of+the+Bells)

Or, pretty much any good version of Carol of the Bells ever. ("Carol of the Bells", "Drummer Boy" and "Do you Hear What I Hear" are my favorite carols when they are done professionally.

Transiberian orchestra goes without saying. But I said it anyway.

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Eaquae Legit
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I love the entirety of Heather Dale's "This Endris Night" CD, which contains original and beautiful settings of the Coventry Carol (very haunting) and Jesus Ahatonhia/The Huron Carol, along with some other very old carols - Es Ist Ein Rose Ensprungen, Veni Veni Emmanuel, an older Ave Maria, and a Quebecois song called Patapan.

I love The Huron Carol quite a lot, especially the version done by the Exultate Chamber Choir. O Holy Night is on my favourite list when done well, but I find it hard to get a really good version because of that tricky high note.

Pavarotti's Adeste Fideles is gorgeous. I love that one in almost any setting, though.

Josh Groban's version of The Little Drummer Boy surprised me - I don't usually like that tune. But I liked his.

The Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLaughlan version of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen is another favourite, as is the Loreena McKennitt version. They're very different, but they both bring something lovely to it.

And I do also like a nice version of Angels We Have Heard On High.

Actually, I think when it comes to Christmas music, I enjoy the religious songs and tend to enjoy secular songs less. There are exceptions, but it's a decent rule of thumb.

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Sean Monahan
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A Peter Griffin Christmas
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Member # 1131

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Putting together a few posts in the middle of this thread, I reccomend Straight No Chaser's O Holy Night.
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