The ‘must have’ top Christmas Songs

Good music is an essential part of any Christmas gathering.  But what to include in your playlist?  Have a look at the following top songs when making your own selections.

7. Silent Night

Beautiful and captivating, this is one Christmas song that one simply must have.  This carol was created in German by Father Joseph Mohr (lyrics) and Franz Xaver Gruber (melody) in 1818.  The English translation that is best known today was created by the priest John Freeman Young in 1859.  This Carol was famously sung by both British and German soldiers during World War 1, during the Christmas truce of 1914.  Bing Cosby’s 1935 version is one of the best of many that are out there.

6. Jingle Bells

Say “Christmas,” think “Jingle Bells’ – a classic for both adults and children. Created in 1857 by James L. Pierpoint for Thanksgiving in the United States, it morphed into a Christmas song, and has been recorded many times over.  It is difficult to recommend one particular version as so many are memorable.  If you are looking for a modern version you should have a look at the Buble/Puppini Sister’s version.

5. Jingle Bell Rock

Happy and catchy, Bobby Helms introduced us to this song in 1957.  The lyrics are reminiscent of the age of ‘rock and roll,’ with Bill Hayley and his Comets recording a version in 1968.  Some of us semi-older folk might remember this song from the beginning of ‘Lethal Weapon,’ and some of us less semi-older folk might remember it in ‘Home Alone 2.’  Bobbie Helms’ 1967 recording is worth a listen or ten.

4. All I Want for You is Christmas

Mariah Carey introduced this vocally mesmerising song in 1994.  Grounded in the joy of Christmas, this is a song about the love of one for another. A commercial and cultural phenomenon, this is a song that you will likely remember from the classic Christmas film “Love Actually.”  The Mariah Carey version is the one to own, not a cover (and there are many).

3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

For the savvy child one question exists at Christmas time – have I been “naughty or nice?”  This famous Christmas song contains this iconic line and others that will resonate with most.  Written by Fred J Coots and Haven Gillespie, it was an instant hit.  Many, many versions exist, with the one by Bing Cosby and the Andrew Sisters a worthy contender for ‘the one to own’ award.

2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Sung by Judy Garland in 1944 in the film “Meet me in Saint Louis,” this classic has been tweaked several times over the years.  The original version was deemed too sad by the singer, who was eventually presented with an incarnation that was hopeful in nature.  In 1953 Frank Sinatra asked one of its creators, Hugh Martin, to make part of it “more jolly.”  This is the version worth having.

Nat King Cole - Christmas song

1. The Christmas Song

Most widely known for its opening line, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” Nat King Cole first recorded this song in 1946.  Cole recorded this song several more times, with his 1961 version generally acknowledged as the definitive one to own.  Over the years this timeless song has been covered by many artists.  Michael Buble’s recording is one that stands out from the crowd, and is certainly worth having in your Christmas collection if you want a more recent recording.