‘Tis the season for music! For many of us, the first time we realize the holidays are upon us (usually late in November, weirdly enough) are the Christmas tunes played on shopping mall sound systems. Egg nog and gingerbread cookies, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and other holiday favorites just wouldn’t taste the same without some of our most iconic tunes playing in the background. If you’re a Resound School of Music student, you might be learning how to play a seasonal tune already – here are some other great songs to keep you inspired (and maybe even practice over the winter break!).
Vince Guaraldi Trio – 'Christmas Time is Here'
You can’t hear those first piano keystrokes without immediately thinking of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, as Snoopy and the gang get past the commercialization of the holiday (yes, it was an issue even as far back as 1965) and rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. A true holiday classic!
Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmas Time
Jauntily, without a trace of cynicism, the Beatles’ own Sir Paul’s remorselessly happy lyrics are a staple of the holidays. ‘Si-imply, haaaaaving a wonderful Christmas time!’ is a chorus that can only be banished from your head by some seriously powerful egg nog.
The Little Drummer Boy
An instantly-recognizable Christmas carol that can’t help but tug on the heart strings with its earnestness. It’s a beautiful medley of drum and choral melody, covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to David Bowie and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
Bobby Helms – Jingle Bell Rock
Rock and Roll evolved as a genre into something with a much harder edge than when Bobby sang this in 1957. The song recalls a more innocent time when ‘rockers’ were barely distinguishable from today’s ‘crooners’, with an upbeat tone that dispels any holiday blues. “Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock.
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring…”
The Ronettes - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
It’s a playful tune of a little girl who can’t quite square her disguised Dad in a Santa suit and her Mom making out (Well, we assume that’s the case, unless the actual Santa’s put himself on the naughty list). You can’t go wrong singing this tune with your holiday crowd, with or without an acoustic accompaniment.
Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
What is it about this song that everybody loves? The joyful cadence? The ritual of naming off all of Santa’s antlered sleigh-pullers? I think it’s more about Rudolf finding out his special talent and winning over the acceptance of his formerly disdainful peers. It’s better than a redemption story; Rudolf really could have rubbed the other reindeers’ less shiny noses in it, but he’s all about forgiveness and making sure the children of the world get their Christmas presents, blizzard or no blizzard. You’ve got to admire that.
Did we miss your favorite? What are your Christmas-themed songs you’ll be playing over the holidays?