One thing the internet is good for is finding songs and video clips. When it comes to Christmas tunes including and especially stuff from way, way back the internet is awesome. I’ve spent the bulk of my Christmases in my adult life on my own.  As a result over time I developed my own little traditions, one of which is making sure to listen to various songs. Some more “traditional” or serious in nature and some that are lighthearted. It doesn’t feel like Christmas if I don’t hear certain songs. While this evening I’ll have some selections from Handel’s Messiah cued up to listen to during dinner (I have videos I’ll watch later with a couple of the songs here in between) there are lighthearted ones that I like to hear leading up to or on Christmas Eve. At least a couple I’ve learned some folks find irritating but hey, we all have our own likes and dislikes. Skip those if you remember them and don’t like them. And with that, here we go:

First up is one from when I was a young kid. It was agonizing waiting to hear it on the radio and then in adulthood not being able to. Until the internet came along:

From way back in the 60s, there was another one which was a follow up to the first Snoopy and the Red Baron song:

One more from the 60s. It’s a shame they don’t show the Peanuts Christmas Special free on network TV anymore:

Then we have on from a bit later on that especially when I was in high school prompted some love/hate reactions including people in the car wanting to hear it and others trying to change radio stations – to the point of a couple of times almost causing an accident. I like however, so here it is:

One last one from when I was growing up. It’s more serious but if I’m wrong and there’s a heaven my mom would obtain God’s blessing to come down here for a bit and tear me a new one if I didn’t include it. As it happens, I loved it back then, and still do. And boy is it ever needed in these times:

There’s more but that’s a good sampling from long ago. As for something from more recent times, yes he’s a jerk but Adam Sandler came out with not exactly a Christmas song but one that matches the season that’s funny as hell.  He’d create updated versions naming new people but I’ll stick to just the first one (look up the others if you like) here of The Hanukkah Song:

I really could put up plenty more but I’ll stick with just two. I end Christmas Eve by watching the movie SCROOGED. I don’t stop watching when the credits start to roll. No way. The rendition of Jackie Deshannon’s Put A Little Love In Your Heart by Al Green and Annie Lennox is awesome. It’s impossible for me not to feel good heading to bed after hearing it:

I take out the DVD and put in my CD of Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols so it will be cued up when I wake up in the morning. All I have to do is hit play and Christmas day starts with beautiful music. I’ve included a link here, but since the piece was written to be performed by a Boys Choir I listen to the CD I have. (Besides, I can crank up the volume!):

Again, I could do this for a lot longer (don’t get me started on hand bell choirs playing Christmas tunes) but I’ll leave you with one last classic Christmas carol. Given world events, a song I’ve always loved has to be included. I’m sure you’re familiar the Carol of the Bells. What many don’t know is that the song is Ukrainian in origin. The music and original lyrics were inspired by Ukrainian music and written over a century ago. The English lyrics you’re familiar with (“Hark How the Bells”) would come along until later. But it’s beautiful and given that country is fighting to retain it’s freedom and culture including a Christmas carol widely known and enjoyed here and around the world seems appropriate:

Merry Christmas to you all, with hopes one day there will be peace on earth and goodwill among people and nations.










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  1. Regarding “Carol of the Bells,” don’t forget about its 1990s update from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” in which it’s combined with “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” (As an aside, the original name of “Carol of the Bells” is “Shchedryk.”) Additionally, the famous version was a rerecording, having originally been done by a metal band called Savatage for an album called “Dead Winter Dead,” a concept album set in Bosnia after the fall of Communism and the onset of the Bosnian War.

    Also, Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the source of the only “Christmas” music on my iPod because the selections I have are not strictly Christmas songs; they’re selections that can be heard year-round without any specific Christmas intent (the songs are “Skating,” “Greensleeves,” the instrumental version of “Christmastime Is Here” and, of course, “Linus and Lucy”). I enjoy Christmas music but I don’t necessarily want to hear “The Chipmunk Song” in April or Springsteen’s take on “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” in July.

    I do also have the Annie Lennox/Al Green version of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” because it’s also not strictly a Christmas song. There are a couple of tracks from Enya’s “And Winter Came” album which she released as a Christmas album but it’s really more of a “winter” album with a couple of holiday-themed tracks. And I’ve got a few versions of Joni Mitchell’s “River” which is set at Christmas but the song isn’t really a “Christmas song” (it’s more a “how do I get over this recent breakup” song).

    I guess I just suffer from “holiday fatigue” because by mid-December, there are radio stations playing Christmas songs almost all the time and stores are putting a lot of Christmas songs on their Muzak/in-store systems (not to mention the “need” to put up Christmas displays in stores before Halloween’s even over). *IF* I play or listen to much Christmas music, it’s usually just on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day.


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