The Christmas season is a time of rich traditions. Music plays a big role in making it a special time of year. Certain songs can take you back in time and can evoke emotions. For instance, hearing Gene Autry or Alvin and the Chipmunks takes me back to childhood because we used to listen to their albums every Christmas; a particularly beautiful rendition of O Holy Night or Silent Night can actually get me a little misty (please don’t revoke my Man Club Membership).
In general, I prefer the more “traditional” renditions of Christmas songs. Having said that, I find Mannheim Steamroller’s unique arrangements (“18th century classical rock”) to be particularly soothing and uplifting to the soul. I also enjoy the parody hack jobs done by Bob Rivers.
However, in thinking about Christmas music, I realized that the rendition of a handful of songs by particular artists really epitomizes Christmas. That is, they have really become woven into the fabric that makes the season special. I’m not a big fan of federal mandates, but I’d almost be willing to support a federal law banning any further releases of these songs by other artists. So below is my list of songs that I think should be retired, because no one can possible do a better job than the artist listed.
- White Christmas – Bing Crosby
- The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Johnny Mathis
- Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
- Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
- A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
- Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry
- Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – Gene Autry
There are a few more songs that I think probably should be retired, but I’m not quite ready to lock them in. So the songs below are candidates for retirement in the future:
Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Dean Martin
Winter Wonderland – Tony Bennett
Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms