December is already here, and people all over the globe are cleaning chimneys and getting decorations for their roofs. There’s no better time to have some milk and cookies (leave some for Santa!) and listen to a few Christmas tunes, both old and new.
#1 “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” by Frank Sinatra
This classic was first sung in 1934, and has remained a timeless holiday tune ever since. The song was made super popular by over 200 covers, recorded by just about every musician from Neil Diamond to The temptations and The Jackson 5. This song even got a rock version by Bruce Springsteen and his band in 1975. You know it’s a solid holiday song when The Boss covers it!
#2 “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey
This giant hit is by far the best-selling modern Christmas song, and is one of Mariah’s biggest seasonal money-makers to this day (of course she’s the voice on it, but she also co-wrote the hit). Amazingly, the song never made it to number one on the charts, and the best it did was the respectable in 1994. Yet, there’s no chance we won’t hear the song on the radio anytime soon – it made it to the top 40 every year since 2007.
#3 “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland
Written in 1943 and first introduced by Judy Garland in a musical film, this one is also considered a classic. In fact, in 2004, it was ranked one of the top 100 tunes in American cinema. Now’s a good time to give a listen to this song, and maybe even watch the brand new 2019 film about the singer, “Judy”.
#4 “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Bublé
Originally written in 1951 by Meredith Willson, Canadian star Bublé modernized this tune in 2011 as part of his successful Christmas album. The song has been doing incredibly well in the charts for almost 70 years. It probably didn’t hurt when a version of it was included in the 1992 Christmas movie “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”.
#5 “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley
This Bluesy tune was first recorded in 1948 by Doye O'Dell, and has been covered by many rock and country stars. But it was The King (accompanying himself on guitar) that gave it fame in 1957. Probably not the most cheerful lyrics you’ll hear this December, but still a musical hit by any standard.
#6 “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid
Written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to the Ethiopian Famine of the early 80’s, the song was recorded in a single day by an impressive group of stars. Band Aid included giants such as Sting, Bono, Phil Collins and many others. The song was number one in the UK for five weeks, making it one of the biggest hits of the British 80’s. the writers hoped to raise 70,000 pounds for Ethiopia. They ended up raising 8 million pounds.
#7 “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by John Denver and The Muppet
This English Christmas carol counts the days of the holiday, while describing bigger and better gifts given on each new day. The oldie received a fresh makeover in 1979 on the TV special of John Denver with The Muppets. Luckily for us, the song has been recorded by The Muppets five different times – each featuring the iconic puppets in different roles.
#8 “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Dean Martin
This tune from 1945, without which no Christmas is truly merry, was written in California during a heat wave, as the writers fantasized about a chilly day. Dean’s version was released in 1959 and was an instant hit. Interestingly, even though it’s considered one of the most iconic Christmas tunes, the lyrics mention no holiday by name.
#9 “Jingle Bells” by Ella Fitzgerald
This song was first released in 1857, but became an instant classic when covered in a fast, jazzy version by Fitzgerald. The song was originally intended for Thanksgiving, but over time became one of the most iconic Christmas melodies out there. And a fun fact – a harmonica version of the song was the first song to ever be played in outer space!
#10 “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano
This tune from Puerto Rican singer José Feliciano has catchy lyrics mixing English and Spanish, and its title means merry Christmas. The song became a radio hit decades after its initial release in 1970. Everyone from Cline Dion to Luciano Pavarotti has covered this one, keeping it up in the charts to this day. Now that the list is complete, it’s time to wish you a happy holiday season and Feliz Navidad!