Last week's post about all the Christmas songs I loathe most was entirely negative and depressing, no? Hopefully, you found it mostly funny and it didn't convince you I'm actually The Grinch. In my defense, I felt like I was on my deathbed with the flu and was a bit crotchety that day. No worries -- I'm on the mend now!
Here are my five absolute FAVORITE Christmas songs. P.S. this list was difficult to come up with and took forever.
1. "Carol of the Bells." It's the minor key, the bell mimicry, the detached rhythm ... it's exciting and cool. There are a lot of versions of this piece, from a capella choir to rock-out Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I love them all. But most of all, I love MCO's version, arranged by Brett Stewart for choir and orchestra. Of course.
2. "O Come, O Come Immanuel." I don't know why this one isn't more prevalent amongst Christmas repertoire. It's hauntingly beautiful, and I love the message of pining, not for a white Christmas or a hippopotamus, but for the Savior. Though an instrumental version, this arrangement from The Piano Guys (Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson) is my favorite. Take note that the video footage comes from the Life of Christ Bible Videos my husband worked on this year and last year.
3."Somewhere in My Memory." This is that song from the Home Alone franchise that instantly takes you back to 2nd grade when you hear it. By the way, did you know John Williams composed it? Are you surprised? Gorgeous melody. Bette Midler sang the single, but the original children's choir version from the movie is far superior.
4."In the Bleak Midwinter." I never really cared for this song until I heard Sissel sing it with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir when I was a newlywed. In case you didn't know, she is a phenomenal Norwegian vocalist, so this was a real treat. Lucky for you, the exact version of which I speak is on YouTube. Enjoy.
5. "Still, Still, Still." So, you all know I sing ... but do you know the story of why? Well, my high school choir has a tradition where each year at the end of the Christmas concert, all of the singers encircle the audience and sing "Still, Still, Still." I was a freshman in high school and attended the concert (to see my crush sing, actually) and when this part came, I was FLOORED. Like, I couldn't even move after it was over because it was so moving. It's such a simple melody, but when sung in that fashion by such excellent singers, it is utterly beautiful. I knew after that, I was joining the school choir. I signed up my sophomore year and I've been singing ever since! "Still, Still, Still" is now my most favorite Christmas song ever.
This version is by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir ... not the exact arrangement we sang, but still magnificent.
What are some of your absolute FAVORITE Christmas songs? Let's hear it!