The night is cold, but inside, your warm breath fogs up the glass as you peer out the window anxiously. Next to you lies a pile of steaming, fresh out of the oven cookies and a cool glass of milk waiting to be devoured. As you scan the sky for a red-nosed reindeer, faintly, you begin to hear the opening lines of a very familiar song: “Dashing through the snow, on a one horse open sleigh…”
“Jingle Bells” is without a doubt one of the most iconic holiday songs of all time. But what about the other songs? Here are a few of my favorites that I believe are the best thing since sliced (ginger) bread.
First on my personal playlist is Ariana Grande’s playful and endearing “Santa Tell Me.” Realistically speaking, this song is less of a holiday song and more of a pop hit, but it is just too adorable not to mention and Grande’s diva runs and impressive high notes deserve its own round of “Santa-plause.” The melody is also heavily reminiscent of some of the artist’s other hits such as “Problem” or “Break Free,” so if you are a fan of more upbeat pop, I would give it a listen. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
Next up is the jazzy, snazzy rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” While it remains a popular holiday tune, this iconic duet has a bit of a controversial past. Originally written by Frank Loesser and sung by Marilyn Maxwell and Dean Martin in 1949, the song is considered demeaning and misogynistic. Many refer to one verse in particular, where Maxwell inquires about the contents in the drink Martin offered her, and Martin not only ignores the question but hastily changes the subject. I much prefer the more modern version of the hit by John Legend and Kelly Clarkson. Their version not only gets rid of many of the sexist lyrics, but also changes them for the better. For example, when Clarkson asks if she should have another drink, Legend states firmly that: “It is [her] body, [her] choice.” The alternative lyrics create a much more endearing vibe, and Clarkson and Legend both have soulful, sincere voices that only add to their “chemis-tree.” (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
Third on the list is the ever so spirited “Feliz Navidad,” by José Feliciano. Whether it’s playing in the mall or my favorite Italian restaurant, I cannot travel anywhere without hearing it. Interestingly enough, Feliciano stated in an interview that he was quite nervous to release the song. In his own words it was, “the simplest song ever written,” only nineteen words and taking just ten minutes to write. However, after listening to a recording of it, it seems it was “love at frost sight,” for the artist, and he decided to release it. Regardless of his original concerns, the simplicity only adds to its innocent charm, and I cannot think of a song more festive or iconic. (Photo/Flickr)
Alright, that last line may have been a lie. While “Feliz Navidad,” is definitely one of my favorites there is one holiday anthem that will always hold a special place in my heart: Mariah Carey’s, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” It could be Carey’s powerful vocal range or the chorus that screams 90s’ nostalgia, but this song is “orna-meant to be” a hit. (Photo/Flickr)
And on that jolly note, my own playlist of holiday favorites comes to an end. If your favorite song did not make the list you can click this link to access a full playlist of festive music that “Yule” be sure to love.