My Christmas celebration needs one more component to make it complete: an appropriate selection of tunes that range from traditional carols to swingin’ standards to skewerings and parodies of the old familiar holiday-music chestnuts. Here I share a few of the songs I look forward to hearing on my iPod playlist each time December rolls around.
A few years back, my husband and I discovered the a capella group Straight No Chaser, via their first viral video and holiday CD. These guys have amazing versatility, their performances ranging from the funny to the poignant. When Matt and I saw them in concert at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre back in November, several audience members shouted out this title and were disappointed when the guys failed to take the hint and perform it. So here it is!
I mentioned swingin’ standards a moment ago, and here’s my favorite of that type. Buster Poindexter and the Muppets have both done solid covers of it, but Satchmo’s rendition still has first place in my heart.
Last year, Idina Menzel, the Broadway performer best known for her Tony-winning turn as Elphaba in Wicked and her voice-work as Elsa in Frozen, released a Christmas CD. Not all the songs are golden, but I find this one heartbreakingly beautiful. (Warning: I wanted, when possible, to share live performances. The language in this one is slightly blue at the very beginning.)
Speaking of heartbreak, I can never hear this song from Sarah McLachlan without getting misty-eyed.
The Christmas CD of the Tartan Terrors, a bagpipe group Matt and I first heard at the Georgia Renaissance Festival, introduced me to this song, a musical telling of the famous Christmas Truce in 1914.
Finally, for a good laugh, this one never fails.
To one and all, a joyous holiday season.