Inspired by Virginia Gal's post of favorite Christmas songs, I decided to create my own list of some of my favorite Christmas songs. Not included are some favorite carols like "O Come All ye Faithful" or "Hark the Herald," mostly because I love singing those with a full congregation, or a group of people in the cold, holding candles. Better sung together than heard recorded.
I must admit that I don't have very many favorite Hanukkah tunes, mostly because I don't know many. Five maybe. I do like Woody Guthrie's Hanukkah songs. If anyone knows a bunch and wants to introduce me to them, I'd love to learn. I love singing songs of joy and happiness in the cold, bleak time that is winter. Makes it bearable. (This is why January and February suck: no good happy-fun-shiny songs to get us through.)
As for the chocolate nutballs? I tried my hand at Grand Marinier truffles this afternoon. I still have a few dozen left to make, but thought I'd share a photo with you good folk. It'll follow after my music summary.
1. Happy Christmas - John Lennon. "Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear ... War is over." What more do we want out of Christmas and the new year?
2. Baby, It's Cold Outside - Leon Redbone/Zooey Deschanel. Wanted the Ella Fitzgerald version, but decided on this. I love the seduction of this song - he gently begs; she's coy. And you know they're gonna do it all night long! Plus, I think her voice - which I find both fascinating and irritating - works well in this.
3. Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord - Boney M. This is just a great, jubilant carol to begin with, but I'm drawn to the Carribean disco.
4. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues. Aww. Angry Irish at Christmas. How adorable!
5. Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses. Lonely hearts re-connecting to save Christmas? Yea!
6. Christmas is All Around - Bill Nighy (as "Billy Mack"). From "Love Actually." It's a dumb re-imagining of an already silly song. Which is why I enjoy it.
7. Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney - Ella Fitzgerald. Oops!
8. Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You - Billy Squier. Like Christmas Wrapping, fun to bop along to.
9. Baby, It's Cold Outside - Ray Charles/Betty Carter. I enjoy that his begging is more overt. And I really love this song. In the search feature, Mixwit misguided me and said this was Nina Simone singing with him. Not the case, apparently. D'oh!
10. Do They Know it's Christmas? - BandAid. One reason, and one reason only: Bono singing, "Tonight be glad it's them, instead of you!" I thrill on the guilting. Who better to deliver that line than Bono? HY-larious! The reminder to consider the less fortunate during the season is fine, but being told this by a bevy overpaid egomaniacs is so wonderfully 1980s. 1980s!!
11. Merry Christmas from the Family - Robert Earl Keen. Everyone in Texas is related in some way or another to this family. If you can't identify a relative that would fit in this song, you ARE that relative.
12. The Christians and the Pagans - Dar Williams. The first song I ever heard from Dar Williams and ended up turning me on to her. I like that people try to find a away to relate through whatever commonalities they can.
13. Elf's Lament - Barenaked Ladies. Union now! Hermione Granger would love this!
14. Baby It's Cold Outside - Tom Jones/Cerys Matthews. Did I mention I REALLY love this song. (When I'm a megastar, I want to record this, not sure with who yet.) I like the disparity in their voices. He's so lecherous and she sounds not only juvenile, but mentally unstable. It's so predatory!
15. Happy Christmas - Polyphonic Spree. Just a cover of the first song. It's overly orchestrated and the end cacophonous, but who cares? I like this band.
16. Six to Eight Black Men - David Sedaris. Not a song, but a great story. Go ahead. Give yourself 15 minutes and give it a listen.
Here are the long-awaited chocolate nutballs!