Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Music

I love Christmas music. I can listen to it year-round...and my husband hates that! I like to think of it as Christian music instead of just holiday music. Every year I get so excited for the new Christmas CD's to be released. I buy them hoping that there will some new version of "Oh Holy Night" or "Joy to the World" that will become my new favorite version (since I probably own 20 versions of each of the classics). It is rare that I find a new favorite, but every year I try and try. This year my big addition to the Christmas collection was Faith Hill's new Christmas CD. Let's just say I was underwhelmed by it. It's fine and all, but a little overdone for my taste.

I was talking with a friend about some of my favorites...who I think does which song best...which songs aren't well known but are still favorites of mine to sing along with in my car...and so I decided to post that list on my blog. If I was really famous, I am sure I-tunes would publish my list....someday I am sure that will happen. Until then, here are my picks if you're wanting to download some Christmas music to get you ready for next week!!!

  1. Oh Holy Night - I love two versions of this song...the one by Jewel and also by The Judds. I tend to think that Jewel grew up going to church. A lot of her pop songs have Christian symbolism in the lyrics ("There's a dead end to my left, a burning bush to my right"), and her Christmas CD honestly has some of the best traditional hymns on it.

  2. Welcome to Our World - Amy Grant - This song has the BEST imagery..."Fragile fingers sent to heal us/tender brow prepared for thorns/tiny heart whose blood will save us/unto us is born."

  3. The Christmas Hymn - Amy Grant - sometimes when I'm in my car, I imagine singing the verses with a huge choir behind me singing like the choir on this song. Yep, I just admitted that to the world.

  4. A Mighty Fortress is Our God/Angels We Have Heard on High - Amy Grant - I love this melody of the two songs together.

  5. Oh Come All Ye Faithful - Amy Grant - very simple arrangement with just a guitar. Yes, lots of Amy Grant on the list. I love most of her Christmas music.

  6. Little Drummer Boy - Jessica and Ashlee Simpson - I know, I know. Surprising appearance on the list, but I do really like their version of the song...I never even really liked the song until I head their version.

  7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings - Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan - I normally don't like untraditional arrangements of classic hymns, but I love this version. I actually like almost anything by Sarah McLachlan. I think her voice is like velvet (download Sarah's duet with Cyndi Lauper singing "Time After Time...it's like going back and forth between velvet and cardboard!)which leads me again to...

  8. Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan - Not a hymn, but I still love this song.

  9. In a Bleak Mid-Winter by Sarah McLachlan - this version was the first time I had ever heard this song. The words make me think of what a cold and dark night Christ's birth could have really been and that the important thing is to bring not only what we have but also who we are to Christ.

  10. What Child is This - Right now my favorite version is by the Judds, but I'm not thrilled with it...it's just that not many singers choose to record this song. If anyone knows of a better version, I'm open to suggestions!!


Anonymous said...

How do you have time to make this list! I just listened to all but three of those songs on my way to and from Bemidji tonight! I agree, I could listen to Christmas music all year and it drives Scott nuts! He was complaining the other day because I've "had this music playing in the house since August!!" Not exactly true, but maybe the middle or end of September! I may have to download a couple of those that you suggested. I also like some of Donny Osmond's - probably because I can sing easier with him!
Thanks for the Christmas cheer!!!!

Anonymous said...

I too love Jewel's Christmas CD and "Face of Love" is one of my all time favorites!!


The Bible Family said...

Thanks for the Faith Hill review...I almost purchased her Christmas CD over the weekend, but refrained!

Brittany said...

I also bought Faith Hill's CD and was a bit disappointed. Not horrible but not great either. I LOVE Amy Grant's Christmas stuff and also bought her new one this year which is basically a "greatest hits" of her Christmas music. I do like one new song on it though - I need a Silent Night.

As a kid I grew up with John Denver and the Muppets which I still listen to (no matter how much Jason gives me a hard time about it). Lately I've been listening to a James Taylor Christmas CD that Hallmark put out a few years ago and I really like it - kinda jazzy/bluesy. Harry Connick Jr is also a fun one for Christmas stuff - very upbeat so not great to sing along to though.
For singing along with I like Martina McBride's Christmas stuff.

Geez can you tell I like Christmas music too? hehe!

kelly said...

I like the new Amy Grant song "A Silent Night" too! I almost included it on the list, but I decided that it hasn't been out long enough for me to decide if it's going to be a 'true favorite!" One non-hymn song that also gets me all jazzed up in the car is Mariah Carey singing "All I Want for Christmas"...it came out my freshman year of college, and I can remember singing it all the time with my friends!!!

Btw, someone the other day recommended The Carpenters Christmas CD for simple, traditional arrangements of the classics!

Brittany said...

I'm going to have to check that one out! I need to make a "favorite Christmas songs" CD but that would be a lot of work :)

Anonymous said...

I have to say, one of my favorite Christmas songs is "The Angels Cried" by Alan Jackson & Alison Krauss.
I'm one of those that could have Christmas music for only a week & I'd be happy, but I could listen to this one any time of the year!

Merry Christmas!!


Grandma Cooper said...

There is a new CD out that I would love to get and could not find at any local stores. Mark saw this group on a morning show, I believe, and they are great. (Some of you may have seen them on YouTube.) The group is called Straight No Chaser and they are ten men from Indiana who sing a capella. We went to Peoria yesterday hoping to get the CD and the stores are sold out. I was on-line last night and thought I was going to get it ordered and delivered before Christmas from Borders, but, alas, it was on backorder!!! Sooo, this morning, I ordered one from Amazon and am paying an unbelievable amount of money to get it shipped here before Christmas. I'll let you know if it doesn't meet my expectations or if it will be my all-time favorite (right up there with Jewel's)!!

Grandma Cooper said...

Okay, I just went to Straight No Chaser's website thinking I could get to YouTube to watch their video (The Twelve Days of Christmas)and they have posted this on their blog: Warner Music has pulled all their artists' videos from YouTube, so SNC posted the video on their website. I encourage you to go to www.sncmusic.com and watch it. They are also going to be on the Today Show today!!

Brittany said...

They remind me of a certain brother's singing group from High School who also sang the 12 days of Christmas.... :)

KJones said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoys Jessica and Ashlee Simpson's rendition of "Little Drummer Boy". I just made Chris listen to it in the car the other day.

Kelly said...

Congratulations on being an aunt again, katy!!!