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Christmas: A Time for the Classics

posted Dec 18, 2013, 6:52 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 18, 2013, 8:35 PM by Unknown user ]

Michelle Flanagan

I’ve always been a big fan of the classic Christmas music, choosing artists like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole over Kelly Clarkson, Colbie Calliat, MercyMe, or any other “contemporary” artists. Maybe it’s all the years I spent at my grandma’s house listening to her favorite albums, but these old songs, when compared to the holiday tunes on the radio today, feel more Christmas-like to me. The problem is, a lot of people forget these versions of Christmas tunes exist. It’s a shame, because music never expires. So the Knight Writer is here to help you dust off those records!

For those of you who don’t want to go through your parents’ archives of music, simply use the internet. (For example, Pandora has a variety of Christmas stations, and the “Swingin’ Christmas” station offers many of the tunes that will be mentioned throughout this article.) An album I would highly recommend is Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics, available on either iTunes or at Walmart. It includes well-known songs such as “White Christmas” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” along with lesser-known tracks such as “Pat-a-Pan/While the Shepherds Watched Their Flocks” and “Christmas Dinner Country Style. My favorite song from the album is “Winter Wonderland.” Crosby’s voice has a depth and purity to it that is hard to find now, and it is accompanied by a 60’s style chorus and band sound.

Ol’ Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) has an album (quite appropriately) titled Christmas that also gives listeners a good mix of old favorites and not-so-well-known tunes. This CD features “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “Christmas Waltz.” My favorite track is “Christmas Memories” because it strings together a bunch of little moments of the Christmas season, and takes me back to Christmases when I was a little kid. (And who doesn’t love feeling like a little kid around the holidays?)    

If you’re not sold on these artists, try Michael Buble’s Christmas.
He covers traditional songs and most tracks have a big-band, Broadway sound that is generally attributed to songs from the past.
I bought this album a few years ago and have listened to it religiously every holiday season since. My favorite track is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” hands down. This is due to the upbeat sound of the track, even though it’s not necessarily the happiest song. It’s also the first version of this song I’d ever heard, so I’m pretty partial to it.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend giving the older sound a try. It’s a nice change of pace from what the radio typically plays, and I believe that, due to it’s purer sound, it’s simply joyful. Whatever you choose to listen to, have a holly jolly Christmas!