Let's sing a song about Christmas
For me, this time of year is the best when it comes to listening to music. And by that, I’m primarily talking about Christmas songs.
Some of the best music ever written has been about the evening Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem all those years ago.
It’s important to remember that not all “Christmas” songs are really about Christmas, directly.
Obviously, “Away in a Manger” points directly at the birth of Christ. We understand the concept of the humble surroundings that greeted the King of Kings when he came to Earth. And that, in turn, is what Christmas is all about.
My all-time favorite song of the season, “Silent Night,” puts me in a quiet and somber mood. Whenever I hear it, I’m immediately taken to a place of tranquility in my mind.
Another Christmas song that brings back a flood of memories for me is “The First Noel.” Here again, the slow tempo increases the profound holiness of the song.
But it also brings to mind a family story about the time my brother took the four candleholders we used to have that spelled out the word, “Noel” (N-O-E-L). My sibling would creatively rearranged the letters and started singing about some guy named Leon.
It was an annual bit of humor that we waited for every year.
Other religious-based songs that are always on my hit parade include “O, Come All Ye Faithful,” “Joy to the World” (no, not the one with Jeremiah the bullfrog), “Away in a Manger,” “What Child is This?” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” that get me in the Christmas mood.
But they’re not the only ones.
Other songs, while not directly Christian in nature, do help get me in the Christmas spirit.
Take the seasonal tune,
“Silver Bells.” While nothing is mentioned about the reason for the season, we still include it in our selection of Christmas songs. It opens with the image of people crowding the downtown area of a large city as they shop for Christmas gifts
(“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, it’s Christmas time in the city.”)
No direct references are made to the nativity nor to the coming of Christ to save the world. Rather, we’re given the scene of shoppers scurrying around.
But that, too, is Christmas — giving gifts in honor of God who gave us the gift of Jesus.
Then, there are a couple of songs made famous by The Crooner, himself, Bing Crosby — “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and the always popular, “White Christmas.”
(Would it really be Christmas without these two songs? I don’t think so.)
While these types of songs go a long way to get us in the Yuletide mood, there are other Christmas-related songs that can work the same kind of magic. Maybe.
Let’s start with “Jingle Bells.” Without a doubt, this one is on virtually everyone’s most-played list. Is there anyone on this planet who doesn’t know the tune and words to this selection?
Another favorite song of mine is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
When I was a kid, my folks gave me a red transparent 45-rpm record (remember those?) of Gene Autry singing “Rudolph.” It was one of my favorite gifts I ever got as a youngster.
(Side note: You must understand that one of my favorite heroes has always been Gene Autry! So, matching “The Singing Cowboy” with a favorite Christmas song of mine was a stroke of genius.)
Through the years, many new Christmas songs have come onto the scene. Some could be called “traditional” in nature while others are on the cutting edge of satirical Christmas humor.
Here is list of some of these unusual Christmas songs. Maybe someday they’ll be on your most-played list. See how many you know:
• “A Chipmunk Christmas” (ALVIN!).
• “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”
• “Christmas at Ground Zero” (by “Weird” Al Yankovic, of course).
• “All I Want for Christmas Are My Two Front Teeth.”
• Dogs barking, “Jingle Bells.”
• “I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas.”
• “I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ for Christmas.”
• “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”