The days are getting longer and warmer, the air is filled with the lush rich smell of pine trees mixed with ripe mangoes, and work and study is starting to wind down and party season kicks into gear – it can only mean one thing… Christmas!!!!
As with most important things in life, Christmas has a musical soundtrack that accompanies it. Just the few bars of a song can magically transport you back to your childhood, that Christmas party, the holiday season you spent overseas experiencing a completely different Christmas. I love Christmas and it is for these reasons that I love Christmas carols. Plus, on the whole, they are just so jolly. You can’t help but be uplifted and filled with excitement listening to them. So with that in mind, here’s my holiday playlist for your aural pleasure.
“Angels We Have Heard On High” – Traditional
This has long been a favourite carol of mine. It’s so beautiful and joyful and belting out that chorus is so much fun, especially as a kid mucking around in church.
“Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues
I had actually never heard this Christmas song until I had my first Christmas in the UK where it’s played all the time on the radio. (I have yet to hear it on Australian radio). I love the melancholy of this Irish folksy ballad, which is in contrast to most of my other favourite songs, but there’s just something about it that tugs on the heart strings. Hearing it brings up so many lovely memories of the UK, New York, and cold Northern Christmases.
“Christmas Is All Around” – Billy Mack, Love Actually
How bloody perfect is this song? I cannot listen to it without cracking up, and Bill Nighy as Billy Mack was just wonderful. Ever since Love Actually came out, Christmas isn’t Christmas without at least one viewing of it and numerous repeats of the soundtrack. You probably won’t want to watch this “official” video clip at work.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – Band Aid
Yes it’s cheesy, yes it’s preachy, but there’s just something about this song that I completely adore (probably those two things). Musicians coming together from all different backgrounds and walks of life, united for a common humanitarian cause, and with a catchy beat… yep I’m sold.
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Lady Antebellum
Simple, beautiful, says absolutely everything it needs to perfectly sum up the season and what you wish for your – nearest and dearest.
“I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” – A Great Big World
One of my all-time favourite songs from when I was a kid. My grandparents had this on record and I have so many fond memories of dancing around the family room with my cousins to this “classic”.
“Six White Boomers” – Australian
Christmas is in the summer in Australia, and yet we pretty much celebrate it exactly the same as if we were still in much colder climates. With days sweltering under 30-40 degree Celsius hear, it’s pretty ridiculous singing about snow, roasting chestnuts, etc., and yet we still do. However, we have managed to produce the odd Australian Christmas song and this one is a classic (let’s overlook the fact that Rolf Harris was one of the composers).
“Joy To The World” – Traditional
This song almost always is the recessional of midnight mass and so nothing marks the beginning of Christmas proper for me than “Joy To The World”. Plus another great belting out song, and no one quite does it as well as Ms Mariah Carey.
Finale to Carols In The Domain – Australian
One of the great things about Christmas in Australia is all the outdoor Carols events. The biggest and best one to go to in Sydney is Carols in the Domain. There are very few kids who haven’t either been to at least one Carols or don’t watch it every year on TV. The medley finale (pretty much the same songs every year – “Song of Joy”, “Reach Out And Touch”, “We Need A Little Christmas”, “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree”, “Go Santa Go”, “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”) has everyone up and dancing with their picnic neighbours and watching this every year with my Grandma is one of my greatest memories of not only Christmas, but of my Grandma.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Chris Colfer and Darren Criss, Glee
One thing I looked forward to every Christmas since Glee‘s second season was the “Klaine Christmas duet”. Although we only got three of them, they brightened each Christmas and feature heavily on my playlist every year. While all three of them I could easily put on this list, I’m going with their first Christmas duet and first ever duet. I’m still not quite sure how this song became tied with Christmas as really the only Christmassy element in it is the fact that it’s cold outside, but hey with such an awesome version as this one, I’m willing to just run with it. The sass, the chemistry, the playfulness, ever since this version aired it has become Christmas in my household.