So here's five Christmas songs that I've come to really like. Some may surprise you. There are many others I like, but I've come to like these the most.
5. Martina McBride - O Holy Night
I first heard Martina's version of this song on a compilation cd. I believe it was called "Mother and Child" and it sounded interesting, but it mostly disappointed...except for Martina's version of this song. I've never seen this a cappella version before, but if there's any doubt that this woman can emote with her voice, this should erase that doubt. I prefer her older material, which was stronger and more pure country, but I'll always like her version of this song the best.
4. Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
BNL can play it straight sometimes, in case you didn't know. In fact, they have many great songs that aren't goofy or playful. I wasn't much of a fan of this song before I heard this version. It doesn't hurt that it's BNL and Sarah, two acts I've seen a combined six times. It's hip and cool and I like it a lot.
3. Dido - Christmas Day
This is one of those rare cases when an artist creates their own Christmas song and makes something really good. I've seen Dido live, and she's quite good. Anyway, I love how she can create a sort of emotional calm. It's well written, it's sung sweetly and with subtlety. It makes me think of winter in a cabin on a mountain. I have no idea why.
2. Mediaeval Baebes - Gaudete
There isn't much I don't like from these ladies, so perhaps I'm a little biased here, but I get entranced by their version of this one. I also find it funny that some of my favorite Christmas songs are religious, being that I'm an atheist. I love me those mournful sounding church songs. Anyway, it's sung in Latin, in case you couldn't figure that out. Katharine Blake's solo is really pretty in this one and when they come together on the refrain, it's magical. This version, to me, is the definitive one. No one does it like the Baebes.
1. Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You - Billy Squier
Ok, so there's a little bit of a cheese factor here...but it's definitely a cool, rockin' 80's Christmas song from a guy who had some kick ass songs like "The Stroke", "Everybody Wants You" and "My Kinda Lover". I don't get through the holiday season without listening to this song. Besides, shouldn't Christmas rock at least a little?