Being a connoisseur of fine music has turned me into somewhat of a snob, or for the purposes of this article a grinch. While I am all about spreading Christmas cheer (my lights were on the house by October 20th and both Christmas trees went up the first week of November. And yes, the main picture is my Christmas light handywork), I really detest most Christmas music. Most of the “All Christmas All The Time” radio stations make me cringe because there is so little creativity. Most of the songs are bad remakes of either classics that should be left alone, or even worse, bad remakes of songs that weren’t good in the first place. Case in point, “Last Christmas” by Wham wasn’t all that great the first time around, but it does deserve its place on the radio for pure originality, but every remake (there are currently 1017), doesn’t deserve a place on the radio or in my music collection…
With that being said, there are a few songs out there that I love because of the originality, or pure representation of everything great about Christmas, so I have created a playlist that I listen to in the car with my kiddos. After all what did Buddy the Elf say is the best way to spread Christmas cheer? By “singing loud for all to hear.” And you know we are all singing along in the car with this list of classics.
So I bring you “GuitarGuy” Tim’s Ultimate Christmas Song Playlist:
10 – Chipmunk Christmas Song by The Chipmunks
We’ll start off the list with a classic I’m sure we all know and love… Well I love it and my kids love it, I’m pretty sure we’ve driven my wife crazy with how many times we’ve played it this year. But come on, what is Christmas without, “Alvin… Alvin? ALVIN!!!!!”
9 – Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer by Jack Johnson
I know, I know I wrote up a whole rant about people remaking songs, but this one is really good. First off, Jack has made this his own song and he’s not trying to sound Christmassy (no cheesy bells and what not). It’s Jack’s laid back surfer sound but it’s about Rudolph, it has an acoustic guitar solo and an additional verse. Pretty cool stuff.
8 – Christmas Lights by Coldplay
Coldplay has released several Christmas songs, all of which are very good because they made them their own. They’re not cheesy covers, but more or less someone else’s lyrics and melody put to Coldplay’s music, and it works. But if there is one must have it would be Coldplay’s original Christmas song written in 2008.
7 – What’s This by Danny Elfman from the “Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack”
Taken from the scene where Jack the Pumpkin King is first introduced from snow. He sings about experiencing Christmas and all that goes along with it for the first time. The lyrics and music are brilliant. How can you not love lines like, “The children are throwing snowballs instead of throwing heads”? I honestly think the soundtrack to this movie is the best thing Danny Elfman has ever done, and that’s saying a lot.
6 – Don’t Shoot Me Santa by the Killers
Every year, the Killers (who are arguably one of the greatest bands in the industry) release a Christmas song as a present to their fans. While all of the songs have been good, 2007’s “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” is by far the best.
5 – Happy Xmas the War is Over by John Lennon
For starters, anyone who tries to remake this classic straight up deserves a lump of coal. This song has a special place in my heart because many years ago a youth church instructor asked my friend and me to play a Christmas song for the class on our guitars. I’m pretty sure he was hoping to get us to participate in class, which was a noble effort. Instead of picking a classic about Jesus (after all, Christmas is all about him), we played John Lennon. The teacher graciously thanked us, and never invited us to play in class again.
At the time it was incredibly funny, but if my kid tries the same prank I’d probably smack him and tell him to play “Silent Night”, because it was originally performed on an acoustic guitar when introduced in 1818, because organ in the church where Franz Gruber presented his new Christmas poem was out of commission.
4 – Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas Song) by Bing Crosby
In my opinion, Bing Crosby is the voice of Christmas. I could listen to him singing Christmas music all day and never get tired of it. While I could make list of 10 Bing songs, there is a special place in my heart for the Hawaiian Christmas Song.
3 – Merry Christmas Baby by Elvis Presley
My runner up for the voice of Christmas has to be The King. While I enjoy several of his Christmas songs, I love the music behind this one. It has such a cool, jazzy feel. Heck, I’d be happy if all music sounded this way.
2 – Somewhere in my Memory (Main Home Alone Theme) by John Williams from the “Home Alone Soundtrack”
This song is a medley of the different songs John Williams’ wrote for the film and it is fantastic. From listening to a children’s choir in church to setting traps for robbers, this song has it all, and I believe it does a fantastic job of spreading the Christmas spirit.
1 – Oh Holy Night – by Weezer
I’ll admit it, I LOVE Weezer and I can’t leave them off any top 10 list. Additionally, they are allowed to break all of my “musical rules”. I think their entire Christmas EP is great, it has 6 classics and 2 originals, and all of them are good. I mean, haven’t you always wanted crunchy guitars and a solo in “The First Noel”?
The best part of this EP is that Weezer made it their own. I mean honestly, you could stick these songs in the middle of the Green Album and they wouldn’t mess up the flow at all. But for the purposes of the list, my top choice is “Oh Holy Night”.
Well there you have it, “GuitarGuy” Tim’s Ultimate Christmas playlist. I hope you enjoyed listening to it, and I hope that the messages of joy, love and peace that were shared in these songs remind you that although getting a new guitar under the tree from Santa is fun, Christmas is really about a baby boy who gave us all the greatest gift of all. Merry Christmas!
Did I miss a song? Please share your favorite below or email me at email@example.com