Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas carols (secular) -- the Gold Standard

CHRISTMAS CAROLS!!!

The versions of these songs are the gold standard for secular Christmas music.  While others have also taken a shot at recording these songs, and some of those versions may be good, these are the best versions produced.  Convince me otherwise.  Feel free to add your own selections.
 

Criteria of selections.
1.  These are secular pieces.  Sacred music is entirely its own category, and sacred selections are sung best as a congregation.
2.  These are songs that have been sung, sung again, and sung again by various artists.  For example, I don’t know if anyone has re-recorded “Merry Christmas, Darling” by the Carpenters. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR1ujXx2p-I ; footage from a Christmas special).  If it has been redone, the Carpenters are the gold standard.
3.  Some songs, in my opinion, have yet to find their gold standard.
4.  Some songs won’t have a gold standard.  Ever. (Sorry, “I Saw Mommy Kissing santa Claus.”  Go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsat4e8jgHA for the worst version of the worst Christmas song ever.  (I am willing to listen to other entries for bad Christmas songs, but that’s another blog entry.)
5.  Instrumental versions and lyrical versions may have different gold standards.
 
Caroling, Caroling – Nat King Cole
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFSPGIHjak8

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) – Nat King Cole
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__kQ1PCP6B0   (Recorded on TV special)

White Christmas – Bing Crosby
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJSUT8Inl14

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Johnny Mathis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYTnzNeTWmE

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFtb3EtjEic

Happy Holidays – Andy Williams
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSfzvrtgsSE

Holly, Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up1t5siifEw

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ara3-hDH6I

The Little Drummer Boy – The Harry Simeone Chorale
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT1fA59oH7Q

Sleigh Ride (Instrumental) – Leroy Anderson & the Boston Pops
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuSl9PKx6M4

Here We Come A-Caroling – Ray Conniff Singers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71js6tQr334

We Need a Little Christmas – Percy Faith
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDaDopTFRoU

O Tannenbaum (instrumental) – Vince Guaraldi Trio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw6h4mZO1oU

NOTE: I don’t think Nat King Cole and the Ray Conniff Singers have produced a bad version of any Christmas song.  Perhaps add Bing Crosby.  These should be essential additions to anyone’s Christmas CD’s (or iPod’s, for those more technologically advanced that me).

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