The most atmospheric, joy-inducing Christmas songs that have a penchant for sticking around.
By Juno Kelly.
The camaraderie that comes with a familiar Christmas song is one of the most uniting aspects of the holiday season. Music tastes between generations, social classes, and even close friends, often varies colossally. Christmas ballads, however, are, if not loved, at least familiar to all, and generally exude sentiments of joy and love.
While the charts fluctuate daily, with one-hit wonders cavorting onto the scene before dissolving into obscurity never to be heard of again, the most atmospheric Christmas songs have a penchant for sticking around, and are blasted from speakers with aplomb year after year.
Below is a compilation of festive season songs determined not to give up their auditory reign.
1. The Christmas Song, Nat King Cole
Written in the midst of a blistering hot summer in 1945, this song singlehandedly defies the idea that music has a use-by date. Beloved by all, it’s melodious timbre will bridge a gap between the generations this Christmas.
2. Jingle Bell Rock, Bobby Helms
Previously chirpy, cheerful, and innocent, Jingle Bell Rock is now synonymous with four certain mean girls cavorting around the stage, scantily clad in Christmas costumes that would place them firmly on the naughty list.
3. Fairytale of New York, The Pogues
Undoubtedly the most characterful and tempestuous song on the list, this ’80s ballad tops the U.K. and Ireland’s Christmas charts year upon year. Somehow, while dispelling the romanticism that so often enshrouds the holidays, Shane MacGowan’s savagery and passion arouse even deeper sentiments.
4. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Frank Sinatra
This timeless classic has us all yearning for a white Christmas, and was written (optimistically) during an LA heatwave when its writers yearned for cooler climbs.
5. All I Want For Christmas Is You, Mariah Carey
Released in 1994, Carey’s yearning romantic refrain is newer than most Christmas classics, yet rapidly became a staple during the colder months, especially for singles and those grappling with a case of unrequited love.
6. Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt
Blacklisted for speaking out against the Vietnam War to then First Lady Johnson, Eartha Kitt never shied away from controversy, and this song is no exception. Breathy and sensual, it embraces the playful side of the Holiday season, to the point that it was banned from being played on the radio in America’s southern states.
7. Cold December Night, Michael Bublé
It wouldn’t be a Christmas list without a nod to the holiday’s reigning voice, the dulcet-toned Michael Bublé. Although his covers also warrant ample attention, this original manages to feel as old school as the aged numbers on the list.
8. White Christmas, Bing Crosby
White Christmas’s twinkling intro gives way to the classic voice of the ’50s, Bing Crosby, transporting us back to the charm of 1950s Hollywood.
9. Last Christmas, Wham!
Another one for the broken-hearted, Wham!’s Last Christmas sees George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley muse over past love and look towards the possibility of new love come the holiday season.
10. Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Dean Martin
Although this flirty melody was almost cancelled due to 21st century style diplomacy (its lyrics become slightly questionable when looked at in a post #metoo world), it has bounced back and remains one of the holiday season’s most prolific duets.