Every year I compile a new list of Christmas music; however, the songs don't have to be new and I excel in finding hidden gems on Youtube which are, indeed, very old. Two years ago, my compilation was mainly party songs because we had a huge Christmas party at our house and included songs by Lady Gaga and pretty much the entire Glee soundtrack.
Last year, I concentrated on folk music and instrumental music and delved deeper into traditional songs as well as folk singers like Kate Rusby.
This year's compilation concentrates on oldies and country Christmas songs because, weirdly, they make a great couple; however, I have not only included them in the extensive list below, but also my favourites of the past years, so I am sure there will be plenty for you to choose from for you personal Christmas list. First, I will list some songs, you might not know to add and be delighted (and even more delighted when you return to the songs you know and feel this familiarity).
Alan Jackson - Let it Snow
This one was actually a borderline decision and I think it is nearly too schmaltzy but, hey, let's have him on the list.
Bette Midler - Mele Malikimaka
This song is probably not so well-known in Europe and tells you how to say Merry Christmas in Hawaii. The version of Bette Midler is best for me and I hope you enjoy it too.
Blackmores Night - I Saw Three Ships
I have already talked about this song and my favourite version is by Kate Rusby named Sunny Bank, but this one is also really good and probably a tad more traditional.
Brenda Lee - I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus
Brenda Lee is mainly beloved for her Rockin Around the Christmas Tree, but this song is a bummer, too, especially for children. Essentially, she talks about lassoing Santa Claus, taking the presents and giving them to children who have none. A nice message.
Celine Dion - Adeste Fideles
Technically not really a folk/country song at all; however, it is a really beautiful song and Dion is a fantastic singer, so nothing wrong with that, right?
Celtic Woman - It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
This is a beautiful song and I daresay it is not as well-known either. Celtic Woman sing it really nicely and set the perfect mood for Christmas, as usual.
Charms - Frosty the Snowman
Simply a Must on a Christmas playlist.
Chet Atkins - Jolly Old St. Nikolas
Louis Armstrong - Christmas Night in Harlem
A classic Jazz town sung by the Jazz legend per se. A new discovery for me this year, I think it belongs to the top list spots for oldies and goldies.
Patty Loveless - Christmas Times A-Coming
This song is one of my favourites for this year because it is Christmassy, very country style, but not puke-inducingly so.
Elvis Presley - Santa Claus Is Back In Town
The slightly less popular brother of Santa Claus is Coming to Town, this song sung by Elvis Presley needs to be in a playlist for Oldies. Musically it is fantastic and engages you to dance.
Angelo Kelly & Family - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Yes, the Kelly Family is BACK. Even though it is now Angelo Kelly (remember, An Angel) and his lot singing. This song is mainly mesmerizing due to its backpipes intro which is eerily beautiful. The singing itself is a bit disappointing compared to the intro, but it deserves a spot on the list nevertheless.
Gayla Peevey - I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas
Probably my favourite this year, this song is not only painstakingly cute, but also real fun to listen and dance to. Especially for children (and hippo lovers), this song should be included in any list.
Jaida Dreyer - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Another children's classic and even though it is not my particular favourite, this particular version with its country style music is a real party inducer.
Johnny Cash - We Are the Shepherds
When compiling a country playlist, Cash cannot be missed, of course. This slow song is perfect for curling up on an armchair with a cup of cocoa and a good book (like my Christmas short story collection It's Christmas, After All, she wrote, shamelessly self-promoting her work).
Kelleigh Bannen - Deck the Halls
Deck the Halls is probably the most traditional song of all and it is miracle someone dared to make a folk/country version out of it, but Kelleigh Bannen did and I must say I rather like the outcome. It still has the beauty of Falalalala, but with a more modern touch to it.
Kelly Clarkson - Blue Christmas, Every Christmas, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, Please Come Home for Christmas
Kelly Clarkson sings a couple of really nice Christmas songs and Blue Christmas is among them. In this soul version you will want to sway along to the singer having a terribly blue Christmas. As for Emmanuel, it doesn't fit the list either, but it was so eerily beautiful I decided to include it nevertheless.
Kenny Rogers - Once Again It's Christmas
A less popular song as well, I reckon, and it's not my personal favourite, but for fans of soulish and blues music, definitely worth listening to.
Lady Antebellum - A Holly Jolly Christmas
This song is so cheerful you cannot help starting to sway along and this upbeat version by Lady Antebellum makes it even better.
Meaghan Smith - Silver Bells
A rather weird version of the classic song, but with its very relaxed and laid-back tune and soft voice, a song which will set the mood to decorate the tree or bake cookies - not too stressful, but not Silent Night-ish either.
Sugarland - Nuttin for Christmas
Country you want? Country you get. This song is so country you actually cannot believe it upon hearing it the first time. Not only the music underlines the country theme, but the singers' accent is defiantly southern. A fantastic song for car driving.
Reba McEntire - Up On The Housetop
A fast-paced version of the well-known song with upbeat and motivating music playing along.
Rhonda Vincent - Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, Christmas At Home
Once more a true country style defender. Rhonda Vincent makes a waltz out of the Bethlehem song, which makes it perfect for parties, without being too pop song like or fast. Christmas At Home belongs to the "car-driving-compilation" as well.
Debbie & The Darnells - Santa Teach Me To Dance
My annual Oldie favourite, Santa Teach Me To Dance has the perfect tune to twist a little and get into the right party mood - and who wouldn't like Santa to teach them how to dance.
OK, I think I have supplied enough Christmas music for you to drown in, so start listening and have a fantastic audio Christmas with the gems from the four-part-Christmas music special. If you want to contribute anything to the list, just comment here or on Facebook (or Twitter).
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