Saturday, December 20, 2008

If you had to pick...

What's your favorite Christmas song?

I have a few contenders:

The Pogues, Fairy Tale of New York



Hallelujah, the Jeff Buckley version... I think it counts as a Christmas song for most of us.


Rufus Wainwright (fucking brilliant), singing "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" - - and not just the 20 seconds from the '98 GAP ad... singing the whole song. What a voice.


And any version of "Baby It's Cold Outside," but especially this one from Elf with Zooey Deschanel and Will Farrell. Her voice! Who knew? Delightful.


I haven't had much holiday spirit until tonight, when I finally started my Christmas shopping, started addressing Christmas cards, started listening to some holiday tunes, and started drinking. (This is how good people survive the holidays, right?)

51 comments:

A-M said...

Baby, what a great version! Ditto, I couldn't get into the holiday spirit until I braved the Christmas crowds this morning..... must have been all that obscene piped musak. Did all my shopping in 2 hours (the planets were aligned), wrapped them all and started drinking 1 hour ago... kids put yourselves to bed! A-M xx

Anonymous said...

auld land syne...but only the version from the 'sex and the city' soundtrack. i cry everytime! soooo good. the best.

Anonymous said...

Christmas in Jail by the Youngsters, Santa Claus wants some lovin' by Mack Rice and anything from the James Brown Christmas cd.

Also, I am so ashamed to admit this, but I never tire of that sappy George Michael tune, Last Christmas. I think I love George Michael

Anonymous said...

The Pogues, hands down. We were in Dublin for Xmas a few years ago and got turned on to that song there. Damn, those people love freaking Christmas. It's much bigger there than in the states. Hard to imagine, I know. Best lyric in a Christmas song, ever..."you scumbag, you maggot, you cheap, lousy faggot".

Anonymous said...

The Pogues, with the magnificent Kirsty MacColl. Her singing makes the hair on my arms stand up.

Emily said...

Currently I can't seem to get enough of the 12 Days by Straight No Chaser. Last year the one I couldn't get enough of was All I Want For Christmas is You, the Mariah Carey version.

The ones that I always love:

Baby, It's Cold Outside (Zooey -- even though I consider this a "winter" song and not necessarily Christmas. Particularly since I live in Dallas and cold generally doesn't happen until Feb.)
Winter Weather - Peggy Lee and Paul Alt with Benny Goodman. Love it.
Carol of the Bells. I like the Straight No Chaser version because I can sing along and hit most of the notes.

AT THE PICKLED HUTCH said...

Absofrickinlutely! I just braved the elements(crowds, prices, forced holiday cheer) and loved every minute of it. Of course, I made sure those minutes were limited to 3 hours max. All done! Now to toast my bravery and try to keep that to 3 hours max!
Lisa & Alfie

KimT said...

Oh, thanks about the Rufus Wainwright--I didn't even know he did that song, and I'm a fan.

I am also liking the Teddy Thompson Christmas Song that was just released.

Gretchen FFreshink said...

The Holly and the Ivy by the Roches on their wonderful album/disc We Three Kings.

Paloma said...

Great choices! I actually saw Rufus perform in Salamanca, Spain in June and he was incredible live. He is really, really funny. He came out in a bullfighter costume!

I absolutely love "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". It always puts me in a good mood.

David said...

I can't believe I'm admitting this. No Christmas song makes me happier than Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You."

Decorno said...

You're not alone with "Last Christmas." I have no shame admitting I still like good old stoned-up, public-indecency George Michael as much as I did in middle school. Last Christmas is a good tune.

Anonymous said...

my shameful admission:

"Little Drummer Boy" by Tori Amos

An Aesthete's Lament said...

I have to be honest. I have two favorites. "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses and almost any traditional rendition of "Angels We Have Heard on High".

Adrienne said...

I'm going to have to go with Elf's Baby It's Cold Outside... I know it's Will Farrell and all but it makes me smile every time.

Knock said...

Great choices!

My new favorite is "Bells of St. Ignatius" by the indie rock band WORMBURNER.

http://www.reverbnation.com/wormburner

Knock said...

oh, yes...how can I forget about The Waitresses -
Christmas Wrapping. Brilliant song. Bloody brilliant.

Tara.Fields said...

Big fan of the Tom Jones version of Baby, It's cold outside and also I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas. Speaking of the 80s, this summer I saw Billy Idol and prior to the concert was hunting around on the interwebs and found he has a Christmas album. Haven't heard it, but the pic on the front is something like him at the piano, with a silk ascot, smoking jacket and a snifter of brandy. Maybe not that exactly, but that in spirit. I didn't get the impression that it was a parody. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

Transcendent bittersweet, soulful angst and a light touch o' the old sod jig and reel as only The Pogues can express--so lovely! Brings tears to my eyes.

Kwana said...

I'm going to be honest and go with David here. I love Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas is You.'

CSS said...

Elton John's "Step in Christmas"...Makes me smile each year, and I don't feel like I am listening to Christmas Musak!

Merry, Merry everyone!

Jules said...

I'm with David and Kwana. I love that song.

Jules said...

Oh, and along the same vein, Brenda Lee Christmas tunes are fun, too. I'm unapologetically chipper during the holidays.

atelierkimbo said...

The Payolas "Christmas Is Coming" is one of my favorites, along with anything by Vince Guaraldi from "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Also--every time I hear "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Chrissie Hynde it makes me cry--I love that version of the song.

Oscurotrophic said...

Zooey definitely has her own singing career-type thing. She and Him is her, very Norah Jones-zen. Good stuff.

Great Dame said...

The other options are great, but I will always, always, always pick the Pogues. Shane McGowan in all his wretched-excess glory snarling about the holidays is my kind of Christmas song! Coming in second would be Ray Charles' version of Baby It's Cold Outside.

John@ThisYoungHouse said...

To echo Oscurotrophic, Zooey D. does has a pretty killer voice. I don't know any other She & Him stuff besides this music video, but it cracks me up every time...namely her weird, little girl dancing impression in the middle.

Anonymous said...

Eartha Kitt's Santa Baby is a good one, too.

kristin said...

Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan do a version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" mixed with "We Three Kings" that I really like. I am enamored with Zooey. Why is she so likable? I like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald's version the best. And I've listened to the entire Mariah Carey Christmas album three times in the past week.

My favorite Christmas song is "O Holy Night" but usually only when performed by opera singers. It's hard to beat Placido Domingo.

ArchitectDesign said...

F'ing YES, you included 2 Rufus songs! that makes my day :-)

ArchitectDesign said...

PS, as embaressing as it is to admit, I think Mariah Carey's christmas album is the best of all time, followed closely by Celine Dion's 'these are special times' LOL. I know, I know -don't chide me.

Anonymous said...

Not much of a fan of Christmas music.. But Decorno, if you like Zooey Deschanel, you gotta check out She and Him, if you haven't already. Her voice is spectacular.

http://www.amazon.com/One-She-Him/dp/B0012IWHQO/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1229962421&sr=8-1

Anonymous said...

Why didn't the Velvet Underground ever cover "Little Drummer Boy"? Would have been so perfect.

Anonymous said...

the roche's christmas album, we three kings. choose your track. i'll take the title...we three kings.

Tess said...

If I put Elf in the DVD player ONE MORE TIME, the family will stage a walk-out.

Anonymous said...

Mahalo ia oe.
That duo is sneaking to charming and beyond. I forgot that movie had a good scene. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of the classics...particularly Nat King Cole's Christmas Song, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee, etc. I also love a lot of the music from the Nutcracker, and just about anything by Vince Guaraldi.

icouldkillher said...

Absolutely "Get Down With Your Bad Hanukah Self" by Moishe And The Accountants. Nothing gets me more in the holiday spirit.

ChrisToronto said...

Eartha Kitt, Santa Baby (NOT the Madonna version!).

...love Maegan said...

ELF ALL THE WAY.

Erin said...

oh, the pogues. how they light my heart on fire...
the mystery of shane mcgowan and his teeth.
the tragedy of Kirsty MacColl -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsty_MacColl
few songs truly feel like home.

Also, anything off of James Brown's Christmas Album does the holidays right.

Iheartfashion said...

Carol of the Bells.
I'm a traditionalist when it comes to carols.

east side bride said...

Pogues all the way. What's better than bittersweet punk folk?

Anonymous said...

LOVE all the Pogues fans. They help detoxify the Mariah Carey votes.

ita darling. said...

have you heard the album deschanel did with M. ward? its awesome! well, let me be clear. i haven't heard the ACTUAL album but rather a live concert on NPR's podcast of all songs considered concert series. you can listen to them on itunes- SO ADORABLE!

Anonymous said...

Be the Change:

"Hallelujah" is not a Rufus Wainwright song. RW covered it, but it's a Leonard Cohen song.

Who Sees the Seven said...

Anything "Elf" wins my vote. And yes, her voice is beautiful. Though whenever I hear that song (no matter who is singing it) I hear Zooey. In the shower. And Will sitting on the sink.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:34, while I'm not sure Maureen Tucker would have been able to keep the beat, what a great idea.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:02 PM:

Who on vocals, Lou or Nico?

the Creme said...

Hallelujah is maybe the best song EVER, though I wouldn't put it in the Xmas category. I pick "Christmas Song" by Dave Matthews - I uploaded it here for you to listen to:

http://thecreme.wordpress.com/2008/12/25/a-warning-and-a-song/

Melissa Winn said...

ok, shit - i didn't get around to reading decorno during the holidays and my google reader was so daunting when i returned that i've been putting it off. but today i skipped all of the other blog posts i've missed in the last two weeks and treated myself to a whole bunch of decorno. at which point i read this one and even though its well past the expiration date for holiday songs i had to pass this one along because i thought you (and your readers) would enjoy it. especially if you like Zooey Deschanel (who's band She & Him is awesome, by the way)... anyhow - here goes my favorite holiday song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4EJfUtYknU