Music is a central part of Christmas and the tunes can really get you into the festive spirit. Everyone has their own favorite Christmas jingles and these songs are a big part of the tradition during this lovely time.
Next time you are listening to Christmas music you can think about these five fun and interesting facts about Christmas music.
Christmas songs have truly become universal with their popularity. In 1965 the astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell requested NASA to play I’ll Be Home For Christmas for them.
There have also been Christmas songs that have been inspired by political world events. For instance, the song Do You Hear What I Hear? was originally a plea for peace during the Cuban missile crisis.
One of the most well known Christmas songs is the evergreen classic composed by Irving Bell. White Christmas is a really big hit all over the world and has been sung by many different performers.
But reportedly Irving Bell didn’t want everyone to sing it. When Elvis Presley recorded the classic song in 1957 the composer tried to ban it from the radio. This was because the raunchy reputation Elvis had at the start of his career.
Interestingly there are also plenty of Christmas jingles written by a person who don’t even celebrate this holiday. Jonny Marks was in fact Jewish but has written some of the most memorable jingles.
You mat have heard hits like Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree and Run Rudolph Run, which are composed by Marks. His Christmas jingle career started in 1949 when he composed the famous Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Christmas albums are a big hit these days but interestingly enough some of the oldest albums are still the most sold Christmas albums of all time. At number three there is the famous Bing Crosby album from 1945.
The second spot belongs to the King himself, Elvis, with the 1957 album entitled Elvis’ Christmas Album. The most sold Christmas album of all time is by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas.
In more recent years artists like Josh Groban, Celine Dion and Michael Bubble have all had huge Christmas album hits.
Another really funny fact about Christmas songs is the fact that although they are a perfect fit for the winter season they haven’t been written or composed during the snowy months. There are some songs that have seen the idea spring to mind in the middle of the hottest summer months.
For instance, The Christmas Song, which is more commonly known as The Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire, came up with the song in 1945 during one of the hottest summers in the history.
According to the song writer the composers just wanted to stay cool. Another famous Christmas song ironically composed during the summer is Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Nathan is a huge fan of Christmas music. He is especially into old saxophone inspired music and been his main inspiration for learning how to play the saxophone well. He is also passionate about traveling and loves to experience new cultures.
Looking to throw a holiday party but dreading that clichéd, cheesy, same-old Christmas music? You’re in luck. There’s a whole host of awesome indie holiday music out there, sure to give your party the festive yet hip vibe you’re looking for. Here are your best bets.
1. She & Him – A Very She and Him Christmas
In 2006, actress Zooey Deschanel and indie darling M. Ward joined forces to create She & Him. After producing two successful albums in the following years, they decided it was time to put their spin on holiday music with their own collection of Christmas songs in 2011. Though the songs are often spare and simple, their beauty and meaning shines through. For a classic yet modern take on your favorite Christmas songs sure to please even the oldest of fogeys at your party, this album is a great bet.
2. Sufjan Stevens – Songs for Christmas
King of the indie folk-pop-electronica genre, Sufjan Stevens found mainstream success in 2005 with his album Illinois, a concept album featuring the hit “Chicago”. In 2006 he decided to compile the various Christmas music EPs he had created over the years for friends and family and release them as a box set called Songs for Christmas. His take on Christmas songs vacillates between joyful and understated while always maintaining Stevens’ unique sound. This set is essential for any Christmas-inclined indie music lover.
3. Bright Eyes – A Christmas Album
Connor Oberst’s project Bright Eyes has dominated the indie scene for nearly 15 years. Bright Eyes released A Christmas Album in 2002, the proceeds of which going to the Nebraska AIDS Project. While his somewhat bleak take on Christmas tunes might not leave you in the cheeriest of spirits, any Bright Eyes fan will undoubtedly appreciate Oberst’s take on the classics.
4. Polyphonic Spree – Holidaydream: Sounds of the Holidays Volume One
Polyphonic Spree has captured countless indie hearts since 2000 with their lush, symphonic, psychedelic sound and dazzling performances (there are more than 20 members in the band!). Their take on holiday music toes the line between staying true to the classics and maintaining the band’s own unique sound, the result of which is a fun and lighthearted yet meaningful set of Christmas tunes.
5. My Morning Jacket – Does Xmas Fiasco Style
The psychadelic Southern rock sounds of My Morning Jacket have propelled them to widespread success in recent years. Back when they were just starting out in 2000, they released their own take on Christmas tunes with Does Xmas Fiasco Style (as in “My Morning Jacket Does Xmas Fiasco Style”). Fans of the band will love the album, but these Christmas songs aren’t the most traditional-sounding, so it might be best to reserve this music for a party where Grandma and Grandpa won’t be in attendance.
6. Weezer – Christmas with Weezer
Weezer’s pop rock/punk stylings have captured the hearts of fans for more than 20 years now. Their Christmas album features straightforward holiday favorites with a rock and roll spin. While Weezer stays true to their sound on this album, they really didn’t tinker with the classics too much, which makes it a suitable Christmas album for any setting.
Why not stock up on all these albums for your holiday party this year? Make sure you give them a listen before hitting the “buy” button on the e-commerce platform just to be on the safe side.
Author Byline: Maddie Marshall is a groovy chick with some groovy taste in holiday tunes. She won’t steer the eager listener wrong with this bunch.
As the holiday approaches, we are often overwhelmed with the sound of holiday tunes. Every station, all the time, for a month. For many, this is a joy. But if you’re like me, you prefer to go a month listening to your itunes in the car just to avoid the whole jingle bell ball. However, I do enjoy a fresh crisp new sound – especially one with a purpose. I stumbled upon this new talent, Safiya, by accident. Her look was what first caught my attention. I had been viewing her natural hair tips on her You Tube channel. I haven’t made the decision to go natural yet, but that’s neither here nor there.
I then realized she had a separate You Tube channel – one to showcase her singing, so I figured I’d check her out. When I saw her cover version of Beyonce’s “Love on Top”, I was sold. That’s a VERY hard song to do. So despite my thoughts on Christmas music, having peeked at her cover songs, I was compelled to listen. Her first single, “WISHING YOU HOME”, which is now being sold on itunes, is a different kind of Christmas song. The video, which can be seen on her website – www.fiyasings.com, pulls at the heartstrings.
Picture the scene – a young girl, her small apartment decorated for the holidays, but she’s far away from the one she loves, as he is overseas serving his country. Everyone can relate to the scene. The fact that a portion of the proceeds is going to Operation Homefront, is even better. So my thoughts are this….if you’re going to buy some Christmas music anyway, why not support a young upcoming artist while supporting our country’s troops at the same time. Check her out at her links listed above.
To purchase her itunes single, visit:
Enjoy the holiday this week!
-VL on the DL