Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Underrated Christmas Songs

I want to expand on my Top 5 list currently in the sidebar on the right. I normally put a "bottom 5" in that spot, but in the interest of positivity and the holiday spirit, I scrapped my idea of highlighting the most overplayed songs (this means I won't mention Wham's "Last Christmas," which I hear more than "White Christmas" these days, not that I'm mentioning that) and listed some tunes that deserve more attention.

"Underneath the Tree" by Kelly Clarkson: A great Christmas song makes you feel better after you hear it, and I can't listen to this and not smile. Mariah Carey made the modern staple "All I Want for Christmas Is You," and I enjoy that one, but at this point I wouldn't mind if programmers made more room for this one.

"Someday at Christmas" by the Jackson Five: I would have said the Stevie Wonder version was underrated simply because it was one of the best Christmas recordings ever, but this year's Apple commercial is surely sending a lot of people to the original version. So let me spotlight the Jacksons, a poignant rendition in its own right with the lads trading verses and, at one point, singing the special line, "Someday at Christmas, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm...."

"Merry Xmas Everybody" by Slade: I imagine many of our friends across the Atlantic are sick of this one, but I never hear it over here...except maybe if I happen to catch a token hour of Christmas songs played by a local rock station on December 25.

"Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You" by Billy Squier: The legendary goofy video recorded at the MTV offices gives this one some enduring cachet, but how often do you hear it on the radio or at the mall?

"Caroling, Caroling (Christmas Bells are Ringing)" by Nat King Cole: This is one of the great underappreciated Christmas carols--just a beautiful song--but you have to give particular credit to the King for managing to sound dignified as always even while uttering the words "ding dong."

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