2016 Christmas Music Playlist: Quality, not quantity

Charlie-Brown-ChristmasLast year I posted a lengthy Christmas music playlist, but to be honest I felt the need to pare down my playlist for this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I have still been adding music to my collection…after all, what kind of connoisseur would I be if I didn’t? But I did trim the fat a little bit, decreasing the odds of getting two or three of the same song (via different artists) in succession while shuffling in iTunes or on a mobile device.

Here’s what I have going on this year so far (I’m not above adding more to this list later):

Somewhere in My Memory (Chorus & Orchestra Version) – John Williams
Snoopy’s Christmas – Royal Guardsmen
Carol of the Bells – David Benoit
Candy Cane Christmas – Darius Rucker
Run Rudolph Run – Bryan Adams
Winter Wonderland (Christian Prommer Remix) – Shirley Horn
I Pray On Christmas – Harry Connick, Jr.
We Need a Little Christmas – Percy Faith
Jingle Bells – Count Basie Orchestra
The Star Carol – Simon & Garfunkel
We Wish You a Merry Christmas / Silent Night, Holy Night / O Come, All Ye Faithful / Jingle Bells / Where Is Love – Tony Bennett
Dominick the Donkey – Lou Monte
Christmastime Again – MercyMe
The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year (Music from the Videocraft TV Musical Spectacular) – Burl Ives
Snow (From White Christmas) – Seth MacFarlane
O Come All Ye Faithful – Amy Grant
Sleigh Ride – The Ventures
I Don’t Intend to Spend Christmas Without You – Claudine Longet
All the Love – XO-IQ
O Holy Night – Ray Conniff Singers
Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
Silent Night – Sarah Brightman
Snow Snow Snow – Band of Merrymakers
Go Where I Send Thee – Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians
Merry Christmas Polka – Tex Ritter
We Three Kings – The Edwin Hawkins Singers
Christmas Medley (From “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” TV Special) – Burl Ives
Suzy Snowflake – Dale Evans
What I Didn’t Get for Christmas – Jimmy Buffett
Here We Come A-Caroling – The New Christy Minstrels
My Favorite Things – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
White Winter Hymnal – Pentatonix
I Saw Three Ships – Sting
The Amens – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Must Be Santa – Bob Dylan
Jingle Bell Rock – Brenda Lee
Name – Artist
Zat You Santa Claus – Louis Armstrong
All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
My Everything – Owl City
Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance! – Sufjan Stevens
Where Did the Snowman Go – Petula Clark
Jing-a-Ling, Jing-a-Ling – The Andrews Sisters
Light of Christmas (feat. tobyMac) – Owl City
The First Noel – David Archuleta
I’m a Little Christmas Cracker – Diana Decker
Jing, Jing, Jingle – XO-IQ
Silver And Gold (Music from the Videocraft TV Musical Spectacular) – Burl Ives
The Things We Did Last Summer – Dean Martin
Pat-A-Pan / While Shepherds Watched Their Flock – Bing Crosby
Christmas Medley – Neil Diamond
Wish List – Neon Trees
Christmas At the Airport – Nick Lowe
What God Wants For Christmas – Darius Rucker
Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) – Elvis Presley
White Christmas – The Drifters
It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé
Carol of the Bells / Jingle Bells – Barry Manilow
All I Want for Christmas Is You – The 88
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Rascal Flatts
Stille Nacht (Silent Night) – Mannheim Steamroller
Christmas in Killarney – Bing Crosby
Frosty the Snowman – Jimmy Durante
O Holy Night – John Williams & Chorus
Shake Hands with Santa Claus – Louis Prima
What a Glorious Night – Sidewalk Prophets
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas – Gayla Peevey
The First Noel  – Plácido Domingo & Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) [Single Version] – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus – Brenda Lee
Dream a Dream – Charlotte Church
The Twelve Days of Christmas – Mitch Miller & The Gang
Song of the Sleighbells – June Hutton
Christmas / Sarajevo 12/24 (Instrumental) – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Deck the Halls (Stephen “Shebby” Ruchelman Remix) – XO-IQ
Santa’s Beard – The Beach Boys
It’s Christmas Time – The Five Keys
Merry & Bright – The Ellas
A Christmas Prayer – The Penguins
A Marshmallow World – Dean Martin
Christmas In Hollis – Run-DMC
O Tannenbaum – Naturally 7
Peppermint Winter – Owl City
O Holy Night – Lorie Line & Robert Robinson
Yabba-Dabba Yuletide (extended) – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Hallelujah (Remix) – Mannheim Steamroller
Thirty Two Feet, Eight Little Tails – Dale Evans
Joy to the World – Mannheim Steamroller
It’s Christmas (Medley) [Live] – Chris Tomlin
Happy Holidays – Percy Faith & His Orchestra and Chorus
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Norah Jones
Christmas Lights – Coldplay
Last Christmas (Studio Version) – Jimmy Eat World
Angels We Have Heard On High – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Christmas Dinner Country Style – Bing Crosby
Christmas As I Knew It – Johnny Cash
Sleigh Ride – Johnny Mathis
Deck the Halls – Mannheim Steamroller
The Merriest – June Christy
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (A Shrift Remix) – Andy Williams
Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental) – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Winter Wonderland (Bonus Track) – Jason Mraz
Another Christmas Song – Stephen Colbert
Little Jack Frost Get Lost – Frankie Carle and His Orchestra
He Shall Reign Forevermore (Live) – Chris Tomlin
O Come, O Come – MercyMe
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Mannheim Steamroller
Joy to the World – Percy Faith
Jingle Bells – Band of Merrymakers
It Snowed – Meaghan Smith
They Shined up Rudolphs Nose – Johnny Horton
What Christmas Means to Me – Stevie Wonder
We Wish You a Merry Christmas – Weezer
My Favorite Things – Kelly Clarkson
The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle – Burt Bacharach
December Prayer – Idina Menzel
I Believe in Christmas – Glen Campbell
Christmas Dreaming – Seth MacFarlane
Auld Lange Syne – The Lonesome Travelers
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
I Wanna Spend Christmas with Elvis – Marlene Paula
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – U2
Little Saint Nick (Single Version) – The Beach Boys
Children Go Where I Send Thee – Nick Lowe
The Little Drummer Boy – Harry Simeone Chorale
Rise Up Shepherd – Nick Lowe
Sing We Now of Christmas – Straight No Chaser
Twinkling Lights (feat. Syd Butler, Seth Jabour & Amy Carlson) – Office Romance
Christmas the Whole Year Round – Sabrina Carpenter
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town – Wayne Newton
The Christmas Song – Mel Tormé
O Tannenbaum – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Very Merry Christmas – Dave Barnes
Jingle Jangle – The Penguins
Humbug – Greg Lake
Christmas Is – Run-DMC
Mistletoe & Holly – Robert Davi
Carol of the Bells – Mannheim Steamroller
Light of Christmas (feat. tobyMac) – Owl City
Gabriel’s Message – Sting
What Child Is This (Greensleeves) – Lorie Line & Robert Robinson

Most of these are available on iTunes, but I lack the ambition tonight to build the links. 🙂  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Nick Lowe.  You may remember his one big USA Top 40 hit in the 80s, “Cruel to Be Kind”.  He is the single greatest surprise I encountered when looking for new Christmas music.  You owe it to yourself to check him out.
  • Owl City (Adam Young): He’s got some awesome Christmas tunes, one of which is featured in a Veggie Tales film.  I have three in this playlist.  One is not Christmas specific, but a great tune nonetheless.
  • Sidewalk Prophets: I admit, I’m a sucker for any song that starts out with dialogue from A Charlie Brown Christmas.  But it’s a great song anyway.
  • The Brian Setzer Orchestra: These guys have a really upbeat take on Christmas music, and I especially like their Yabba Dabba Yuletide (obviously to the tune of the Flintstones theme).
  • Actor Robert Davi channels a pretty good SInatra.  I’ve seen him in dozens of films and TV appearances, but I always think of him of the Bond villain Sanchez in “Licence to Kill”.

I have lots of the old classics…the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and the like. But in this list I’m more selective with the old standards and trying to painstakingly grab the best of the newer stuff.  I hope you like it.

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