Daniel Adler’s Favorite Christmas Songs

daniel adlerI love my classic literature, but classic music gets me off too.

Ring a ling a ling ding dong ding! The Ronettes “Sleigh Ride” is my new favorite Christmas song. “Carol of the Bells” used to be it, but the onomatopoetic  line that I started this post with is really so much fun to sing…While Phil Spector’s entire Christmas Album is a classic, this song could be the best.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is surely the best new addition to the Christmas catalog in the past 25 years. This was Mariah at her best, pre-boob job, still in her early 20s, beautiful and sexy.

The Beatles “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” is another recent ballad that will last a long time. Its beginnings as a war song make it particular to a specific era, but isn’t “Peace on Earth” a traditional Yuletide hope? Plus, the children’s choir backing John Lennon is classic, Dickensian even.

“Rocking Round the Christmas Tree,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” are three more great Christmas songs, all dating from the ’50s. I still enjoy them, but it’s hard to tell if their lasting power will continue fifty years from now, when the word “rocking” may seem dated, a 20th-century adjective to describe music great grandparents listened to. Guess we’ll find out then.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah, but not Fun Kwanza because that holiday is fake.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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