Songs of Saturday #18: Christmas Edition

As per usual, I’m late on this, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Thanks to my dear friend Abby, who has gifted me with all of Sufjan Stevens’s Christmas albums (and others), and a strategically purchased gift for my family, Songs of Joy and Peace recorded by Yo-Yo Ma with other amazing musicians I am now armed with an arsenal of Christmas music to play for hours on end. Honestly, I’m not much of a Christmas music girl myself. Apparently when I was little, I would request Perry Como by name because that’s what my mom would play on cassette (good taste, little me). Then I later went through a stage where Christmas music was overplayed and annoying, plus I was too cool for all of that commercial happiness anyways. Now I take my Christmas music in small doses and in weird versions, for which Sufjan is perfect. Such versions may include gratuitous banjo, varied rhythms, change of key, and strange electronic noises, among other things. You should really check this stuff out, if all of my gushing hasn’t convinced you yet.

Despite all of aforementioned gushing, I am aware of other versions of Christmas songs, and in this post, I will try to rein in my excitement about this overabundance of Christmas music.

1. Celtic Carol–Lindsey Stirling

I am in love with this arrangement, and not just because I have a total girlcrush on Lindsey Stirling, who is awesome and who I definitely wish I could be. She always makes such beautiful arrangements of things and really brings them to life. Not to mention the fact that Celtic music is the best.

2. O Come All Ye Faithful–King’s College Choir

Then we have the traditional choral arrangements which literally almost always give me chills. This is such a beautiful song, and the King’s College Choir makes it sound like it’s actually being sung by angels, which is pretty cool.

3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen–Perry Como

And since I mentioned the good man, here’s another classic done by Perry Como. What a fantastic voice.

4. That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!–Sufjan Stevens

You knew I couldn’t avoid this beautiful man for long. An incredibly sad but beautiful song that I was not actually aware of until recently, when he performed it live. Crying is permitted. Another really great one is his rendition of “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” which I am irrevocably in love with and which I’m positive I’ve already posted, but you should still go listen again.

5. Winter Song–Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

Two of my very favourites ever collaborating on a lovely little song like this? Yes please. Also this music video is unreasonably adorable.

6. Noel Nouvelet–The King’s Singers

These men are absolutely amazing always, and this is no exception. So excited to see them live next month (hopefully). :D

7. Do You Hear What I Hear?–Sufjan Stevens

Keep an open mind about this one! Maybe it’s solely because I was so into the concert, but I actually really like what he’s done with this. Definitely weird, but not necessarily in a bad way. Probably an acquired taste, but… just give it a try. :)

8. Vivaldi’s Rain–Celtic Woman

AKA the Largo from Vivaldi’s Winter of the famed Four Seasons. Not exactly Christmas music, maybe, but Chloe Agnew’s voice is fairly heavenly, so that definitely counts for something.

9. Christmastime Is Here–Vince Guaraldi Trio

Can’t get more classic than this, guys. A Charlie Brown Christmas is basically perfection.

10. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing–Sufjan Stevens

And we finish with Mr. Stevens again. So beautiful. And it’s doubly awesome that Mumford and Sons decided to perform their own version of Sufjan’s arrangement.

I wish I had time/motivation/a dedicated enough audience to list a ton more songs, but alas, I’m cutting myself off at ten. Also, even though I technically began this post on Sunday night, it’s officially Christmas Eve here. So Happy Christmas Eve and an early Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. To everyone else, sorry for all the fuss we cause every year–it’ll be over before you know it, and then you can take advantage of all those fantastic after-Christmas sales.

I wish everyone a holiday full of love, joy, peace, music, food, family, and friends.

My cat discovered that the warmest place to sleep is under the tree with all the presents.

My cat discovered that the warmest place to sleep is under the tree with all the presents.

~J

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