an actually-not-terrible Christmas playlist

In no particular order, and with even more colorful commentary. And YouTube links because I realize most of these are… eclectic.

The Killers – “Joseph, Better You Than Me”

The Killers have been putting out a “quirky” Christmas song every year since 2005, so if you want unusual, that’s a starting point. This particular song is my favorite because of the perspective and because… well, you’ll have to listen to it, but it’s one of those things that wouldn’t have worked if anyone else had tried to do it. Just sayin’.

Pentatonix – “Carol of the Bells”

Look, as an alto this was one of my least favorite songs because the traditional alto part is basically “stand there and look pretty”, but… it’s still a beautiful song. I can’t think of any bad versions, so y’all get this one because it was the first one that came up on my itunes that had human voices. You’re welcome.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – “Wizards In Winter”

The song that birthed the synchronized-lights craze (as far as I’m aware). And with good reason. TSO is another act that can do no wrong in their additions to the Christmas canon, but this is the one that gave a brand-new outlet to the Clark Griswold wannabes of the world.

My Chemical Romance – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

I have to include this cover because… it’s not good. At all. MCR was a fascinating band because Gerard Way is a creative genius who does not do things halfway. This particular cover of an overdone “modern classic” – and now I’m really curious how this even HAPPENED – has none of that brilliance. It is, however, interestingly terrible and still better than the original, so…

Katy Perry – “White Christmas”

Another one where I’d really like the origin story. Feel how you want about her, but this is a good addition to any compilation of festive background noise.

Kelly Clarkson – “Just For Now”

I’m not sure who decided this was a holiday song, or why (other than that it’s about family members who shouldn’t be in the same room). The original version, performed by Imogen Heap, is haunting and creepy-wonderful. Kelly Clarkson’s cover is… bigger. A lot bigger. In the best, most over-the-top way. And yet still sounds, if you’re not listening closely, like it just might be about happier things.

Straight No Chaser – “The 12 Days of Christmas”

What?? Something that would appear on a nicer person’s playlist?? Yeah, this is an exception because it’s that good. Look up various versions online – having at least originated as a college ensemble, their lineup has changed over the years – and prepare to be entertained.

Barenaked Ladies – “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

The most well-known modern version of that song, so… again something you’ve probably heard before, but again good.

Eartha Kitt – “Santa Baby”

I mentioned in my last post that I think the original is the only good version of this song. I’m mentioning it here because the above link is video of her performing it. Definitely worth watching.

Vanessa Carlton – “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Let me put it this way – there are no brass instruments or overkill drums involved in this version. It’s delicate and not at all the normal rendition, and that’s the beauty.


One thought on “an actually-not-terrible Christmas playlist

  1. I have turned into much more of a Grinch with Christmas music!! LOL 😀 So many songs are overdone and also annoying. LOVE Eartha Kitt! Her voice is epic. Pentatonix are always fabulous, as are the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Oh yeah.


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