By Rosemary Derocher
Christmas season is in full swing now, for the eager enthusiasts who, like me, broke out the Christmas playlists on Nov. 1 as well as the more patient souls who like to give Thanksgiving its full due. In honor of my favorite time of the year, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite Christmas songs, including different versions of classics as well as some lesser-known songs.
“O Holy Night,” Sufjan Stevens,
Songs for Christmas, Vols. 1-5: Suf- jan Stevens explores the song from multiple angles, shifting from a sim- ple, delicate arrangement into one sweeping chorus and back out again with grace. There is banjo, abundant harmony and a twinkling glockenspiel — what more could anyone want? Stevens’s version of “O Holy Night” gives it the grandiosity the song is due without getting over- whelming and bombastic.
“It Feels Like Christmas,” The Muppet Christmas Carol: This is my favorite song from my favorite Christmas movie, and for good reason. While “It Feels Like Christmas” is not a traditional Christmas song, it has plenty of jingle bells and joy to give it the right feel. Every lyric of the song is very important, but I’ll bring it down to one line: “Wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas.”
“O Come All Ye Faithful,” Art Garfunkel, The Singer: Art Garfunkel’s slow acoustic take on “O Come All Ye Faithful” is incredibly beautiful. Whenever it comes up on shuffle, I find myself pausing to sit still and listen to it. It’s simply angelic.
“Sleigh Ride,” Boston Pops Or- chestra, I’ll Be Home for Christmas: The Pops’ version of “Sleigh Ride” is one of the most quintessential Christmas recordings ever to exist. From the moment it starts with the jingle bells to the high point when the brass comes in at full tilt, everything is Christmas. This is the version of “Sleigh Ride” you’ve been looking for. This is instant Christmas.“Last Christmas,” Ariana Grande, Christmas Kisses: Ariana Grande’s 2013 cover of “Last Christ- mas” is just as catchy and super groovy as her more popular songs. It’s a bit more upbeat than the original, leaving it with an attitude of hope that rises above the despondency. There is also a fantastic key change, carried by Grande’s soaring voice.“We Need A Little Christmas,” Angela Lansbury, Mame: I first heard this song in A Muppet Family Christmas, but I’ve decided one Mup- pet song is enough for this playlist. The original version from the 1966 musical Mame is better anyway. Angela Lansbury perfectly captures a slightly manic sense of desperation and mixes it with a bit of love for the Christmas season. All in all, a great pick for Club Lib at two in the morning!This is just a cubic inch off of the iceberg of Christmas music that is available in this world. Go out there and explore, and you’re sure to find something that really tickles your fancy — or at least keeps you afloat during finals season. Good luck, everyone!