I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

Christmas songs

Or, to be more accurate, the top 5 Christmas themed songs, that I like:


05: War is over – this was john lenon and the plastic ono band (i think). kinda sappy, but the melody is pretty haunting. More to the point, listeningto this song for the first time made me realize that the presents, the warm-and-fuzzies, and all the other feel-good things I had associated with the Holidays up to that point weren’t exactly the world-wide phenomenon I was told it was. War, disease, and hunger were in fact much more common. 


04: the liveAid song – *There’s a world outside your window / and it’s a world of dread and fear / Where the only water flowing / is the bitter sting of tears // And the Christmas bells that ring there / are the clanging chimes of doom / Well tonight thank God it’s them /instead of you* these lines totally turned Christmas on its ear for me.  Where John Lenon told me that Christmas wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, those mulleted british boys told me that I could actually do something about it other than just wringing my hands and feeling guilty. 


03: Adeste Fideles – yeah, the Latin version of  O Come all ye faithful. The cadence of latin has always resonated with me, and it just seems so fitting that it should be used to talk about things like the birth of the Messiah. 


02: O Holy Night – *the thrill of hope / the weary world rejoices / for yonder breaks / a new and glorious morn* Hope is a very powerful thing, and this song keys into that ineffable moment when, at the darkest hour, hope comes unexpectedly and floods your heart with a warmth you had thought long forgotten.


01: Do you hear what I hear? – This song paints a very vivid picture for me of the night Jesus was born. I may have lost my religion getting here, but there is still a part of me that shivers whenever I see myself on the hills around Bethlehem, staring at the star in the sky and wondering why it feels like the world is about to change.


Don’t get me wrong. I like the light-hearted ones too. I often find myself breaking out into “oooooh, the weather outside is frightful” whenever it rains, Christmas or not; and there is something compelling about “Frosty,” and that mysterious other reindeer, Olof. But these songs are pretty superficial and f0r me, good only as a kind of fugue for the season. But when I hear any of these five songs that I’ve listed down, I stop, listen, and wonder why it’s so friggin’ important for me to get presents for everyone.


Filed under: society, vacuity, , ,

10 Responses

  1. Jeg says:

    Some translations render the name of the other reindeer Olaf, or Olav. The original of course is in Cyrillic and so translators have to render the name phonetically into the Latin alphabet.

    (The Carol of the Bells reminds me of the theme from The Exorcist.)

  2. BrianB says:

    No idea if this is an actual Christmas song but Olsen Olsen by Sigur Ros has a Christmasy feel to it.

  3. BrianB says:

    That song even gets better:

    “Vonlenska is a term used to describe the gibberish sung by the band,[13] in particular Birgisson. It is also commonly known by the English translation of its name, Hopelandic. It takes its name from “Von”, a song on Sigur Rós’s debut album Von where it was first used.

    Vonlenska is not an actual language people speak in, as it lacks a consistent grammar structure, word meaning, or even distinct words as such. Instead, it consists of emotive syllables and phonemes; the band’s website describes it as “a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music”.[14] Most of the syllable strings sung by Birgisson are repeated many times throughout each song, and in the case of ( ), throughout the whole album.”


  4. BrianB says:

    sorry, here’s the official video:

    supernatural snow!

  5. beearl says:

    My favorite Christmas songs are goofy, newer stuff like “Christmas Wrappings” by the Waitresses. Then again…I’m goofy.

  6. cvj says:

    I like Tom Jones’ rendition of ‘O Holy Night’, which he sang live, especially the part where he sings ‘Fall on your knees…’

  7. Jen says:

    Rom! How could you forget Santa Baby? LoLz 😀

  8. rom says:

    jen: ZOMG! You’re right!!! LOL!

    cvj: i’ve missed you around here, uncle! I tried finding a clip of tom jones like you said, but alas, no joy.

    beearl: LOL! I know what boys like!

  9. cvj says:

    Thanks Rom, been tied up with work.

  10. UP n grad says:

    One of the newer, and one that makes me always stop to listen — “Mary did you know?”

    michael crawford version:

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