Friday, December 18, 2009

Ten Favorite Secular Christmas Songs

1. And So This is Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon
2. Feed the World (Don't you love it too? It came out my senior year in high school)
3. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2
4. What Christmas Means to Me by Stevie Wonder
5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, especially by Judy Garland
6. Carol of the Bells by the Bird and the Bee (a newish song that I adore)
7. The Nutcracker Suite by Duke Ellington
8. Anything Wynton Marsalis Puts Out that is Christmasy
9. I'll Be Home for Christmas by Tony Bennett
10. Santa Please by Ella Fitzgerald *

*I teach, pro bono, for a non-profit preschool for low-income children. This is a cause very near and dear to my heart, and the children head to Kindergarten next year....with a wonderful, intensive preschool experience under their belts, that was FREE. Talk to me privately if you are interested in more information. One of the students is not as engaged and easy to love as the others, but he has become obsessed with Ella's version of this song. The teachers had him call my answering machine and sing it to me this week. I can't really comment except to say if someone knows how to preserve this somehow...FOREVER....I would want to know how to do that.

P.S. Lots of my favorite religious songs are sung by popular musicians - but I didn't list those. Do check out Gladys Night & the Pips RIDUNCULOUS version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and of course Sufjan Stevens' Christmas music is pretty much unparalleled. I like Sarah McLachlan's version of "Silent Night" a lot - I guess it was inspired by Sinéad O'Connor, but it somehow transcends The Bald One. "Greensleeves" is perhaps secular, and Vince Guaraldi's version is lovely...but it could be called "What Child Is This?". And my erstwhile favorite band Pedro the Lion has a sweet "I Heard the Bells" out there...they are a closet Christian band, like Sufjan.

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