10 Dec

What are the new Christmas classics?

According to this article, Christmas songs are a lost art. Of the top 25 most-performed holiday songs, the newest one is Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” from 1979 — a terrible song, at that. (Lifelong Beatlefan that I am, I love Macca — but this song is way below what he’s capable of. John Lennon totally whupped Paul in the ex-Beatle Christmas song category.) Certainly one might say that standard songwriting is not as mainstream as it used to be, but holiday tunes are still being composed, and it seems that a lot of more recent classics are ignored by this statistic. Sure, the older classics are still the most-played, which is appropriate for a holiday as steeped in tradition as Christmas. But that doesn’t mean the songs from the last two decades aren’t being played as well. We’ve all heard “Christmas Wrapping” enough times to know better.

I’ll suggest a couple more modern classics, as well: “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, and “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band-Aid. There are some more recent ones that I like, but I don’t think they get enough airplay to be “classics.” But then again, I’ve been avoiding the radio lately.

Now, the songs that aren’t classics, the ones that make you weep with pain when you hear them for the 100th time each Christmas season? People are writing about them, too.

4 thoughts on “What are the new Christmas classics?

  1. I think I’m also going to demand that “Santa Baby” be added to the list. I heard it first when I was about 5 on a local talent show carried on Sunday afternoons called the Gene Carroll Show … a 10-year-old-girl dressed up in a little Santa babe suit lip synched. I hated it then.

    I heard Eartha Kitt’s version later (in college) and thought that its only redeeming value was to give drag queens something to perform during the holidays (though as I’ve grown older and have actually met some drag queens, I’ve begun to doubt that they would lower their standards enough to include that mouldy chestnut in their show).

    Now, a coyly shot Kirstie Allie tries to slink through a re-write for Pier One and my revulsion cycle is complete … 30 years of being hounded by “…slippa somethin’ under the tree, for me-ee” I can finally say that “Santa Baby” is possibly the worse Christmas song ever.

  2. Well, I have to say that even though there are different versions of “Santa baby”, I think Kirstie Allie sings it very well, and I even want to find it for the family to hear this Christmas…By the way, Merry Christmas, which is……..8 days from now…

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