‘Tis the season…for Christmas music

15 Dec


Some folks make jewelry, pens, jam, kites. I make playlists.

I’ve always fretted over playlists and mix tapes, large and small, but this year I stopped making those for just myself and my friends – I finally started DJ’ing.

I’ve had only two gigs so far – a wedding and a party – and both went well.

But this week presented a new challenge: DJ’ing a holiday party.

So many questions popped up in my mind:
How old school should I go? This could be my only chance to play, say, Andy Williams or Gene Autry at a party.
How alternative can I get? Lots of artists are releasing alternative versions of standards/decidedly non-Christmas-y music with Christmas-y lyrics/something known as “winter” songs – should I go for those?
Really, do adults at a party want to hear “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer”?
There are lots of great versions of old songs – so is it OK to repeat the same song, even if it’s sung by a different artist? (example: “White Christmas” by Bing, Elvis, Michael Buble, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, The Drifters……and the list goes on).

And that’s just the beginning! So much to consider.

Four hours on a Friday afternoon + iTunes + emusic + some of my old Christmas CDs = a holiday party playlist.

Click “Keep reading” to see what songs I chose.

I decided to carefully mix old standards (such as Bing Crosby’s “Silver Bells”) with new, alternative classics (like “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses, one of the best newer Christmas songs). That way, comfortable, familiar sounds are mixed with new, unfamiliar ones.

This isn’t my actual playlist – my secret weapon is how I mix them all together – but this is a majority of the songs I used.

Feel free to use any of these for your own party.

“Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year,” Rosie Thomas (this is my new favorite Christmas song!)
“Santa Baby,” Eartha Kitt
“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” Thurl Ravenscroft
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” Michael Buble (a very, very nice version of this song!)
“Oi to the World,” No Doubt
“Blue Christmas,” Elvis Presley
“Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song),” Meiko
“Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (Q-Burns Abstract Message Remix),” Jonny Mercer & the Pied Pipers (this is an awesome remix!)
“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” Ella Fitzgerald
“Silver Bells,” Bing Crosby
“Little Saint Nick,” The Beach Boys
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” John Mellencamp (my mom’s favorite version of this song!)
“O Holy Night,” Al Green (my mom’s favorite Christmas song + her favorite singer=her favorite Christmas song, EVER:))
“Winter Wonderland,” Louis Armstrong
“Christmas Wrapping,” The Waitresses
“Up on the Housetop,” Jackson 5
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” Brenda Lee
“A Holly Jolly Christmas,” Burl Ives
“White Christmas,” The Drifters
“Jingle Bells,” Frank Sinatra
“O Holy Night,” Faith Hill (this is FREE on iTunes right now!)
“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” Brian McKnight (ALSO FREE on iTunes! Through Tuesday only!)
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Judy Garland
“Joy to the World,” Sufjan Stevens (this is a great take on this song)
“Run Rudolph Run,” Chuck Berry
“Happy Xmas (War is Over),” John Lennon
“Jingle Bell Rock,” Brenda Lee
“Santa Claus is Back in Town,” Elvis Presley
“Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (John Beltran Remix),” Bing Crosby & Ella Fitzgerald (another awesome remix)
“Carol of the Bells,” Phantom Planet
“Last Christmas,” Wham!
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” Dean Martin
“Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!” Sufjan Stevens (very fun song)

Am I missing a must-have Christmas song?

I still need a few more songs to round out the playlist…send me your suggestions!

10 Responses to “‘Tis the season…for Christmas music”

  1. farley662 December 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm #

    “Christmas in Dixie!” It’s a must! And Ray Charles “That Spirit of Christmas.”

  2. sheenabarnett December 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    ya know, farley, I cannot believe I forgot “Christmas in Dixie”! I know folks will ask for that one. “Spirit of Christmas”…I’ll look into that. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Scratch December 15, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    C’mon, no holiday hit list is complete without “Christmas with the Devil” by Spinal Tap!

    The elves are dressed in leather
    And the angels are in chains
    (Christmas with the Devil)
    The sugar plums are rancid
    And the stockings are in flames
    (Christmas with the Devil)
    There’s a demon in my belly
    And a gremlin in my brain
    There’s someone up the chimney hole
    And Satan is his name
    The rats ate all the presents
    And the reindeer ran away
    (Christmas with the Devil)
    There’ll be no Father Christmas
    ‘Cause it’s Evils holiday
    (Christmas with the Devil)
    No bells in Hell
    No snow below-
    Silent Night, Violent Night
    So come all ye unfaithful
    Don’t be left out in the cold
    You don’t need no invitation, no…
    Your ticket is your soul

    I mean, you can’t go wrong with that. Y’know?

  4. jacksparrow December 15, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    How about “Merry Christmas from the Family”, Robert Earl Keen, a fun song!

  5. JRAY December 15, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    umm… if i had to make a list of christmas songs from my various music tastes that would be my playlist; it would be these:
    1)Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve Sarejevo
    2)August Burns Red – Carol of the Bells (awesome version of this song)
    3)Alvin and the Chipmunks – The Christmas Song
    4) Blink 182 – I won’t be home for Christmas
    5) Psychostick – Jingle Bell Metal
    6) Run Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry (awesome song even if you have it on your list)
    7) Happy Christmas (War is Over) Street Drum Corps
    8) Barlow Girl – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
    9) Weird Al – The Night Santa Went Crazy
    10)Relienk – 12 Days of Christmas
    11)The Almost – Little Drummer Boy (this song is also good by Bob Seger)
    12)Simple Plan – My Christmas List
    13) Rockin Around The Christmas Tree – From the Home Alone soundtrack
    14) Kutless – Mary Did You know
    and finally gonna go old school from the Claymation Christmas Special that use to come on
    15) The Raisins – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

  6. James December 16, 2008 at 6:48 am #

    I totally agree with you about “Christmas Wrapping” and “Christmas in Dixie.” My only recommendation would be the addition of The Eagles “Please Come Home for Christmas.” – One of my faves.

  7. sheenabarnett December 16, 2008 at 10:22 am #

    ha ha…Scratch, that’s perfect! But for this party, I think I’ll have to squash my natural tendency toward devilish songs…I’m not sure it’ll fly. Doesn’t mean it won’t fit into my own personal collection! 🙂

    I haven’t heard that version, Jack! I’ll look it up – thanks for the suggestion!

    Thanks for your list JRAY! I’m in desperate need of a good version of “Little Drummer Boy,” so I’ll look into the ones you suggested.

    I didn’t even think of that one, James – thanks!

    Two other songs I considered: “What’s This?” from the “Nightmare Before Christmas” soundtrack, and “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” by The Decemberists.
    I suppose that song’s supposed to be funny – and Lord knows I LOVE The Decemberists – but I guess…it’s just a little too real…you know? And the music isn’t particularly Christmas-y, ya know?

  8. farley662 December 16, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    Hard Candy Christmas!

  9. Todd Hunt December 17, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    Where’s “Father Christmas” by the Kinks?

  10. sheenabarnett December 17, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    ah! It’s here now, Todd – thanks!

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