It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Carols…

My very busy, important, famous-author friend, Stephen, wrote a blog post about popular Christmas songs. He admitted to his liking “Fairytale Of New York” by The Pogues and “Don’t Let The Bells End” by The Darkness (plus a nod to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is Yoooooooouuuuuu”).

This set me to thinking: what are my favorites? I’d mostly considered the ones I don’t like, since the radio’s inundated with any artist who’s produced anything with “Christmas” or “gifts” in the name in order to get some air time. (By the way, that includes “Christmas Shoes.” I liked it the first time; ONLY the first time.)

Favorites, though? Hmmm. I’m a traditionalist, so I really like The Nutcracker or Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” I’ll get jazzier with “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (Brenda Lee) but prefer the instrumental version of “Sleigh Ride.”

And then there’s my complete deviation from those with Manheim Steamroller’s “Los Peces En El Rio” and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells.” What can I say? My Christmas playlist is about as varied as my everyday one.

Still (still still), I’ll return, anytime, for an excellent choral version of any Christian Christmas carol.

What about you? What are your favorite musical numbers at Christmastime?

©2020 Chelsea Owens

48 thoughts on “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Carols…

    1. I’ve heard a few renditions of “I Heard the Bells;” pretty lyrics but some of the music chosen is better than others. 🔔 I also like The Carpenters.


          1. I’m not a musician, but I think I heard that it’s written in a minor key, which is part of why it sounds “dirge-ish”. The other part is how energetically the organist/pianist plays it and many do drag it along instead of pushing it forward.

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  1. My favourite “old” carol is “O Holy Night” – especially the version sung by Patti Smith at the Vatican Christmas Concert.

    And a more modern favourite carol would be “Mary Did You Know?” especially the version sung by Dolly Parton:

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  2. O Tannenbaum in German. it gives it that grandeur it lacks in english, somehow. ‘Merry Christmas Baby’,
    Chuck Berry version. He sounds so contentedly toasted. Also I do have a lot of respect for ‘Christmas Morning,’ Loudon Wainwright, though it is less than traditional fare.

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  3. I’m not sure which carols would be my favourites. I like so many. There is one that I seem to start singing to myself throughout the year, but wouldn’t you know, I can’t think which one it is at the moment. Bing Crosby anyway.

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      1. The one I sing to myself is a strange choice – about staying inside because it cold outside. It still escapes me though. 🙂 It’s never cold here.


  4. I’ve always been a sucker for Greg Lake’s I believe in Father Christmas (, or Gaudete by Steeleye Span ( or, going back to my school days, I loved it when the choir sung Oh Come All Ye Faithful in Latin – Adeste Fidelis – some thing splendid about hearing it in that ancient language that still brings me out in goosebumps ( Have a great one with all your many men, Chelsea!!


  5. Rockin around the zchristmas Tree, last Christmas, River, chestnuts roasting on an open fire nat king cole, sugar plum fairy, Bruce fdoung Santa Claus is coming to town….

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