By: Jeremy White
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (What's in a song?)
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Do you roast chestnuts over an open fire as part of your family's Christmas tradition? Does caroling and gift giving go hand in hand come December?
If so, you undoubtedly know dozens - maybe even scores - of Christmas tunes by heart. These songs enter our consciousness during childhood and stay with us the balance of our lives, their joyous and reassuring melodies comforting us and bringing light and warmth into our hearts during even the harshest and most desolate winters.
Can you follow this line with the appropriate lyrics?: "Hark the Herald angels sing..." Yeah, we thought so.
"...Glory to the newborn king" is what spurred Christmas celebrations across the globe, and part of that centuries-old tradition now centers on Christmas carols.
Everybody has a favorite, whether it be "We Three Kings" or "My Favorite Things." But there are some that, collectively speaking, stand head and shoulders above others in terms of popularity. Sort of a Christmas Carol Hall of Fame, if you will. Quick Disclaimer: Children's songs, such as Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, are intentionally excluded. It's not that we don't love them. On the contrary, we like them so much they're getting their own 'best of' list in the future.
Henceforth, we present to you the 10 Best Christmas Songs of All Time, in no particular order:
Silver Bells - The word 'silver' may be in the title, but this song is golden.
White Christmas - If you don't dream of a white Christmas, you're just a scrooge!
Joy to the World - Couldn't the world use a little more joy?
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - "From now on our troubles will be miles away..." This line sums up the goodwill and promise Christmas embeds in us all.
Silent Night - We could argue this is the most beautiful song ever written ... and it's an argument we could probably win!
O Holy Night - With the right vocalist, this song carries so much power that it's palpable.
What Child Is This? - No list is complete without this one.
Away in a Manger - So perfect it doubles as a lullaby year 'round.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Upbeat and optimistic. Now, that's the spirit!
I'll Be Home for Christmas - Christmas carols take us all home during the holiday season, no matter how far away home happens to be.
So, we left some out, huh? Well, that's how it is when you have to narrow scores of songs down to ten. Shame on us for even trying. But we gave it our best shot.