Now that we’re all in lockdown again just in time for Christmas, dear friends, let’s not be gloomy even though many of us won’t be able to see our families – let’s make the best of it and cheer up. And what cheers you up more than some nice songs, especially at this time of year? No matter whether we’re Christians, Hindus, Buddhists or atheists, we all love a nice Christmas or winter song; and I’ve put together here some of my favourite and most cheerful ones for you.
Enjoy, be merry and stay safe, dear friends, and a happy Christmas to you all!
10: Bing Crosby: Christmas in Killarney
Bing Crosby in connection with Christmas probably makes most people think immediately of “White Christmas”, but I think this one’s even better – where could you have more fun on Christmas than in Ireland? Give me green fields any time over snow…
9: Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters: Jingle Bells
Here’s Bing with his oft-time singing partners, the Andrews Sisters; perhaps the best version ever of this good old wintertime classic!
8: Gene Autry: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Another lovely old Christmas song for both small and big kids, performed by Western star and Christmas favourite Gene Autry; the beautiful story about Rudolph’s rise to fame simply has to be a part of every Christmas.
7: Chuck Berry: Run Rudolph Run
And here’s a slightly different take on Rudolph, by the great rock n roller Chuck Berry – this really rocks!
6: Odetta: Rise Up Shepherd and Follow
This one’s a bit more serious, a traditional spiritual about the shepherd following the star of Bethlehem to Jesus’s birthplace. There’s simply no one who does this song better than Odetta!
5: Doris Day: Winter Wonderland
Back to the 1950s and Doris Day’s cheerful and romantic wintertime classic – especially for lovers!
4: Harry Belafonte: The Twelve Days of Christmas
Another very old Christmas classic, performed by the one and only Harry Belafonte with his wonderfully silky voice; you can listen to it again and again until you know all the lyrics by heart…
3: Boney M: Mary’s Boy Child
One of my favourites ever since I bought Boney M’s Christmas album back in the early 80s – a beautiful reggae take on the old carol.
2: Mahalia Jackson: Joy to the World
There’s simply no one to interpret the classic Christmas carols like Mahalia Jackson, and her version of Handel’s marvellous work from 1719 really is something else, one of the most eternally uplifting songs ever recorded.
1: The Cranberry Singers: Deck the Halls
Even though this cheerful tune has always been among my Christmas favourites, now that we live in Wales it just HAS to be my number one, because it’s Welsh, of course, and it tells about how great Yuletide in Wales is – we’ll decorate the house, put our glad rags on, and sing and celebrate despite the wind and the weather!
Again, happy Christmas, dear friends, and a happy and much better New Year 2021!!