What to listen to this holiday season: Top ten Christmas songs.


Michael Bublé’s Christmas album is one of the most listened to albums during the holiday season. Photo by Lauren Kiernan.

Lauren Kiernan

The Christmas season incorporates everything from food to family to fun- but most importantly it revolves around the music of the season. There have been hundreds of Christmas songs that have been released over the years; some new and some re-recorded by upcoming artists. Among the hundreds of Christmas songs, there has to be the best of the best. Below is the list of the top ten Christmas songs from religious to classics to comedic songs. In no particular order…

“Last Christmas”

The first song is a classic. It is “Last Christmas” by Wham! who was the first person to release this song back in 1984. What makes this song so special, especially by this band, is because it is about a guy who wants to get together with this woman who broke his heart last year at Christmas time and have not seen each other since. It is a very wholesome and gentle song that always gets people hyped around the holidays.

“Mary, Did You Know?” 

The next song is “Mary, Did You Know?” by Pentatonix (2014), which was originally released by Mark Lowery in 1991. This song is the first and only song on the list that has a religious background to it but it is a good one. The reason why the version by Pentatonix is superior to the others is that they are instrument-free and it is all done by the mouth. The song is about the Virgin Mary and how she will soon find out that her infant son is going to do big things in the world. It is by far a classic amongst the Pentatonix fan club and holiday music lovers.

“Marshmellow World” 

The third song on the list is “Marshmellow World” by Dean Martin. This song incorporates the fun of the season and is the first and only song that is a little bit of a comedic one. The song was originally written by Carl Sigman in 1949. It had many artists re-record it but by far the favorite is by Dean Martin which was released in 1966. It is essentially about a world that is happy and light and fluffy; nothing can go wrong around the holiday season. Whenever this song is played, it reminds me and everyone that there is fun everywhere you just have to look for it.

“I’ll Be Home For Christmas”  

The following song is another classic and well-loved song by everyone; it is “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by Michael Bublé. This is shockingly the only song on the list by the popular artist Michael Bublé this song was released in 2003 but was originally released by Bing Crosby but written by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent in 1943. Michael Bublé’s version is one of the best songs on his holiday album. Not only is his voice so pure and warming; the lyrics themselves really exhibit what the holiday season is about. As seen through the title, it is about how a loved one assures there family that they will make it back for Christmas.

“White Christmas” 

The sixth song on the list is “White Christmas” by Ella Fitzgerald. The song itself is such a classic and it has been re-sung by many people and each to its own is good. The song was originally recorded by Irving Berlin in 1942 but the most iconic redo was by Ella Fitzgerald in 1960. The song is about reminiscing on how the season used to be when she was younger. The reason this song is on the list is that people are always talking about memories and loved ones when they all get together. It truly proves that there is more to the season then material things but the past and the memories will never be forgotten.

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

This next one is an absolute favorite among many people, the song always gets people in an outgoing mood and in the spirit. It is “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee. The song was originally released in 1958 by Brenda Lee. This song is essentially about people at a Christmas party and how people act when they are at a holiday party. All the feelings people get and what the overall atmosphere of the house is like. It is a dance song amongst the other holiday music.

“You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” 

The seventh song on the list is by Tyler, the Creator. It is “You’re A Mean, Mr. Grinch” which was originally written and recorded in 1966 for the original Grinch animated movie. However, this specific one by Tyler, the Creator was released in 2018 for the newest animated Grinch movie that was also released at the end of 2018. Tyler, the Creator is not normally a kid-friendly artist, so this song is definitely out of his comfort zone. However, this song is still in his range of genre- unlike the original version, this song is upbeat and still considered hip-hop/rap like his normal songs.

“Sleigh Ride” 

The second to last song on the list is “Sleigh Ride” by Ella Fitzgerald. This song is the second one by Ella Fitzgerald. Because she is such a classic artist for Christmas music there is no surprise that there is more than one by her on this list. The song is originally sung by Johnny Mathis in 1958. For Ella Fitzgerald, this song was released only two years later in 1960 when she debuted her first Christmas album. This song is fun and upbeat and it is on the list because of its overall spirit it contains of the holiday. It also talks about how comfortable people are around their family and how nice and cozy the house is during this time.

“Wonderful Christmas Time”

The final song on this list is “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney who is the original artist to release this song back in 1979. It is one of the few songs on this list that is by the very first artist to produce a song. The reason why this original song is on the list is that it does have a little bit of a different sound compared to the other artists on this list. For McCartney however, this song is a lot like the others he has produced because of his soft and calming voice. The song “Wonderful Christmas Time” is primarily about the overall simplicity that the holiday season can bring. How it is only about family and friends and the time you spend with those who you love. It is also about the sense of community that everyone feels during Christmas time- how the choir sings for everyone and how there are decorations all over town and on people’s houses and how that makes it more of a community feeling. 

Between “Mary, Did You Know?” to “Marshmellow World” there is a vast variety of holiday tunes to listen to. Music can either bring a family together or tear them apart if it is really bad. So I hope that this list can bring peace and the Christmas spirit amongst you and your family this holiday season.