From The Editor’s Desk: Ranking Christmas songs

By: Jonathan Munshaw, Editor-in-Chief

Thanksgiving is over with now. I’m kind of bummed, because leftover hot turkey sandwiches are one of my favorite things in the world, making Thanksgiving my second favorite holiday.

But that means that Christmas is right around the corner (for those who celebrate Christmas), and Christmas is my favorite holiday. Although my family celebrates Christmas, basically any winter holiday would be my favorite. I much prefer cold weather to the hot summer weather, and Christmas means gingerbread lattes, which is the greatest hot drink ever created.

Plus, in my household, it means more hot turkey sandwiches.

To gear up for the season, I’m using my Ed Desk this week to give Towson students the definitive ranking of Christmas songs. Well, my top 5 list at least. I don’t have nearly enough column inches to rank every Christmas song out there. Enjoy.

1. “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Bar-none, this is the best Christmas song, mainly because of the version done by singer William Beckett. This song works as a Christmas song, and an anytime song. It’s just a well-written tune. There’s also a very solid version by Carrie Underwood that’s enjoyable.

But what really sets this over the top is the infamous version done by Elmo and Rosie O’Donnell that exists on YouTube, and was on an album that I simply cannot remember the name of now, but I used to listen to it all the time when I was younger.

This is the best Christmas song that exists, in all of its forms.

2. “Christmas Lights”

Coldplay first did this song, but Coldplay sucks. Yellowcard, possibly the most AIM band that still exists, covered it and made it into the best Christmas song that isn’t consistently played on the radio.

It has equal parts Christmas, relationship problems (because who doesn’t love a good song about a failed relationship around the holidays?) and traditional Yellowcard song writing. Highly recommended.

3. “Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo”

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is often overlooked (for some reason) in the discussion of best Christmas songs. There are plenty to choose from out of their collection, but this is by far their best performance.

A medley of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Carol of the Bells” (two great songs on their own), it’s classic Trans-Siberian that is a must-add to all Christmas playlists.

It’s not necessarily the best for playing in department stores during the holiday shopping season, but for someone who generally favors heavier music, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is always a go-to around Christmas time.

This particular piece is best described as “epic.”

4. “Let it Snow! Let is Snow! Let it Snow!”

I’m actually not sure if this is officially a Christmas song, because there’s no official mention of the holiday in the song itself, but it’s certainly winter/December themed, so I’m counting it.

There’s three versions of this song that I particularly recommend: Michael Buble (off of his “Let it Snow” EP in 2003) and two newer ones from Idina Menzel (of “Frozen” fame) and Seth MacFarlane, who is best known as the creator of “Family Guy,” but also just released a swing Christmas album, which I recommend as a whole.

All three of them are very well done, and the song itself is a classic.

5. “O Come O Come Emmanuel”

This one really has to do with who performs it. On it’s surface, it’s a pretty generic hymn, but this song really appeals to my heavier tastes in music.

The band For Today (a Christian metal band, which I know sounds weird) just released their own version of the song for a compilation album, and August Burns Red made an amazing instrumental version of it for their holiday album in 2012.

Punk band Bad Religion also covered this song as a cover in 2013 for their Christmas album.

There’s just a lot of versions of this song that I really enjoy, which probably inflates its value in my eyes as a whole, but I had to put it on the list.

-100. “Baby it’s Cold Outside”

I had to include this at the hypothetical end of my list. This is by far the worst Christmas song in existence. There are plenty of good performances of the song, but the songs are just way too creepy for me to get past.

At one point in this song, the woman singer asks “Say, what’s in this drink?” and toward the end of the song, the woman’s songs are described as “delicious.”

I am generally awful at talking to members of the opposite sex for dating purposes, but I hope I never end up describing something about them as “delicious.” Please don’t play this song out in public, it’s terrifying.

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