Wait a second! Yesterday, I entitled my entry as the “Eighth Day”. Sorry! That was WRONG! It was only Day Seven. Therefore, TODAY is the real Eighth Day of Christmas.
Whew! Got that out of the way. As my former students know, I do make mistakes, although they are very rare (HAHAHA!!! Not!). Oh well.
So, let’s remember to carry the Christmas spirit throughout the whole year. I think that’s wonderful advice. So, on with the countdown.
30. The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl – “Fairytale of New York” (1988). This is a beautiful song, that features the melancholy of Christmas.
29. John Mellencamp – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (1987). Mellencamp was at his first creative peak where he was combining the rock of the Stones with Appalachian sounds of The Band to create the great The Lonesome Jubilee. He followed that album up with this originally dopey song into a blues rockin’ hoedown. This was another great cut from the original A Very Special Christmas.
28. Donny Hathaway – “This Christmas” (1971). This fantastic Christmas song is full of everything that makes a great early-Seventies soul record. And the very underrated Donny Hathaway makes this song his own. It was too bad that we lost Hathaway to cancer before the Seventies ended, or perhaps more people would be aware of this great smooth soul singer.
27. Kenny Loggins – “Celebrate Me Home” (1978). Another example of a song that really does not mention Christmas but has become something of a holiday standard to those of us who came of age in the late-Seventies/early-Eighties. All of us related to coming home for the holidays as we left college for the old homestead.
26. Eagles – “Please Come Home for Christmas” (1978). The cool thing about the Eagles was how the country side of Don Henley creatively butted up against the Motown side of Glenn Frey. On this song, which peaked in the Top Twenty in December 1978, Frey’s soulful side won out, which made for a great version of this song.
25. Dan Fogelberg – “Same Old Lang Syn” (1980). Fogelberg, like Loggins’ hit from a couple years earlier, hit home with my age group. This one is more of a yearning for bygone days. Never really mentions Christmas, yet it has become something of another holiday standard.
24. Brenda Lee – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (1958). I must have nearly 50 versions of this song, but NO ONE has improved upon the original by the great Brenda Lee. I’ve heard it all of my life, and it still sounds fresh to me.
23. Bryan Adams – “Run Rudolph Run” (1987). Adams has recorded three Christmas songs that I just love, but this one is the cream of the crop. Yet another cut from the classic A Very Special Christmas may not be the best version of this song, but it holds the best memories for me. I remember watching my then two-year old older son carrying a stuffed reindeer that he “borrowed” from his maternal grandmother, running up and down our apartment’s hallway, singing the chorus to this song. After blaring the song four times in a row, he was worn out, out of breath, sweating profusely, and got a one-way ticket to the bathtub when he dropped. Great times!
22. Ray Charles – “That Spirit of Christmas” (1986). This song that celebrates Christmas throughout the years was used to great effect in the movie Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold was stuck in the attic watching old family movies. The song and scene worked perfectly together.
21. Greg Lake – “I Believe in Father Christmas” (1975). There’s nothing like an English progressive rocker doing a Christmas anti-war song, especially when it sounds as majestic as this song does. I will always love this song.
Well kiddos! We’re ready to begin the Top 20. I can’t wait to start this list tomorrow. Peace out!