The 100 Greatest Holiday Songs of All Time – Nominations

We’re making a list.  Help us check it twice!

About eighteen months ago, we put together a list of (in our collective opinion) the 100 Greatest Cover Songs of All Time.  It has generated more discussion than any other post we’ve published on this site, and the most common objection folks have is “How could you leave off _______ by _______?”  We were voting from a huge list of more than 800 songs, and chances are, if the song didn’t make the cut, it was because not enough of us voted for it, or that the few who did failed to rank it highly enough.  But there were a few select examples where a song that probably would have secured a spot on the countdown didn’t make the top 100 list because nobody happened to think of it during the nomination process.

This year, as part of the always-festive holiday season at Popdose, we’re going to be presenting you with the 100 Greatest Holiday Songs of All Time.  And to make sure that nobody misses the cut that deserved to make it, we’re going to open the floor and let you voice your own nominations.  Please leave your suggestions in the comments – as many as you like – and we’ll make sure they get considered alongside the other 300+ songs we’ve already come up with.

Oh, one last thing.  Don’t worry – we didn’t forget Christmas Shoes.

  • Jake

    Tom McRae’s cover of Wonderful Christmastime (if you’re including covers….?)
    Smith & Burrows – When The Thames Froze (from last year – definitely going to be regarded a seasonal classic in years to come)
    Candy Butchers – Give Me a Second Chance For Christmas
    Last Night’s TV – No Tinsel On The Town Hall
    Rosie Doonan – Winter Song
    Aled Jones – Walking in the Air (my one concession to the accepted canon of over-exposed xmas radio fare…)

  • Mordalo

    The biggest question, really, should be…which version of White Christmas would you choose?

    I love Bing’s original version, but seems The Drifters take on it gets more play for me.

    I will suggest..

    * Michael Franks’ I Bought You a Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree
    * Billy Idol’s Yellin’ at the Christmas Tree
    * Blues Traveler’s Christmas
    * Dido’s Christmas Day and

    * The Royal Guardsmen’s Snoopy’s Christmas, ’cause, damnit, that song still gets to me after all these years.

  • Mordalo

    Oh, and I cannot wait for Mellowmas!

  • Jack Feerick

    The Tom McRae track got a look-in at Mellowmas a couple of years ago, where it was identified in the comments as “the most affected recording in human history.” It’s got some pretty long odds to make the “greatest” list, is all I’m sayin’.

  • Link Crawford

    Well, let’s dispense with the obvious, first…

    I don’t care how many times I hear it, Mel Torme wrote a classic and Nat made it perfect. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole with it’s lush strings, lovely piano perfect singing…what a song.

    And Bing’s White Christmas is perfect as well.

    Other suggestions:

    (By the way, I realize that much of this list is the BASIC stuff you would expect on any Christmas playlist…but that’s because they’re good. Plus one more vote for the old stuff will nullify votes for obnoxious overproduced, loud versions made in the last couple decades–I hope.)

    “Christmastime Is Here” by Vince Guaraldi (the vocal version is nice, but the extended instrumental version is gorgeous as well.)

    Do You Hear What I Hear – Bing Crosby

    Jingle Bells – Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters

    Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley

    Here Comes Santa Claus – Elvis Presley

    Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives

    Jingle Bells? – Barbara Streisand

    Little Drummer Boy – Harry Simeone Chorale

    Good King Wenceslas – Mannheim Steamroller

    There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays – Perry Como

    Merry Christmas Darling – The Carpenters

    Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

    Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

    It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams

    Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Gene Autry

    Winter Wonderland – Johnny Mathis

    Sleigh Ride – any of the orchestral versions

    I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas -Gayla Peeve (yes, I love this song)

  • crowtrobot

    Reggae Christmas Eve in Transylvania – Count Floyd
    Fist Me This Christmas – The Wet Spots

    and the greatest one of all:

    Let’s Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas – Crow T. Robot

  • Hardy Joseph Pottinger IV

    The Stuhr Remix of Kay Starr’s version of the Irving Berlin classic, I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, is easily my most favorite Christmas tune.

  • Ecria

    Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra
    Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
    Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – Elmo and Patsy
    Christmas Carol – Tom Lehrer
    You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch – from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

  • Brett Alan

    Well, I’ve already weighed in on this subject, twice over. I edit the lists of Greatest Traditional Christmas Songs and Greatest Contemporary Christmas Songs at Digital Dream Door. Note that these lists are attempts to rank the recordings on the basis of popularity, importance, and impact; these aren’t lists of my favorites. But I think they’re good places to start to make sure you’ve considered the big ones. (And, Mordalo, I didn’t have to choose–those two versions of “White Christmas” are each number one on their respective lists!)

    Oh, and if you’ve never seen the incredible animated video for the Drifters’ version, there’s a link on the second page.

  • Todd Russ

    December Will Be Magic Again – Kate Bush

    Christmas Wrapping – Waitresses

    Hard Candy Christmas – Dolly Parton

    Countdown to Christmas Party Time – XTC

    2000 Miles – Pretenders

    Silent Night – Sinead O’Connor

    Thanks For Christmas – XTC

  • Todd Russ

    December Will Be Magic Again – Kate Bush

    Christmas Wrapping – Waitresses

    Hard Candy Christmas – Dolly Parton

    Countdown to Christmas Party Time – XTC

    2000 Miles – Pretenders

    Silent Night – Sinead O’Connor

    Thanks For Christmas – XTC

  • Jake

    Haha! Well, it finds itself on regular rotation on my mostly downbeat festive playlist. Too much cheer at this time of year ;)

  • abyssgazer

    IMO, the best Christmas songs:

    “Winter Weather”–both the Benny Goodman version (with Peggy Lee vocals) AND the Jo Stafford rendition.

    “By the Fireside”–Jo Stafford

    “It Looks Like a Cold, Cold Winter”–Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters

    “Happy Holiday” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” — Bing Crosby, also, the Les Brown Orchestra version of the latter.

    “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Ride” — Andrew Sisters

    “Happy Holidays/The Holiday Season” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” — Andy Williams

  • FutureFlash

    3 less-traditional songs:

    Straight No Chaser: The 12 Days of Christmas

    The Waitresses: Christmas Wrapping

    Band Aid: Do They Know It’s Christmas

  • FutureFlash

    3 less-traditional songs:

    Straight No Chaser: The 12 Days of Christmas

    The Waitresses: Christmas Wrapping

    Band Aid: Do They Know It’s Christmas

  • NastyG

    Clearly Alexander O’Neal’s original “Sleigh Ride” is a must, given it is the funkiest Xmas song ever:

    And though I know it’s not strictly a Xmas song, Rosemary Clooney’s “Suzy Snowflake” is a childhood fave for the season:

    And obviously anything off of RuPaul’s Ho Ho Ho album. ;)

  • Zack Dennis

    Thanks Brett!

  • Charlie

    Santa Claaaauuuuss…in a heli-copterrrrr! You know this list is nothing without WING!

  • Jeff Ash

    For your consideration …

    — “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” Band Aid.
    — “Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You,” Billy Squier.
    — “Twelve Days Of Christmas,” Bob and Doug McKenzie.
    — “Back Door Santa,” Clarence Carter.
    — “The Little Drummer Boy,” Alexander O’Neal.
    — “Sock It To Me, Santa,” Bob Seger and the Last Heard.
    — “This Christmas,” Donny Hathaway.
    — “Rock & Roll Christmas,” George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
    — “Soul Christmas,” Graham Parker and Nona Hendryx.
    — “O Holy Night,” Irma Thomas.
    — “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town,” the Jackson 5.
    — “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
    — “The Night Before Christmas (A Poem),” Louis Armstrong.
    — “Cool Yule,” Louis Armstrong.
    — “Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming,” Melanie Thornton.
    — “Good King Wenceslas,” Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors.
    — “2000 Miles,” the Pretenders.
    — “Snoopy’s Christmas,” the Royal Guardsmen.
    — “Christmas In Hollis,” Run-D.M.C.
    — “You’re All I Want For Christmas,” Salsoul Orchestra.
    — “Winter Wonderland,” Steve Goodman.
    — “That Holiday Feeling,” Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.
    — “Someday At Christmas,” Stevie Wonder.
    — “Halleujah! It’s Christmas,” .38 Special.

  • Old_Davy

    It’s not all about Christmas, you know…

    How Do You Spell Channukkahh? – The LeeVees

  • Breadalbane

    I’ll put in enthusiastic votes for The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” and Pretenders’ “2000 Miles.” For the others, I’ll restrict myself to records that haven’t been mentioned yet

    The Drifters – White Christmas

    Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry

    Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

    Payola$ – Christmas Is Coming

    Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby

    Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

  • Breadalbane

    Whoops, missed Brett’s links which covered most of the above after all. But not the Jona Lewie or Payola$ tracks, both classics.

    And one more, now that I think of it: Paul Kelly’s “How To Make Gravy”, maybe the best Christmas record of the last 20 years.

  • Old_Davy

    Santa’s Beard – They Might Be Giants

  • Frankie

    Andrae Crouch – the whole “Gift of Christmas” CD
    Brian Setzer – Jingle Bells
    Melanie Thornton – Wonderful dream
    Dean Martin – Rudolph the rednosed reindeer

    Phil Perry – Away in a manger

    Bebo Norman – Mary’s Boy Child

    Lady Antebellum – On This Winter’s Night

    Stevie Wonder -A Warm Little Home On A Hill