10 Christmas Songs to Ride Out the Pandemic

L.A. Strucke

Some songs to play when you're homebound this Christmas.

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While you're stuck at home during the holidays this year, these Christmas songs will lift your spirits or at least help you feel less alone. I've compiled a list of ten. There are so many amazing songs out there; it was hard to narrow it down to these few.

I searched far and wide and this is what I found. I'm certain I've missed some other great ones, but these are unforgettable.

10. How Could This Be Christmas by Mandy Moore.

This beautiful new song was just released in December 2020. If you’re missing that special someone, this gem by Mandy Moore truly touches the heart and expresses what you're feeling inside. The first time I heard this song, I instantly loved it. It was written by Mandy Moore, Mike Viola, and Taylor Goldsmith.

9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland

This beautiful song and scene from the MGM musical "Meet Me in Saint Louis" features the legendary Judy Garland singing to actress Margaret O'Brien when they have to leave their home. It is one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in a movie.

This unforgettable song was written in 1943 by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. Many people have covered this song, but Judy sings it the best.

The lyrics to this song are so fitting to what we're all going through right now:

"Next year all our troubles will be out of sight."

8. Merry Christmas Darling by The Carpenters

For many of us, longing for someone we love at Christmas, this beautiful song sung by Karen Carpenter always touches the heart. Although Karen had a tragic life, she truly had a beautiful voice that will live on forever. She truly sang from the heart. Karen is greatly missed by many.

This song gets a lot of airplay for one reason. It's amazing.

It was written by her brother Richard Carpenter (music) and Frank Pooler (lyrics) and originally recorded in 1970. The single went to #1 for the Carpenters on Billboard’s Christmas charts in 1970, 1971, and 1973.

7. The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

Who doesn't love "The Christmas Song," by the legendary Nat King Cole? You will recognize the lyrics that start with "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire." The song was written by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé in 1945. In 1940, the original 1946 recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Nat King Cole had a powerful voice, yet so soothing to the soul. I could listen to him sing all day long, and not just this song. The world suffered a great loss when he left it.

6. Do You Hear What I Hear? by Whitney Houston

You know an artist is great when you start tearing up as they perform. This is how I feel when I hear the late great Whitney Houston performing this song that aired on Jay Leno in 1990. I was a huge fan of hers, and I've never heard anyone sing this song better.

It was written by a married couple – Noël Regney (lyrics) and Gloria Shayne (music) in 1962. Whitney’s version of this often covered song came out in 1987 to huge success.

5. The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth by David Bowie and Bing Crosby

I love not only listening to this song but just listening to these two legends converse in the script for the show. Here's David Bowie harmonizing with Bing Crosby, with voices that blend so well, they were meant to sing together. Somewhere the two of them are harmonizing in heaven.

This version of Peace on Earth was written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Alan Kohan.

The Little Drummer Boy was written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941 and was originally performed by The Trapp Family Singers in 1951. A later version was written with Harry Simeone,

I love this version with Bowie and Crosby that includes both songs interweaved together. It was written for Crosby’s final holiday Christmas special – Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas as a medley. It came out as a single in 1982.

4. White Christmas by Bing Crosby

Written by Irving Berlin, the Guinness Book of World Records says it’s the best-selling single of all time This is not surprising to me, because it's great. We're all dreaming of a white Christmas, reminiscing about an old - fashioned time when close and happy families gathered around the Yule log eating delicious home cooking and watching the children outside building snowmen and sleigh-riding. It's a song that could take you back to a beautiful memory of your own. With some of us, it's the dream of Christmas that we never had, and to those who had a Christmas like it, it's filled with nostalgia. And some people like it because they just want it to snow.

3. All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

Written by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff, here's another Christmas song that's all over the radio, and it deserves to be. Released in 1994, the amazing voice of Mariah Carey dazzles, in an upbeat song that has it all. It's a hope for love at Christmas, where you know you will get your happily-ever-after. This was an international success and received rave reviews. It’s guaranteed to lift your mood right out of the pandemic!

2. Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee

This Christmas song written by the Jewish songwriter Johnny Marks (who also wrote “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”) will get you dancing around the living room while you are riding out the pandemic. With Brenda Lee's unique voice, this song brings you way back to the 1960s. Although it was first released in the late 1950”s it took until 1960 to take off. It peaked on Billboard's charts at #14 and is still a popular song on the airwaves right now. No one sings this song as well as Brenda Lee. I can't even imagine it sung by anyone else.

1.Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir

Written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, this song is inspiring and gives people hope. John Lennon released this song in 1971, long after leaving The Beatles, and I consider it up there with his best songs, because of the message it brings to the world for peace. It reached #4 in the UK. With compelling lyrics and the heavenly voices of the Harlem Community Choir, this song brings hope and joy to the world.

The lyrics can speak to us right now of the New Year to come in 2021:

"Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear."

Many of these singers are gone now, but their music lives on forever. Hope these songs help you through Christmas 2020 and bring good news in 2021 for us all.

#nbholidaycheer

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