Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 on Tuesday: 10 Great Christmas Songs

There wasn't a theme for today, so I made up my own and decided to focus on music.  So here are 10 great Christmas songs for you to listen to to keep you merry:

1) Sugafunscary by Aliqua on their album All I Want - I found this album tonight when I was downloading today's free mp3 from Amazon's 25 Days of Free. It's a nice album overall if you enjoy a capella women's.  This song in particular is kinda funky and features the women in the group doing a lot of vocal percussion.  You can listen to the album samples and buy the album by clicking here.

2) Christmas Tree a single by Lady Gaga featuring Space Cowboy - Lady Gaga always makes things interesting and this single does not disappoint :P  You can preview and download the single for free by clicking here until Dec. 25th.

3) Last Christmas a single by The Glee Cast - I just adore the show Glee and basically everything they sing on it, so I had to include the single they released.  You can preview and download it through iTunes by clicking here.

4) Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses - Both Darth Coco and I love this song, so I had to share it seeing as she has already commented about it in the blog this year.  You can preview and purchase it through Amazon by clicking here

5) Sleigh Ride by Los Straitjackets on their album 'Tis the Season - what do you get when you combine traditional holiday songs and surfer rock?  Check this song out to find out!  You can preview the album and download it by clicking here.  They also have a new album out this year called Yuletide Beat.

6) Winter Song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson on the album Winter Songs - This is a neat album I found last year that is pretty mellow and has songs from a number of different artists.  It's really nice background music and the lyrics are beautiful.  You can listen to the album and download it by clicking here.

7) Personent Hodie on the album Christmas with the Cambridge Singers - My love of this song stems from my extreme music-geekness.  I was a music major in college and let's just say that my taste in music tends towards the eclectic.  I blame my musical oddities on all the genres I have been exposed to by school, my parents, and iTunes over the years.  Although, I really have to thank Jen T. for letting me know about this version in particular.  For some reason, I adore this melody.  I have 3 or four different versions of the song and enjoy them all, but I think this is my favorite one.  Unfortunately you can't download this album anywhere, but you can preview it and purchase a cd by clicking here.

8) Christmas Canon Rock by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on their album The Lost Christmas Eve - I swear that there is absolutely nothing that beats a rock version of a classic song.... I have quite a few favorites that were done by the orchestra including Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24).  You can preview and download the song by clicking here.

9) All On a Christmas Morning by Robbie O'Connell - Mom and I went to an excellent folk Christmas concert last year and we heard Robbie sing many great holiday songs.  This one was one of my favorites along with Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake which I have already posted about.  You can listen and download this song for free by clicking here.  You can get a couple more of his songs for free by visiting his website.

10)  Ok, I've saved the three most eclectic songs for last in case you want to jump ship.  These songs are ones that I have performed in chorale when I was in college.  They are songs that were meant to challenge us vocally so they might not appeal to all.  But I want to share them because to me they bring out all the feelings I associate with Christmas.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do despite the fact that you didn't sing them at a Christmas concert!
  • The Los Pastores movement from Navidad Nuestra, a mass by Ariel Ramirez - Everything from this mass is in spanish, which made it very difficult for my little college student mind to memorize.  But, memorize it we did and to this day I can sing along, which is kind of freaky since I sang this almost 10 years ago (shudder).  You can listen and download it by clicking here.
  •  O Magnum Mysterium, a motet based on a mass by Tomas Luis de Victoria - This motet is in latin and traditionally sung by an all male choir.  I think it sounds best that way myself.  If memory serves me correctly the Chorale sang this at my first Vespers concert freshman year.  Instead of being in front of the audience, we had climbed into the two staircases leading up to the chapel and let our voices waft up the stairs and into the chapel.  I wish I could have heard how it sounded... another neat memory of this song was when the Chorale went to Italy to perform several concerts.  We were in Assisi sight seeing and were able to sing it in one of the huge cathedrals.  It was absolutely amazing.  I will never for get that experience!  Anyway, you can listen to this motet and purchase it by clicking here
  • On This Day Earth Shall Ring by The Rooke Chapel Choir - This song is a staple of Vespers at Wheaton.  It would always be the last thing played before the concert was over and my Music advisor, Rev. Carlton Russell was the person responsible for playing the huge pipe organ.  For some reason this song has basically become the epitome of Christmas for me.  Maybe it's the grandeur or the familiarity of singing with the comforting sound of a pipe organ.  Whatever it was, the whole audience would sing the piece with us and we would recess to the back of the chapel for the last verse, which is always the piece de resistance.  I hope you enjoy it, for it is church music at it's finest.  You can listen and purchase by clicking here.

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