This should be your holiday soundtrack
Whether they’re blasting from your speakers at home, or your car stereo as you cruise round the city for your holiday shopping or simply to visit friends and family, once you get into December, Christmas songs are inescapable. There’s no point fighting it: you should just accept now that throughout this month, you’re frequently going to hear a lot of carols and see quite a lot of decorations, lighting and fireworks.
Here are some songs to help you enjoy the festive season and get into the holiday mood:
- O Holy Night
Adapted from a French poem in 1855, this is one non-secular Christmas song that almost everyone loves. It is a legitimately moving epic.
- Happy Xmas (War is over) – John Lennon
It’s hard to see the video of this song and not cry. It is a deeply moving protest song about the Vietnam War. The graphic images of ravaged cities, the injured and dead reminds one of terrorism and the war going on in certain parts of the world right now, including the increasing migrant and refugee crisis. The song poses the question “what have we done?” with a clear message of peace that we currently hope for in the world.
- All I want Is You – Mariah Carey
Over time, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has evolved to be a widely appreciated modern Christmas song and has become established as a Christmas standard. The lyrics are simple, Mariah doesn’t care about the presents and all she wants for Christmas is her lover. I bet we can all relate, because there are specific people you’d always want to share your holiday with, be it your lover, friend(s), or family. The song was a huge success, commercially, topping charts in several countries around the world. “All I want for Christmas Is You” is turning out to be a timeless piece, as its popularity continues to grow each year.
- Merry Xmas in Yoruba – Ebenezer Obey
This brief piece by Nigerian music legend, Ebenezer Obey, will definitely get you into the holiday spirit and keep you there. The highlife-juju tune is a prayer for the season and the New Year ahead. ‘Odun titun t’oun bo l’ona … Baba je’o s’oju emi wa’ (The New Year that’s around the corner … Father, may we live to see it). This song is definitely a must have on your holiday playlist, and because it’s short, it has to be on repeat.
- Mistletoe – Justin Bieber
Whether or not you are a “Belieber,” you can’t help but love the sleigh bell chiming and guitar strumming rhythmed “Mistletoe”. “The wise men followed the star the way I followed my heart … Your lips on my lips, that’s a merry merry Christmas,” yes, it’s a great song for lovers, especially if you think, you’ve had enough Mariah Carey. But not to worry, it’s so good you can enjoy it whether or not you have a “shawty” like Justin.
- Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano/Bonny M
You can never get enough of this classic Christmas song of Spanish origin written in 1970 by José Feliciano. Quite a number of people think it’s a Boney M. song, and that’s because it was beautifully covered by the German band. The simple fact that it is a perfect blend of Spanish and English makes it a personal favourite, “Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad…I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart”. Plus, you can barely sit still, or stay quiet when this upbeat, sing-along song comes on.
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland/Sam Smith
What happens when Sam Smith decides to sing the classic Christmas song from the 1944 musical film Meet Me in St. Louis? Magic, pure, unadulterated magic. This song combines joyous lyrics and a melancholic tone and who does melancholy better than Sam Smith? Adele maybe. But she’s yet to bless us with a Christmas album, so we’ll just stick with Smith on this one. Despite the sad tone of this song, you can’t help but fall in love with Smith’s smooth falsetto. Don’t forget to grab a box of tissue.
- Silent Night – Tosin Martins
Don’t let the title fool you, there’s nothing silent about this brilliant remake of the classic Christmas song – Silent Night. Tosin Martins channelled the Afro beat legend, Fela, in this Holiday masterpiece.
- Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
This is simply the sexiest Christmas song ever sung by one of the sexiest voices ever. Quite frankly, I don’t know if it’s appropriate to say Eartha Kitt ‘sang’ the lyrics, it’s more like she purred the lyrics. If you’re drunk in love this Christmas, this is a song for you and that special someone.
- Mary’s boy child/Oh my Lord – Bonny M
Another great Christmas classic cover by Boney M. There’s no way you can get bored of this song that was originally a 1956 hit by Harry Belafonte. It topped the UK charts for a month when it was released in 1978 and became Christmas number one. This cheery upbeat medley is a holiday favourite all over the world.
- The little drummer boy – Celtic woman
This classic song is one of those that have an ethereal effect on you every time you hear it. It practically transports you to the time and place that the birth of Christ took place and you can almost see the drummer boy running about excitedly telling everyone the joyous news. Although it has been modified from its hymnal roots over time, by numerous artistes such as Pentatonix and Boney M., the Little Drummer is timeless, because of the message that it symbolises; the reaction of ‘the common man’ to a fateful event.
- Jingle Bells
No other song puts you in the festive mood like “Jingle Bells”. It doesn’t matter what cover you listen too, you just have to listen anyway. This song is over 150 years old, written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857, yet it remains a world favourite. The sing-song rhythm makes it the number one Christmas song for children and the first ever Holiday song they learn to sing.
- Give love on Xmas – Jackson 5
Well, I’m just going to let the lyrics do the talking, it’s so apt: “Why don’t you give love on Christmas Day? Even the man who has everything would be so happy if you would bring him love on Christmas Day. No greater gift is there than love.
People you don’t know smile and nod hello. Everywhere there’s an air of Christmas joy.
It’s that once of year when the worlds sincere and you’d try to find a way to show the things that words can’t say. What the world needs is love. Yes, the world needs more love.”
- Last Christmas – Yemi Alade and DiL
Last year, the Johnny crooner, Yemi Alade, and DiL covered “Last Christmas”, the 1984 hit song by the British Pop duo Wham. Typically, it was given a Nigerian feel, with a little Yoruba in the chorus. Listen here.
- Merry Christmas – Samsong
If you loved Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Really Care About Us”, then you’ll love this upbeat Christmas Pop tune by Nigerian gospel artiste Samsong. Listen here.