The Most Wonderful Songs of the Year

Band nerd ranks top five Christmas songs

writer: Gloria Olajimi, Copy Editor

As someone who gets to hear their name on every other song on the radio this time of the year, Christmas has always had a dear place in my heart, and as a band kid, the music has an especially special spot. Christmas is characterized by its familiar, light-hearted tunes about the meaning of the holidays, whether that be writing letters to a toy businessman in the North Pole or honoring the birth of a savior. Based on memorability, message, and melody, here are my top five picks for the best ever Christmas songs. Disclaimer: No, “All I Want For Christmas is You” did not make the cut.

 

  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

 

Specifically the Pentatonix rendition, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentle” is an arguably underrated Christmas song. The reassurement of a savior’s coming, the song is a reminder of the purpose and significance of the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Pentatonix, a popular a cappella group which becomes especially popular during the holiday season, puts a special twist on the song, adding layers of harmonies and articulation imitating that of a church bell, topping it all off with an accelerando at the end. They make the song fun to listen to, even inspiring a TikTok challenge in 2020. Although it’s not typically a song people easily remember the lyrics to, the song is brimming with “comfort and joy” and thus, belongs in fifth place. 

 

  1. Christmas Time is Here

 

You can’t have Christmas without a little Charlie Brown and a little jazz. Written by Vince Guraldi and featuring St. Paul’s Espicopal Church children’s choir, “Christmas Time is Here” is from the animated series “Peanuts” when Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and their peers bound together and sang in cordial unison. The song is a slow waltz, with a lulling “one-two-three” rhythmic pattern layered with piano improvisation and upright bass that can put anyone in a relaxed mood. The song brings a sentimental feel, as it spotlights innocent children, with a blithe sense of holiday spirit, a reminder to older listeners often bombarded with life’s worries to dwell on the meaning of the holidays. One may find it difficult to decipher the lyrics to the song beyond the first line, “Christmas time is here”- the audio is old and slightly distorted so it can be difficult to decipher what the children are saying. Nonetheless, this classic belongs on the top-five podium. 

 

  1. I AM THE GRINCH

 

A more recent Christmas song, written by Tylor, the Creator for Illumination’s animated When the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2020, “I AM THE GRINCH” puts a twist on the old classic tune. The song is rapped from the perspective of the Grinch himself, who boasts about his menacing schemes. It’s a catchy piece, the verses and chorus typically being repeated throughout it. As numerous students today listen to Tyler, the Creator, the song will apply to younger generations easily with its heavy bass, easy flow and just a hint of jingle in the background. This Christmas song definitely belongs in the top three. 

 

  1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 

 

Sung by the one and only Frank Sinatra, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a refreshing break from the gift-buying and money-spending aspect of Christmas as it focuses on spending time with loved ones. The song is slow paced, only accompanied by soft strumming stringed instruments and delicate choral voices; it creates a nostalgic feel, moving the listener to reminisce over past “happy golden days.” A Christmas classic, most are familiar with the song and its warm lyrics, putting this song in the second place ranking. 

 

  1. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is easily the most wonderful song of Christmas. Kicked off with a festive trumpet fanfare, the song takes listeners through a typical Western world Christmas experience, filled with jingle-belling kids and be-of-good-cheering loved ones. The song includes choir features, instrumental moments and a fun rhyming scheme for easily rememberable lyrics. Another song in waltz style, the upbeat “one-two-three” pattern allows for a fun, dance worthy piece. As the hype song of Christmas, this song deserves no lower placement than first. 

 

Comment below your favorite Christmas song.