Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear? Top 10 Perpetual Jingles

Have you seen the 2002 movie About a Boy? I adore this movie – heartwarming, touching, darkly hysterical, triumphant. Anyway, Hugh Grant’s character, Will, an immature, aimless rich boy, lives off the royalties from a Christmas song his father composed. For as much as we hear certain songs on the radio or in the mall, this is a perfectly believable scenario.

Although those repeaters can get annoying, I’m not a total hum-bug. Several holiday songs I dig. Besides, so many different crooners sing so many different versions in so many different genres, it’s almost like hearing a different song.

Okay. Not really, but at least variety exists.

Anyway, here’s my top ten list of perpetual jingles…

10 – Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Written in 1934 by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie, SCCTT has been recorded so many times, you are guaranteed to find it in your brand of music – Ray Charles or Ella Fitzgerald, The Jackson Five or The Pointer Sisters, even Aerosmith, The Beach Boys and Alvin the Chipmunk. Bruce Springsteen belts out my favorite version, though. Love to watch that boy sing! The muscles in his neck…

9 – Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Written by Johnny Marks in 1958, Brenda Lee made it famous. It’s toe-tapper.

8 – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Featured first in 1944 during the movie musical Meet Me In Saint Louis via the able pipes of Judy Garland, HYMLC epitomizes the Christmas feeling – family and friends, decorations, and a sense that because of Christmas our troubles can be far away.

7 – Walking in a Winter Wonderland – Beside the fact that I’d rather eat a barrel-full of black licorice or change a baby’s poopy diaper than actually walk in a winter wonderland, this one can swing, like when Avalon sings it. Lots of fun. The song. Not the image or even possibility of making the words a reality.

6 – Ring Christmas Bells – a.k.a. The Carol of the Bells or Ukrainian Bell Carol – its composer, Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych, really hails from the Ukraine. With a name like that, who would’ve guessed?! It’s been around since 1916, so several musicians have had the chance to record it. Lyrics were added in 1947, but I still like the all-orchestral versions, especially Mannheim Steamroller’s funky edition.

5 – Sleigh Ride – Composed by Leroy Anderson in 1948, the Boston Pops had the honor of performing it first, and it’s been a celebrated staple of theirs ever since. The masterful John Williams, the Pops’ conductor for several years and Oscar-winning movie score composer (ever heard of Jaws? Star Wars? Superman!?), can wear it as a feather in is already plumaged hat. Lyrics were added in 1950, and I love how Harry Connick, Jr. sings it – a mellow, playful, swinging jazz.

4 – Jingle Bell Rock – Written in 1957, the version we usually hear in department stores is sung by Bobby Helms. Updated rock options are out there that really do just that, interestingly enough, recorded by many Christian artists such as Geoff Moore and the Distance, Point of Grace and the wild and awesome head bangers, Thousand Foot Crutch. The best youtube video I found, though, priceless beyond description, is JBR sung by Billy Idol. You just have to see for yourself. (click here) Not quite what I expected. I DID see the infamous lip curl action, though. J

3 – Blue Christmas – Elvis, baby. And that is all I need to say about that.

2 – Silver Bells – Written in 1950 by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, the duo who also brought us Que Sera, Sera and the theme song to the television show Bonanza, SB has also been recorded by everyone in history – Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, Donny & Marie, and of course Twisted Sister (of course!). All joking aside, my fave version of this song is good ‘ole John Denver. Never was a big fan in general, but his smooth, laid-back voice seems to fit these lyrics perfectly.

1 – White Christmas –Irving Berlin’s stroke of genius in 1940 showed up first in the movie Holiday Inn, but is most often associated with the movie of the same name. Either way, Bing Crosby’s velvet voice is hard to resist.

Okay – now I want to know your favorites!

Thanks again for visiting Dry Ground!

Only 16 days until Christmas!

(Photos by


Anonymous said...

Ha. I like the Elvis, Baby, that's all I need to say about that. LOL.

I love the song, "Do you hear what I hear?"

Another fav is Silent Night, Winter Wonderland, by BURL IVES!, It came upon a Midnight Clear from Julie Andrews.... :-)

KM Wilsher said...

Akk! I am always a post behind you LOL. I am going to do my favs at coming up!!!

I like: Walking in a Winter Wonderland and Silent Night. . .my favs will stay a secret. You will have to visit me LOL

Boston Pops? My mom, a flute player, tried out for them, made it, but decided to stay home and have a baby instead = me!

Great post! Love the term "perpetual jingles" Love Harry Connick Jr. too!

Lori Lundquist said...

Lynn - I have a version of Do You Hear I'll be sharing soon ... I think it's schedule for the 30th... b/c I love that one too! And Burl Ives rocks! Awesome voice, indeed.
KM - I will certainly visit your blog to find out your faves! SO SWEET about your mom trying out for the Boston Pops. (I played the flute in HS.) While personally I'm glad she decided to have you instead :-) it's just awesome that she went that far on such a dream/goal/ambition! And Harry is my favorite. Love that guy. Saw him in concert once. Ah. Lovely. :-)
Thanks for supporting Dry Ground and me, my sister friends! Love you both!

Susanne Dietze said...

Oh, my favorite is "The Christmas Song," Nat King Cole version. It makes me feel like a little girl -- I just love it. Seems like a lot of my favorites are things I heard as a child.