Having recently been the recipient of girlish confidences about romantic crises from several young women, I was thinking about Christmas love songs.
Most are sad. “Blue Christmas,” by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson, is not much of a song, but Elvis Prelsey made it a classic, so we can’t fail to mention it. It is possible that it really only ought to be sung by Elvis. Charles Brown’s 1961 “Please Come Home for Christmas” is, I think, the best of the genre, and it has been recorded well by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to The Eagles, and you can hear Brown singing it here.
Everyone can sing “Please Come Home for Christmas,” and you should sing it today while you finish up your holiday preparations. All those songs where someone has died but an angel or a little child or Santa Claus makes the narrator see that everything will be okay in some spiritual sense, they should not be sung except by drunken revellers. “Last Christmas” should never be sung under any circumstances, and people who sing it with a lisp (like the guy on the radio) should be slapped.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser is, depending on your generation, personal experience, and political leanings, either a cute flirtatious song or a really creepy one. Here you can hear Betty Carter and Ray Charles sinigng it, and find the chord progression so you can play along.
There is another group of Christmas songs, which have as their theme the desire of the singer to have the beloved for a Christmas present. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Chrismas is You” is probably the best of this group, though it still sounds to me as though she has stomach cramps. Here are the lyrics, so you can sing it yourself.
“The Greatest Gift of All” by John Jarvis is the sweetest Christmas love song I’ve found. I think that Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers are the ones most often heard singing this, and the link has a video clip of them. We have the sheet music at our house, and we like to sing it in a jazzy style. Nice tune.
I have one and a half million things to do before I have to leave for work. I am seriously hoping that it won’t snow till I get home.