With December just around the corner, you are now officially allowed to prepare yourself for Christmas, and what better way is there to get yourself into the holiday spirit than with inspiring Christmas music? If you’re ready for the holidays and you love female music artists, you need to add these to your playlist.
Surprisingly enough, unlike basically every other song, Christmas and non-Christmas alike, from the early to mid-20th century, this song was not written by Irving Berlin. In fact, this holiday classic from “Meet Me in St. Louis” was written by two gentlemen named Ralph Blaine and Hugh Martin. The song, which has been sung by just about every singer since its original debut in 1944, incorporates a happy feeling into a fundamentally melancholy scene.
The portion of the song stating, “Have yourself a merry, little Christmas / let your heart be light / next year, all our troubles will be out of sight,” addresses the fact that Garland’s on-screen family is preparing to move away from their beloved St. Louis, a decision shaking the very foundation on which they have built their lives. This line provides both Garland and the audience with the hope that, with a new year, no matter how bad things are, there’s hope for the next one.
2. “You’re Here” – Francesca Battistelli
What is Christmas all about? Well, look at the first part of the holiday’s title and you’ll spot the name: ‘Christ’. In the song, Francesca Battistelli sings from the perspective of the Virgin Mary as she holds the Son of God in her arms for the first time. Honestly, this one is a little bit of a tear-jerker, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. However, despite its heartstring-tugging abilities, the song is both a calming and heartwarming combination of lyrics and instrumentation that will make your Christmas complete.
3. “O Holy Night” – Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood’s version of “O Holy Night” is perfect for any situation, from a slow dance at the Business Club Christmas party to a moment of acknowledgment for what, or, more appropriately, who this holiday season is truly about. Underwood does a wonderful job of demonstrating her voice’s extraordinarily high range, as she shows off in the high notes of the song’s beautiful chorus.
This might come as a shock, but Underwood was not the first artist to sing this song. In fact, some sources confirm that Underwood’s recording was not released until 2007, over a century after the song was originally written somewhere in the mid-19th century.
4. “Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt
“Santa Cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex / and checks / sign your ‘X’ on the line / Santa Cutie, so hurry down the chimney tonight,” croons Eartha Kitt, a soulful songstress and voice talent who would later lend her voice to films such “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Holes.” Kitt’s hilarious song indicates that she is under the assumption that Santa should pay-up at Christmastime because she was good all year. She eventually goes on to say: “Next year, I could be just as good / if you check off my Christmas list,” a sentiment that doesn’t sound familiar at all (It’s not like I attempted to, like Kitt, blackmail Santa when I found his hat in my basement at four-years-old).
Moving right along, though, Kitt’s song, which first came out in 1953, is from the perspective of a person who seems to feel entitled to Christmas gifts from Santa Claus (again, let’s forget about my checkered past with this specific North Pole-dweller); it was an instant hit that is still beloved by Christmas-music enthusiasts everywhere. In fact, what’s odd is that this song, which was one of Kitt’s greatest hits, is themed for the same day on which she ended up passing away in 2008: December 25th.
You’re probably confused here as the singing of this song is often attributed to either Bing Crosby, who performed it both solo and with others in the movie “White Christmas,” or Danny Kaye. However, in the movie’s version, Rosemary Clooney contributes her voice, sometimes in the place of others. You might recall that Vera Ellen also supposedly sang this song in the movie, but, in reality, the spectacular dancer, whose career in show business was characterized by her appearance in movies such as “On the Town” (starring Gene Kelly) and “Call Me Madam” (starring Donald O’Connor and Ethel Merman), did not do her own singing in “White Christmas.” In fact, all the parts that she was supposed to sing in the film were sung instead by either Trudy Stevens or Rosemary Clooney.
Since its rendition by Clooney in “White Christmas,” the song has been recorded by many of today’s top artists, including singers such as Michael Buble and Kelly Clarkson. However, despite its many covers, I still maintain that the best version of all time is the one sung by Kaye, Clooney and Crosby in “White Christmas.”
As you read the title of this song, you undoubtedly got it stuck in your head, which prepares the way for this description perfectly! Mariah Carey’s upbeat and slightly romantic (don’t worry, it’s not the “ooey gooey” junk) Christmas song, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” describes her feelings towards her significant other and how she wishes that they would come home for Christmas.
Carey even goes on to say that she does not want anything for Christmas except for this individual to come and see her. Since her version came out in 1994 (it’s difficult to believe that it’s been out so long), several other artists and groups have also done their own versions about wanting their “baby” to come home for Christmas, including Michael Bublé and Fifth Harmony.