Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

#7 - Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me!)

The last week of the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR is well under way.  It's less than a week to go before Christmas and we are on Day #19 of the Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me).

Song #7 is a first for this countdown.  It's an instrumental piece without any lyrics - one of two that is featured in this countdown. 

Now, when it comes to sounds of the season, I think that there are many that you could list.  The most obvious one is the sound of children laughing and having fun.  And why not?  Christmas is the greatest holiday for children of all ages.  Even big kids like me!

Or you might say that a quintessential Christmas sound could be the bellowing "Ho Ho Ho" that you might hear from Santa Claus - both the department store variety and the North Pole variety!

I suppose a more modern sound one might hear would be the sound of cash registers beeping and debit terminals chiming and irate customers cursing that they have to wait in line.  Hey, I didn't promise that all Christmas sounds were pleasant to the ears.

But I think that if I had to choose one sound that immediately reminds me of Christmas, it would be the sound of a bell chiming.  I mean, if you stop and think of it, there are no other holidays in which bells are more prominent than during the Christmas season.

I mean, think about it.  Bells are everywhere.  Bells ringing in church steeples at the conclusion of Christmas Eve services.  Bells of the people manning the Salvation Army kettles.  Bells that jingle along as you go on a sleigh ride.  Even Santa and his elves are quite proficient in the ringing of the bells.

Now, I'm sure you know where this is going.  Obviously the reason that I am bringing up bells is because the song at #7 is all about bells.  And, certainly, no other Christmas song uses more bells than "Carol of the Bells". 

Now, when it comes down to it, there are very few versions of "Carol of the Bells" that I don't like.  In fact, you could play almost any version of the song and I would absolutely sit back and listen to it.  It's such a powerful tune.  And while lyrics do exist for this tune, I much rather prefer versions that leave the lyrics out and just focus on the chiming of the bells.

The song itself is over a hundred years old, first heard in 1914 and was based on a Ukrainian folk chant.  And while there are hundreds of versions of this tune that I love, the one I've chosen added a hard rock twist to the mix, and as a result, it's on the list at #7.

I don't have many songs from the 1990s on this list, but when I first heard the version by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a teenager, I immediately fell in love with it!

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra are a group that formed in 1993 and is made up of Paul O'Neill, Jon Oliva, Al Pitrelli, Robert Kinkel, and dozens of talented musicians.  And since 1996, the group has delighted audiences with their own take on holiday classics.  They are the same songs you love, but with a modern rock twist.  The end result could very well be some of the most unique interpretations of holiday favourites that one could hear.

Certainly their own version of "Carol of the Bells" is epic from start to finish.  But you might be surprised to know that the tune is actually part of a medley that falls under the main umbrella title of "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24".  It is a song that combined "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with "Shchedryk" (the original Ukrainian name for "Carol of the Bells", and the song depicts a lonely cello player who is playing Christmas songs in the middle of Sarajevo - which at that time was experiencing war that ripped the city apart.  If you want to listen to the song in full, feel free to click HERE if you like.

But if you just want to hear my favourite version of "Carol of the Bells", watch below.

Tomorrow, I'll post my sixth favourite song.  And it could be considered one of the best-selling and most recognizable Christmas single of all time.

No comments:

Post a Comment