Do you have to drive this Christmas? Well, you know, first of all, take the necessary measures to ensure you drive safely in the snow or under adverse conditions. Because perhaps when you leave home the sun is shining, but will the good weather accompany you throughout your journey?
The second and equally important piece of advice is that your journey must be as pleasant as possible. It is about applying that maxim that what is important is not the destination but the journey itself. Only in this way will we achieve calm, relaxed driving, free from the stress that might get in the way of our concentration.
Music is always a great ally in that regard. Some studies have shown that listening to songs we like while driving can be of great help when it comes to managing the stress that getting behind the wheel can cause.
Some people, in fact, have their own car-specific playlists. As it is Christmas, we suggest you make one featuring some of the most popular Christmas carols. Here we offer you some and we give you the reasons why, we believe, they should be a key part of your trip.
This is, without a doubt, the Christmas carol that best captures the journey that Santa Claus himself embarks on every year aboard his sleigh to deliver the gifts. In this case we propose the version performed by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie in 1932, despite the fact that there are many versions of this carol. Some of the most memorable performances include those by The Supremes, Frank Sinatra, The Carpenters, and Michael Bublé, among many others.
The reason we stuck with the original version from the 1930s is because of the context in which it was broadcast, in the midst of the Great American Depression, and because of the message of hope it conveyed at a time when it was so necessary. And of course, for the touch of nostalgia that the recording inevitably conveys.
The little that is known about the origin of this song is that it could go as far back as the 16th century. The lyrics refer to the English tradition of that time, when the wealthiest families offered sweets to people who sang Christmas carols from door to door. Figgy pudding was undoubtedly one of the most popular, and that is why in the lyrics the singers demand their portion under the threat of stopping singing and going to another house if they did not obtain it. One of the most popular versions of this Christmas carol was performed by Bing Crosby.
3. Silent Night
The story of this Christmas carol sounds almost as good as the song itself. Its origin, apparently, goes back to the beginning of the 19th century, when the organ in the church of Saint Nicholas in Oberndorf, Austria, broke down at Christmas time. The church’s pastor, Joseph Morh, tried to make it up to the parishioners with a poem about the birth of Christ that he had written a few years earlier. Mohr took the poem to his friend Franz Gruber, a teacher and musician, to turn it into a song. The Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht would become a total success that eventually came to the attention of a group of itinerant musicians who, after popularizing it throughout the country, took it to New York, where musicians like Bing Crosby, in the 20th century and in its English version, would turn it into a Christmas classic. UNESCO even declared the song an asset of cultural interest.
We suggest the version by Frank Sinatra.
Bobby Helms composed it in 1957, making it a classic in record time. It is considered the first rock&roll Christmas carol and is also one of the most covered Christmas carols of all time.
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree was written in the late 1950s and you can tell by its instrumentalization. What may not be so obvious is that the singer of the song, Brenda Lee, was only 13 years old when she recorded the song. Despite perhaps not being as popular as some of the previous ones, according to Spotify, the song usually sneaks into the Top 50 of the most popular songs every year when the winter holidays are getting closer.
This is another Christmas classic, although Christmas is not mentioned in the lyrics. It was composed in 1945 by Vaughn Monroe and reached number 1 on the Billboard chart the following year. It has been covered on multiple occasions and by artists such as Dean Martin, Doris Day and the Chicago group, among others. In addition to Monroe’s original version, we also offer you Diana Krall’s jazz version.
The song was composed by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells in 1944, although it was not until 1946 when The King Cole Trio recorded it for the first time. The most curious thing is that the lyrics were written during the hot summer of 1944, and sought to be like “a breath of fresh air”, in the words of Tormé himself. The song came back into fashion only a few years ago when Cristina Aguilera recorded her own version.
It would be impossible not to remember this song during the holidays, even more so if it snows. Composed by Irving Berlin in 1940, it is unusual in that one of its versions, the one performed by Bing Crosby in 1942, appears in the Guinness Book as the best-selling single of all time. After this came many more versions, including the most recent by Il Divo and Lady Gaga, but here we recommend the one performed by Dean Martin.
We finish off this list with a very special recording made for the American television program Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas, in 1977, performed by Bing Crosby himself along with David Bowie. It is said that the latter was not in favor of singing the traditional Little Drummer Boy as it was a Christmas carol that he especially hated, so the composers Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Alan Kohan decided to write the lyrics of Peace On Earth so that Bowie would play it along with Crosby singing Little Drummer Boy. The result: one of the most successful Christmas songs of the last decades, sung by an incomparable duo.