I'm going to go ahead and post my Christmas playlist. I was planning to wait until Thanksgiving to put it up, but I've invested so much time in assembling it that I want to make it worth my while, and use it as much as I can. Don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining...I love the music so much that it has totally been a labor of love to create this collection. I've been using spare time here and there since the first week in September to get it exactly the way I wanted it.
There's a little bit of everything here (currently 101 songs)...pretty much all of my favorites, and, hopefully, yours. The only thing I couldn't get that I wanted was 'Riu Chiu' by the Monkees. They did a really beautiful version of the ancient Spanish hymn (it's on YouTube), but it wasn't available on the site that I use.
A few things I want to mention:
1 - Joy To The World — (covers by Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, and a trio consisting of Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby. It also appears here, in part, in a few carol medleys...)
I included JTTW several times in the playlist because, in my opinion, this great hymn is the official dominion anthem. It jubilantly declares that the earth is the Lord's, and that He is her King. I especially love it because it has a paradigm of universal and ultimate reconciliation: "Let EVERY heart prepare Him room!" ...and of all things being consummated in Christ...AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING! Heaven and nature singing together...the true manifestation of the concept of the UNI-verse!
2 - Hark! The Herald Angels Sing — (covers by Mahalia Jackson, Nat King Cole, Take 6, and the Vince Guaraldi Trio from the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack...)
I used this powerful carol multiple times because it also has a very pro-reconciliation viewpoint. The phrase "God and sinners reconciled" in the lyrics speaks of reconciliation in past tense...as if it is a fact that has already occurred. It has beautiful theology in every verse, and is my sentimental favorite because both It's a Wonderful Life and A Charlie Brown Christmas conclude with it.
3 - Christmas In Dixie — (Alabama)
Although I do like some country music, I'm not necessarily an Alabama fan. And yet I love this song, and I want to tell you why. Normally, I would never use a song with "dixie" in the title becuase of the potentially perceived political incorrectness of it. But this song came out right after the end of the Atlanta child murders of the early 80's, which coincided with the arrest of Wayne Williams. Those of you who lived here then undoubtedly recall what a nightmare that whole thing was, and how relieved we all were when it was over. I remember the first time I heard the line "...and in Atlanta, Georgia, there's peace on earth tonight", just a few days after the arrest. I remember what it meant to me at the time, and how I wept when I heard it. And all these years later, I still get chills every time I hear those guys sing that line because I relate it to that time...and because I love Atlanta...and so I love this song.
4 - O Holy Night — (covers by Mariah Carey and David Phelps)
My favorite Christmas song...especially the third verse.
5 - Auld Lang Syne Millenium Mix — (Kenny G)
Take some time and listen to the whole thing, especially if you're in my age demographic (or just a history buff). It's really cool.
6 - The Meaning of Christmas — (Linus Van Pelt)
What can I say? It's a classic.
7 - Glory to God in the Highest — (The Specks)
Some of you may wonder why I included a Southern Gospel song here, but it's because of the message (and the song is kind of peppy and catchy, too). I like it because it talks about Jesus being born to save "the world" from sin, a concept that you don't hear expressed very often in this music genre.
8 - The Little Drummer Boy — (Bob Seger)
This is a true Kingdom song. It's about using what's in your hand to serve the King, and Seger's cover of it really captures the essence of the message.
9 - Dream Child (A Christmas Dream) — (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)
This could potentially become my new favorite Christmas song. Everything about it just blows me away. Take the time to listen to all of it (you can Google the lyrics so you can follow along).
10 - The other artists: Kirk Franklin, Aaron Neville, The Judds, Joshua James, Mannheim Steamroller, Mahalia Jackson, Diana Krall, The Roches, Hillsong Australia, Harry Connick, Jr., Kelly Clarkson, Vince Gill, George Winston, Luther Vandross, First Call, Wendy Francisco, Boyz II Men, Chris Botti, Shirley Caesar, Johnny Mathis, Michael W. Smith, Celine Dion, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah McLachlan, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett, Boston Pops, The Sojourners, Garth Brooks, Whitney Houston, Clay Aiken, BeBe & CeCe Winans, 4Him, Boney M., Carnie & Wendy Wilson, Marc Anthony, Josh Groban, MercyMe, The Monks and Choirs of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, Vienna Boys Choir, U2, Lauryn Hill, Sparrow Artists, Paul McCartney, Anne Murray, David Crowder Band, Trisha Yearwood, Point of Grace, Hymns on Guitar, Jewel, Angie Winans, Relient K, Sarah McLachlan, The Carpenters, Sixpence None The Richer, Angels & Airwaves, Red Nativity, Wayne Watson, BarlowGirl, Jars Of Clay, Destiny's Child, Kathy Mattea, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon, The Temptations, John Coltrane, and Messiah — A Soulful Celebration.
Your feedback is appreciated.