The Globe’s Top 10 Holiday Songs of All Time

Kira Walter, A&L Assistant Page Editor

Just beyond the window, the sky is white with empty winter wind. The trees sway steadily, sending intricate flakes of snow on their way, and a weary yellow sun emits pale light upon each frosted roof, the chimneys about them all fuming with smoke. Perhaps you’re inside, beside an amber fire or oven, when a familiar song elicits a smile from your heart. But which pleasant melody is it that brought you such a sense of holiday nostalgia? If you’re a student at Mamaroneck, it may just be one of these. 


  1. Sleigh Ride, by The Ronettes

Although a survey found that Mamaroneck students are most familiar with The Ronettes’s rendition of this ultimate winter classic, Sleigh Ride has been performed by many renowned artists. The list includes Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Grant, Johnny Mathis, and Arthur Fielder. However, more recently, the melody was reinvented by beloved 90’s girl group TLC. In all versions, listeners are led to envision a joyful sleigh ride surrounded in cheery scenery, the perfect practice to top an already perfect season. The song seems to remind us of just how wonderful the end of year is, for its unusual traditions and memorable adventures always seem to bring us closer together. 


  1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, by Judy Garland

Far different from its successor, this classic melody is not one of appreciation for present circumstances but hope for a better future. Sung first by Judy Garland in the musical romance Meet Me In St. Louis, it has captivated the masses for several decades. The spellbinding yet melancholy tune is accompanied by lyrics in which we come to understand that during Christmas, we ought to forget about the many anxieties that plague us currently. The festive winter holidays we treasure so much are, in themselves, holidays from our own burdens. They are a time to refocus on why we strive through difficulties, a time to truly enjoy what matters most. 


  1. Santa Tell Me, by Ariana Grande

Another popular favorite amongst the Mamaroneck student body was this 2013 holiday hit by little Ms. Ariana Grande herself. At only twenty years old, her catchy number reached impressive rankings around the world, resonating strongly with young American fans who perhaps could relate to the truth in its lyrics. To a remarkable holiday melody, Grande asks the fabled Santa Claus not to give her love if it will only disappear within the following year. Although the Holidays are a time to reestablish old customs, they also present a plethora of new opportunities. For many, it is not a time of tradition or religious piety but a time in which to pursue romantic interests. 


  1. Let It Snow, by Dean Martin

One of my personal favorites, Let It Snow simply encourages all to embrace wintry weather. While some find blizzards to be rather unbearable and hate the touch of snow to drying skin, the variety in Earth’s climate is part of its extensive beauty. In this day and age, as temperature increases threaten to destroy some of the planet’s most precious ecosystems, this song is ever the more relevant. The cold should be embraced as a blessing, not a curse. In spreading the value of brumal air and rigid ice, we may just be able to preserve the world we value so much. 


  1. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, by Andy Williams

Perhaps the greatest lyrical example of holiday repetition is this popular tune sung by American artist Andy Williams. Throughout the lyrics, he enlightens listeners with a thorough list of customs that recur every winter. Story telling, caroling, and hosting are amongst some of the common aspects of this catalog. However, as is the case with many holiday ditties, the most significant practice fulfilled during this time is that of individuals coming together in unison. We may have gifts under trees and folklore to tell but deep down we all know, the holidays would be nothing without friends and loved ones to share it with. 


  1. White Christmas, by Bing Crosby

Slow yet striking, soothing and packed with nostalgia, this wintertime classic has been an instant favorite for many since its release all the way back in 1942. While it still rings true today, Bing Crosby’s marvelous piece was once the anthem of a nation at battle. As Americans fought overseas during the second world war, all longed for the enduring “white christmas,” a holiday in which the snow might not be stained with blood nor ravaged by boots of combat but left still in a kind of wintry peace. Now, although most dangers don’t threaten the town of Mamaroneck, civilians lose their lives to one another in lands far away. We can only hope that “white christmas” might bless all those who practice the holiday and that tranquility may be preserved during this time of gathering and cheer. 


  1. Jingle Bell Rock, by Bobby Helms

Number four on our list is a harmonious rock song, one with a steady beat and a positive tune as well. The song was performed by Nashville country singer Bobby Helms, who after releasing his song in 1970 saw it swiftly win over crowds, later catapulting him into fame. In crafting such a perfect holiday ditty, Helms elicited some of rock’s softer intonations and characteristics, giving rise to an irresistible piece of art that makes a show at almost every holiday party today. Silly and illogical at times, the melody never fails to stimulate wintry cheer. It is a classic and shall surely continue to entertain the masses for years and years to come. 


  1. Feliz Navidad, by José Feliciano

Also produced in the year 1970 is this nostalgic Christmas song so many of us may have sung once as children. Composed and performed by Puerto Rican Musician Jose Feliciano, it combines both Spanish and English lyrics into a charming and unforgettable melody. Feliciano wishes us all a “Merry Christmas from the bottom of his heart” and the lyrics aren’t hard to carry on. As the holidays are a time to be generous, we can first carry out this generosity by hoping the times are merry for others besides ourselves. 


  1. Last Christmas, by Wham!

Who can forget this 1986 classic featuring George Michael and Andrew Ridgely as they express their Christmas woes. Though the tune is cheery, listeners can’t argue against the indisputable notion that catchy lyrics happen to be quite vengeful. It appears that the subject of the song has had his or her heart broken by another and he or she won’t fail to make love count in the current year. At MHS, this melody has special value as it is traditionally sung each time the cast of PACE Soundscapes exits the dance room after one of four performances. A captivating pop song with a rather dark message, Last Christmas is a continual favorite year after year. 


  1. All I Want For Christmas Is You, by Mariah Carey

Awarded first place on our holiday list, Mariah Carey’s Christmas masterpiece most certainly deserves it. From the tender lyrics to the range of the music, it’s no wonder that All I Want For Christmas is the most played holiday song of all time. It’s hard to cross paths with anyone who has heard the song and hasn’t fallen instantly in love with it. It can entertain fans of any genre and any variety of people no matter who they are or where they come from. No Christmas or Holiday celebration is quite complete without it and like the traditions we pass during this time, the tune will never die.