I love Christmas music and have been known to make it the soundtrack of my day even in the depths of summer. I especially love the carols, by which I mean the religious rather than secular pieces. It seems hard these days, though, to find a radio station playing the day away with carols or, for that matter, secular songs. Perhaps I just have the wrong stations "buttoned" on my car radio.
The physical therapy assistant who runs me through shoulder exercises twice a week asked what my favorite Christmas song is. For carols, it has to be "Silent Night" especially when sung in what I imagine the original manner was, by a solo singer to minimal accompaniment such as just a guitar. The large-scale choral or orchestral versions don't do it for me. I prefer simplicity.
Thinking about a favorite of course led to thoughts of a least favorite. I'm not sure I have one of those when it comes to carols, though there are some that do much less for me that others. I have never, for example, warmed up to "Good King Wenceslas." "Ding Dong Merrily On High" doesn't do much for me either.
When it comes to the secular side, it is safe to say that my favorite song can change from year to year. For the past couple of years, it has been "I'll Be Home for Christmas," but one specific version, the one on Josh Groban's Noel. Before, after, and during the song are clips of deployed soldiers or their families talking about their wishes for the season. Hearing those adds so much meaning to the lyrics. Oh that they all could be home for Christmas and not just in their dreams.
And if I have a favorite secular song, where to begin with the least favorite? Does anyone like "Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer"? Or "Jingle Bell Rock"? Or the current version of "Winter Wonderland" in which the snowman built in the meadow is no longer Parson Brown but a circus clown? Really? It's not politically correct to have Pastor Brown marry them while he's in town? Give me a carol or Josh, please.
Now where's my iPod?