Each year I put together a list of holiday-themed songs that nonbelievers can enjoy, to escape the mind-numbing repetition and over-the-top religiosity of standard holiday music.
For a more detailed explanation of what the list is about, and the criteria by which songs are chosen, you can check out the solicitation post. You can also check out last year’s list there.
Last year, over half of the list was entirely new songs. Naturally, that meant that a bunch of really good songs had to be shuffled off. So this year, I decided to focus on looking back at songs that haven’t appeared on the last few lists, or have never previously made the list.
There are no really “new” songs this year. Those few songs that are marked as “new” have actually been contenders for a while, but for one reason or another didn’t make it. It could have been because there was a song that was too similar, or because the same song was covered by a different artist, or because I went with a different song by the same artist. For example, “Weird Al” Yankovic has been on these lists since the beginning, but he has released two Christmas singles. I have always selected “The Night Santa Went Crazy” previously, but this year I decided to give “Christmas at Ground Zero” a shot instead. So it’s “new”, despite being a contender since day one (and being linked in the write-up for “The Night Santa Went Crazy” every year).
The list is 100 songs, so to make it more digestible, I’m going to break it into 10 posts of 10 songs each, which will go up one a day Monday to Friday over two weeks, starting tomorrow.
At the end, when all 10 posts and 100 songs have gone up, I will post a final summary of the entire list that will list all 100 songs, and provide some playlist files you can download. (The playlist files don’t actually include the songs themselves; they’re just lists of links to the songs on YouTube, SoundCloud, and other such places. Some media players can actually play them, but otherwise you can at least get the list of links to use in whatever way you please.)
Though the songs are numbered, it’s not really a ranking of how “good” the songs are. In fact, I’ve arranged things very roughly so that each day has a “theme” – for example, one day is primarily hip-hop. Within each group of 10 I’ve also ordered the songs somewhat so that the group starts strong and ends on a high note. So if a song you really like “ranks lower” than a song you think is garbage, don’t panic. The numbers don’t really mean anything.
So, kick back, relax, and hopefully you’ll discover some cool new songs you can spin over the holidays!