Friday, November 9, 2012

Best Christmas Special Songs

10. From All of Us to All of You from From All of Us to All of You
From All of Us to All of You was the Christmas episode of Walt Disney's anthology series and it featured Jiminy Cricket introducing segments from Disney's animated masterpieces, which in the fifties must have been a great Christmas treat as there was no television airings, video releases or YouTube which showcased movies such as Snow White and Pinocchio.  Today there is not much point to airing the special, but it did have a few original moments one of which was the song From All of Us to All of You.  I love anything narrated by Jiminy Cricket and this song is full of the lively innocent, energy that the character brings to the screen.  It is the perfect introductory holiday carol.

9. Oh What a Merry Christmas Day from Mickey's Christmas Carol
This is the song in the opening credits and it perfectly sets the mood.  It has a timeless quality, it's full of hope and is very simple.  It is a low-key choir just singing about Christmas and it always gets me in the mood for a great story.

8. What's This? from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Danny Elfman has many great songs in the Henry Selick/Tim Burton feature, but this is the one that seems to be the most about Christmas.  It captures the curiosity and wonder of discovering Christmas.

7. Walking in the Air from The Snowman
I rediscovered this cartoon recently and I couldn't believe I had gone so many Christmases without it, it is truly beautiful.  There is no dialogue in this cartoon, it is all silent except for this song.  Sung by a boy 's choir member Walking in the Air embodies the wonder of a child playing and perfectly complements the gorgeous animation of a flying snowman.  At first it may sound odd and maybe a little eerie, but that is part of its considerable charm.

6. Holly Jolly Christmas from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph features the best original soundtrack of any Christmas special, most of which sung memorably by the great Burl Ives.  Holly Jolly Christmas is the special's signature song and has been able to stand on its own as a Christmas carol outside of the cartoon.

5. Heat Miser/Cold Miser Song from The Year Without a Santa Claus
This is a terrific example of a song elevating its feature.  The Year Without a Santa Claus is not a great special, in fact it is only remembered so fondly because this song is so catchy.  The Heat Miser and Cold Miser song have secured the cartoon's place in our culture.

4. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Often songs in cartoons seem intrusive and unnecessary (listen to any of the songs in The Lorax), but this song, with lyrics from Theodore Geisel himself, creates an identity for the cartoon separate from its terrific source material.  It is full of memorable, clever lyrics and the deep bass voice of the unmistakable Thurl Ravenscroft.  This is an iconic Christmas tune.

3. It Feels Like Christmas from Muppet Christmas Carol
There are many great songs to be found in this Muppet movie, such as Bless Us All and One More Sleep 'Til Christmas, but the song from the Ghost of Christmas Present is one of the most joyous holiday tunes ever.  The Muppet apparition is one of the greatest triumphs of the Jim Henson studio and the character has great chemistry with Michael Caine's Scrooge, who is clearly impacted greatly by him.  His signature song is boisterous and unapologeticly sincere, great qualities for an uplifting song about the joys of the season.

2. Christmastime is Here from A Charlie Brown Christmas
It doesn't get simpler and sweeter than children's voices and Vincent Guaraldi's piano score.  This is what Christmastime sounds like and it always puts a smile on my face

1. True Blue Miracle from Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
I love Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.  I would cite this song as the second greatest tune in the show's history (after I Don't Want to Live on the Moon of course).  It is catchy, lively, and just feels like Christmas.  If the special would air every year I am sure that True Blue Miracle would as well known as it deserves to be.

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