Christmas is no doubt one of the most exciting holidays of the year. Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, one of the most treasured traditions that Christmas can bring is the exclusive music that is created just for this special time of year. From traditional carols and standards to original material cultivated by our own artist’s right here in Canada, there is no shortage of music to accompany all of your Christmas moments.
This year at Canadian Beats we wanted to present you with a special Countdown to Christmas with some of the best Christmas songs by some of our favourite Canadian artists just for you.
Here is Part Two of Canadian Beats: Countdown to Christmas that we hope will bring you musical comfort and joy.
“Santa Baby” became an iconic Christmas song when it was originally recorded by and released by Eartha Kitt in 1953. Michael Bublé has had undeniable success recording Christmas music. Bublé took the classic “Santa Baby” and turned it into a modern-day Christmas list to Santa on his 2011 full-length holiday album, Christmas. With his new take on the original version, Bublé makes this his own and creative version of the song, even referring to him as “Santa Buddy.”
“Deck The Halls” is one of the most widely known Christmas songs. With its Welsh melody and sing-a-long lyrics, you cannot go far into the holiday season without hearing “Deck The Halls.” In 2008 Beverley Mahood released her Christmas album, This Christmas Celebrate Me Home which was a collection of some of Mahood’s favourite seasonal songs. Mahood included a beautiful rendition of the song “Deck The Halls.” Mahood took the song right out of the 1800’s and turned it into something magical and inspiring with a fresh arrangement.
“Ring the Bells” is a brand new holiday song from Edmonton area favourites, The Dungarees. The band has gotten into the Christmas spirit with their original Christmas song “Ring the Bells.” The song is about finding your love and heading out of your way to be with them over the warm holiday season. The Dungarees have just recently announced that they have struck up an Australian record deal with Social Family Records. The Dungarees will be headed down under in January 2018 to tour and perform at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
“Country Christmas” was written and recorded by Loretta Lynn in 1966. With its vivid imagery and catchy melodies, the song became one of country music’s favourite Christmas songs. Lynn was no doubt one of the many major musical influences of country/blues star, Crystal Shawanda. When Shawanda released a holiday album in 2009, I’ll Be Home for Christmas she included “Country Christmas” on the album. Shawanda’s version is one of my favourites on I’ll Be Home for Christmas and shows off Shawanda’s love and respect for the country legend.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” has become a seasonal favourite among many. With hundreds of versions and covers to choose from, it is hard to pick just one favourite. Matt Dusk official released Old School Yule! this past November and his version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” featuring Emma-Lee is one of the most swinging and fun versions you’ll hear this side of the holiday season. Emma-Lee and Dusk blend well and bring the song to life with their vocal interactions. Old School Yule! is some of Dusk’s finest work. Being a Christmas album, Dusk wanted to pay homage to all of the original Christmas songs we have come to know and love.
“Winter Wonderland” is another one of those holiday staples. Anne Murray has had several runs of holiday albums, Christmas specials, and tours. Murray is no stranger to performing Christmas music. The Canadian legend has released several holiday albums and compilations and her version of “Winter Wonderland” is always one of her stand out tracks. True to the original and well arranged, Murray keeps the tradition of the tune alive and well in her rendition.
“I Know Santa’s Been Here” was written by Patricia Conroy and is included on Michelle Wright’s 2008 album, A Wright Christmas. When it comes to Christmas music, there is often a shortfall of original material. Wright takes the song, penned by one of Canadian country music finest and performs it in fun and swinging glory. It complements the album A Wright Christmas which is a solid collection of Christmas music. Between Wright’s well-arranged versions of beloved favourites, the original tune stands out and adds a little more festivity to the album. Wright even shot a music video to accompany the track.
“Mary’s Boy Child” was hugely successful when Boney M. revived the classic version of the song in 1978. Their single spent 8 weeks in the number one spot and turned them into bonafide Christmas music stars. The song has since been covered by many artists, over many genres. Johnny Reid brought the song to life again on his 2009 album, Christmas. Reid couples the fun arrangement with his iconic raspy vocals. Reid shares his love of Christmas music over two full-length albums including 2013’s release, A Christmas Gift to You.
Music has touched my soul since day one. Whether it is performing or sitting down with some of the biggest names in music, I can always be found sharing my profoundly tender affection of music with anyone who will listen. Being a music journalist has allowed me to expand my knowledge of music and interact with some of my biggest childhood heroes. From days of radio broadcasting to sitting back, kicking off my cowboy boots and sharing my adventures with likeminded music fans online has been nothing short of amazing. Canada is full of true musical talent and I look forward to continuing to share my adventures in music with you.