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Have a Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas

The season to be jolly is upon us once more, the so-called time of the year that brings out the best in all of us. There is no escaping the Christmas spirit once it gets hold of you.

Start your day by turning on your television in the wee hours of the morning.You will notice that early news programs always have Christmas countdowns reminding us how many days are left before the 25th of December.

Go to any mall or shopping center in Metro Manila and you will hear the public address system playing a Christmas medley of all-time favorite Yuletide songs. Tune in to your usual radio station and the DJ will play a Christmas song every hour, just to remind you that Santa Claus is coming fast to a town near you.

Below is a list of Christmas songs that matter the most. These are Christmas songs that you will never get tired of playing over and over on your stereo or listening to on the radio. These are songs that you can even play any time of the year, songs you will hardly hear nowadays.

  1. “Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)” – Elvis Presle

Recorded by Elvis Presley in September 7, 1957, this song is still popular during the holiday season and has been played on radio stations for decades, even though it has never been released as a single.

The song first appeared as part of an RCA Victor 45 EP, along with the Christmas songs “Santa Claus is Back in Town,” “Blue Christmas,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in 1957.

The EP reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard EP chart.

“Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me),” which featured the backing vocals of the Jordanaires, was paired with “Santa Claus is Back in Town” and was issued as a UK single simultaneously with the EP’s release in 1957 and reached No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1957.

 

  1. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” – The Chipmunks with David Seville

Released in November 17, 1958 this is a novelty Christmas song written by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., a.k.a. David Seville. Although the song was sung by Seville in the form of a high-pitched chipmunk voice, the singing is credited to The Chipmunks, a fictitious singing group whose members are three chipmunks named Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

“The Chipmunk Song” was a very successful song, reaching the No.1 spot on December 22, 1958 and staying there for four consecutive weeks, becoming The Chipmunks’ first and only No.1 single. It sold 4.5 million copies in seven weeks and has the distinction of being the only Christmas record to reach No.1 on the same chart.

“The Chipmunk Song” is the last Christmas/holiday song to reach No.1 on any US singles record chart totaling performance of all available records.

 

  1. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John Lennon and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band

Recorded by John Lennon and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir on October 28 and 31, 1971, this Christmas song was released in December 1, 1971.  The lyrics of the song are set to the traditional English ballad “Skewball.”

It was the seventh single release by John Lennon outside of his work with the Beatles. It reached the No. 4 position in the UK, where its release was delayed until November 1972. The song has periodically reemerged on the UK Singles Charts, most notably after Lennon’s death in December 1980 when it peaked at the No. 2 position.

A sort of sugar-coated protest song against the Vietnam War at the time of its release, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” has since become a beloved Christmas Standard, recorded and covered by other artists, included on compilation albums of Christmas songs and named in polls as a holiday favorite.

 

  1. “Please Come Home For Christmas” – Eagles

In November 27, 1978, the Eagles released this song as a holiday single and their version of the Charles Brown original (an American blues singer and pianist whose original version of the song was released in 1960 and peaked at No. 76 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The song appearedon the Christmas Singles chart for nine seasons and went to No. 1 in 1972) peaked at No. 18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the first Christmas song to reach the Top 20 on the chart since Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Paper” in 1963.

The version of the Eagles includes the lyrics “bells will be ringing the sad, sad news” (that is, a Christmas spent alone) as opposed to Brown’s original version which says the “glad, glad news” (that is, Christmas in general).

 

  1. “Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney

Recorded by ex-Beatle Paul McCartney in August 30, 1979 in his home studio at Lower Gate Farm, Sussex, this Christmas song continues to enjoy popularity around the world during the holidays. “Wonderful Christmastime” was later added as a bonus track on the 1993 compact disc reissue of Wing’s 1979 album Back to the Egg.

Released in November 16, 1979, McCartney recorded the song entirely on his own during the recording sessions for his solo album McCartney II. Although the members of Wings are not on the recording of the song, they do appear in the promotional music video.

Following its release as a stand-alone single in the United Kingdom, “Wonderful Christmastime” peaked at No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending January 5, 1980.

In the U.S. the single peaked at No. 83 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart and No. 94 on the Record World Singles Chart, but it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart.