It’s that time of year. In fact it’s been that time of year for a couple months around here. The time of year when pretty much the only music I have playing is Christmas music. I have my iTunes all set up so my favorites are at the top of the list. This list is basically the same every year, but it tends to be a bit fluid in the order of songs.
The song that is always on the top is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Always and forever.
This song became a favorite the year I spent Christmas in Azerbaijan during Peace Corps. The line “through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow” hit home, since I wasn’t at home. I plan on writing more about my Azerbaijani Christmas next week, so check back for more about this.
Not only do I have that on the top of my list, but I also have an ordered list of my favorite versions of the song. Here they are (please note that I am embedding videos here and that they might not show up on all viewers):
1. Bright Eyes
I love the almost melancholy take that Bright Eyes has on the song. “Let your heart be light, from now on our troubles will be out of sight.” They way they sing this line just gets me. It’s a mixture of hope and sadness. Good stuff.
2. John Denver and the Muppets, or more specifically, John Denver and Rowlf.
John: “Faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us once more.”Rowlf: “That’s nice…”
It really is nice, Rowlf. It really is.
3. Judy Garland
The original. “Next year all our troubles will be miles away.” So beautiful. So unique.
Then there are all the other greats. James Taylor, John Denver (without Rowlf), Frank, She & Him. Oh man. So good.