As a professional piano player, I spend Decembers playing the piano for office lobbies, departments stores, school choral concerts, Christmas luncheons, sing-a-longs, office parties, and home parties. A couple years ago I even played the piano a few times a week at Von Maur department store at the local mall, which was really fun. (It hardly paid anything, but it was fun.)
I never get tired of Christmas and winter holiday music. I have a strict rule that it should never, ever, be played in public before Thanksgiving. But once Black Friday hits … go for it! Every year. I love playing it, I love hearing it, I love singing it. It never gets old.
I was originally going to write a post about what some of my favorite Christmas songs are, but decided that would be boring. Let’s just say that my two favorite songs to play at parties are “The Christmas Song (aka “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and leave it at that.
But … I thought it would be interesting to liste a few of my favorites that you may not be familiar with. Even if you are familiar with them, you probably don’t hear them over and over and over again.
So here is …
My Favorite (Slightly Obscure) Christmas Songs
1) Father Christmas — The Kinks
I absolutely love this song by The Kinks, I’m guessing partly because it’s so different from your typical Christmas song, and also it’s rare that you hear it. The message, so to speak, is good too. I love, love, love it. In a weird way you could even say it’s my personal favorite Christmas song.
2) Riu Chiu — The Monkees
One of my weird quirks is that I’ve I’ve been a huge Monkees fan ever since I was about seven. (I’ll save that for another post sometime.)
The Monkees had one Christmas episode that stars Butch Patrick (aka Eddie Munster, although I personally remember him more as Milo from The Phantom Tollbooth, which I thought was super-cool when I was a kid. (and I still love the book.)
The Christmas episode is honestly probably one of their worst episodes ever, but there version of “Riu Chiu” at the end almost makes up for the rest of it:
3) Christmas Time is Here — A Charlie Brown Christmas
This is probably the least obscure song on my list. The Christmas season wouldn’t be complete for any of us if it weren’t for Charlie Brown Christmas (which, amazingly, was predicted to be a huge flop when it first aired). This is a great song to listen to, and I love to play it on the piano, too.
4) Chanukah Song — Adam Sandler
I couldn’t stand Adam Sandler when he first came out (and I hated the movie The Waterboy), but between this song and Fifty First Dates, he started to grow on me.
I used to teach middle school music and would sneak a little clip of this song into a “Name That Tune” game we would play on Fridays. In every class, the kids would literally leap out of their chairs when they heard it! Adam Sandler really is middle school humor at its finest.
5) Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto — James Brown
I never heard this song until recently, so it’s not an “old favorite” for me like the others are, but it’s cool enough to deserve a place on this list.
6) Christmas in Bevelton — North Point Community Church
I’m proud to say that this is our very own church that wrote and recorded this song. Once my family discovered this song a few years ago, we watch it every year and sing it all through December. It’s a little long, but well worth it, and your kids will love it.
What about you? What are your favorite Christmas song, whether they’re obscure or not? Please let me know below in the comments!