As a brief preview for tomorrow and following, I will deposit here the first of my analyses of Christmas songs. In this case, it is a list of songs that really should not be considered Christmas songs, since they are not explicitly addressing Christmas itself.
1. "My Favorite Things." This favorite from The Sound of Music hardly even mentions anything from winter. "Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes" and "sleighbells." I suppose you could also stretch "brown paper packages tied up with strings" as Christmas gifts, but that is super boring wrapping paper if you ask me.
2. "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Another kind of cute, kind of disturbing song in which a man tries to get into his date's pants by
getting her drunk using his superior debate skills.
3. "Jingle Bells." Probably the best-known Christmas song of children really has no mention of the holiday in its lyrics. It's simply a sleighing song. In its innocent form (or if you like a twist, try James Taylor's take), it's perfectly harmless, but it's not a Christmas song.
4. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" again, cute, snowy lyrics, a little romance, but no actual Christmas is alluded to, much less mentioned.
5. "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm." I actually really like this song, but sadly, no mention of Christmas. It's really just a jazzy winter love song.
6. "Amazing Grace." Another of my favorite songs, but again, it's a great hymn but not a Christmas one.
7. "The Lord's Prayer." See #6.
8. "Hallelujah Chorus" from the Messiah. I just performed this for my church choir, but I realize that it was written as the grand finale for the whole work, which ends with Easter, so it really belongs at Easter. I am not sure how singing it at Christmas got started, although I realize it is now a widespread tradition.
9. "Winter Wonderland." Another non-Christmas but very wintery love song.
10. "Frosty the Snowman." Unless you use the Frosty quote from the movie, "I'll be back on Christmas Day!" instead of "I'll be back again someday!", it makes no mention of what is celebrated annually on December 25.
So, there's a taste of what I am bringing you over the next days. I think I'll probably start with my least-favorite lists (religious and non-religious) along with rationales and hopefully video examples of each, and then on Christmas I will post my very favorite songs/renditions for your enjoyment.