1. O Come O Come Emmanuel by Selah
This is one of those songs that I think is important for the season. It captures the anticipation of the Christ by a people with a long history of oppression and a great need for a King. I feel like this version of the song really taps into that sense of longing.
2. Last Christmas by Jimmy Eat World
This is a highly repetitive song originally done by Wham! and can be tough to listen to if you aren’t in the mood. I think Jimmy Eat World has a much more compelling reboot of this song. It’s always fun to hear an alternative rock band cover Christmas songs.
3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Christopher Kincaid
This is a fun little song that has true Christmas spirit. It’s one of my favorites. I really enjoy Kindaid’s version because of the simple and raw sound and the acoustic guitar adaptation is so warm which matches the lyrics perfectly.
4. Christmas Time is Here by Mercy Me
If you had a childhood you probably remember the Charlie Brown Christmas and this song. I’m a huge fan of the original but I also love Mercy Me’s version. If you’d consider yourself a fan of Xmas music you should probably own both A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio and The Christmas Sessions by Mercy Me.
5. Silent Night by Russ Lee
Just to get it out there, I’m not a Russ Lee fan. In fact, his song Hear Those Bells only missed my Xmas Songs That Suck list because I only remembered it two days after I’d already published. But he totally nails Silent Night and for that I give him props. The first time I heard it, I got chills.
6. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Rascal Flatts
Them boys know how to sing! I normally don’t promote anything country, but I enjoy the upbeat sound for this song. They include some of their own lyrics and they are a great fit. Rascal Flatts don’t have a Xmas album. This somewhat obscure track shows up on the album No Wrapping Required.
7. Carol of the Bells by Barlow Girl
I actually think this is one of those songs that’s so good that no artist could screw it up. Even the Mannheim Steamroller version is decent. If you enjoy the vocal lics and harmonies of Barlow Girl then you’ll totally dig this. Unfortunately, the whole album isn’t as good as what they’ve done here, but a few tracks might be worth grabbing.
I could go on, but I’d rather hear your recommendations! So what are some great versions of great songs?