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SheWired's Favorite Holiday Songs to Make the Yuletide Gay

SheWired's Favorite Holiday Songs to Make the Yuletide Gay

From Kelly Clarkson’s “Grown Up Christmas List” to Tegan and Sara’s whimsical rendition of “The Chipmunk Song,” Gaga's filthy ditty and Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson’s original duet to time-honored classics including Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” and the mother of all Christmas songs, Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” we’ve let ourselves indulge in holiday cheer and the spirit of the season… no matter what we celebrate. This is what happens when lesbians, young and -- a little-- older, compile a list. Also, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Tracy Chapman and Dolly Parton.

TracyEGilchrist

Holiday music – it’s as inescapable at this time of year as twinkling lights, tree-shaped sugar cookies at the office and family. But no matter one’s religious or a-religious affiliation, listening to holiday songs is almost compulsory whether you’re trimming the tree or painting the trim in your new house.

It’s also compulsory for every major artist to release a holiday album it seems these days. Just this year Annie Lennox, Shelby Lynne, The Indigo Girls, Mariah Carey, Katherine McPhee and the cast of Glee have released holiday albums. With so many artists out there singing the same old songs, we went through and picked a smattering of our favorites including traditional and original tunes.

From Kelly Clarkson’s “Grown Up Christmas List” to Tegan and Sara’s whimsical rendition of “The Chipmunk Song,” Gaga's filthy ditty and Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson’s original duet to time-honored classics including Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” and the mother of all Christmas songs, Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” we’ve let ourselves indulge in holiday cheer and the spirit of the season… no matter what we celebrate. This is what happens when lesbians, young and -- a little-- older, compile a list.

Kelly Clarkson:  'My Grown Up Christmas List'

A perennial favorite the original Idol belts like no other! While artists from Amy Grant to the jazz Jane Monheit have recorderd this modern classic of a Christmas song, Kelly really drives it home, and she just looks great too!

 

No Doubt: 'Oi to the World'

It's retro Christmas with No Doubt's 1997 cover of The Vandals ska-punk paean to peace on earth. “If God came down on Christmas Day / I know exactly what he'd say / He'd say "Oi to the punks and Oi to the skins / But Oi to the world and everybody wins,” sings the adorable Gwen Stefani, which just makes us happy!

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Sarah McLachlan: 'River'

Nobody covers Joni Mitchell’s heartrending, arguably anti-Christmas song ‘River’ off of her lauded album Blue, quite like Sarah McLachlan. With it’s purposefully placed minor chords and melancholy take on 'Jingle Bells,' 'River' has become the holiday song for the maudlin and disaffected, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. “I wish I had a river I could skate away on…’

 

Eartha Kitt: 'Santa Baby' 

Here's the legendary Eartha Kitt doing 'Santa Baby' from 1953. Though many artists, including Madonna, have turned in strong covers, none of them quite compares to the woman who was arguably the best Catwoman ever.  

 

 

Tegan and Sara: ‘The Chipmunk Song, Christmas Dont' Be Late'

The singing sisters from Canada turn in a catchy, if not a tad trippy, version of The Chipmunk’s helium-infused “Christmas Don’t Be Late.” It’s worth a listen just to hear them sing “hoooooola hooooop.”

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Alison Krauss: 'The Wexford Carol'

Bluegrass vocalist and violinst with the voice of an angel Alison Krauss joins Yo-Yo Ma and Natalie MacMaster for this simply stunning version of the traditional carol.

Tori Amos: 'A Winter's Carol'

A darling of the nineties-era singer songwriter / pianists, Tori Amos hits a high note with  ‘A Winter’s Carol,'  a haunting, baroque piece off of her 2009 seasonal album Midwinter Graces. Unfortunately, embedding has been disabled but here is the link to the gorgeous song.


Shelby Lynne: 'Ain't Nothin Like Christmas'

The wildly diverse Shelby Lynne delivers this original, bluesy Christmas tune off of her new holiday album aptly entitled Merry Christmas.

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Jane Monheit: 'This Christmas'

Jazz chanteuse Jane Monheit is so hot enough to make this video work even if you turned down the sound, but then you'd miss her pristine vocals. Watch, listen and enjoy!

 

Lady Gaga: 'Christmas Tree'

Nothing says Christmas like Gaga singing 'Here here here (Ra pa pam pam). The best time of the year (Ra pa pam pam).
Take off my stocking’s we’re. I’m spreading Christmas cheer. And i’f you want us to we will, you. Oh oh a Christmas, my Christmas tree is delicious.' This thoughtful holiday ditty feaures Space Cowboy on vocals. The video isn't very good but really, you'll get the intended visuals just by listening to the colorful lyrics!

 

Dolly Parton: 'Hard Candy Christmas'

Really though...nothing says Christmas like Dolly Parton and a bunch of big-hearted hookers singing about the holidays in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. We prefer the recording with Dolly singing solo but this video of Dolly with the girls is so priceless, we had to post it.

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The Waitresses: "Christmas Wrapping"

Here's the 80's modern classic set to Christmas lighting.

 

Dar Williams: The Christians and the Pagans

Leave it to an east coast based folk singing Wesleyan graduate to write a song to join the Christians and the pagans in perfect harmony. Here’s a video of Dar with her whimsical holiday song but the lyrics are so good that here's a link to the original recording to hear them a little better.

 

Annie Lennox: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

Speaking of pagans, the iconic Annie Lennox takes a traditional song and infuses it with elements of paganism with it's tribal drumbeat and pan flute.  From her recently released A Christmas Cornucopia, the recording and video are equally arresting, but what else would you expect from Annie?

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Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson: 'Winter Song'

A wonderful collaboration from two thoughtful songwriters whose voices meld together to make beautiful harmonies -- and the cello doesn't hurt -- in this holiday song from 2008.

 

Tracy Chapman: 'O' Holy Night'

For nearly a decade A Very Special Christmas Album churned out holiday hits with contemporary artists singing traditional hymns in often non-traditional arrangements. Tracy Chapman delivered a beautifull pared down rendition of ‘O' Holy Night,’ off of A Very Special Christmas Album 3.

 

Judy Garland: 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'

The mother of all heartrending Christmas carols... Judy Garland's pristine vocals coupled with her expressions that look as if her heart is continually breaking in the Minelli masterpiece Meet Me in St. Louis is just devastating. The song starts at 1:45.


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Tracy E. Gilchrist

<p>Cinephile, cyclist, proud cat lady and unabashed Pretty Little Liars guru.</p>

<p>Cinephile, cyclist, proud cat lady and unabashed Pretty Little Liars guru.</p>