With just a few days until Christmas, there’s no escaping the holiday songs being played in every single mall, supermarket and MTR station. You’ve probably heard Michael Bublé’s cover of White Christmas and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You more than a few times by now.
And while we could never get tired of these hits, there are plenty of other, lesser-known songs you can play when your family and friends come round for Christmas dinner. Here are Young Post’s top five suggestions.
The First Noël, Frank Sinatra
Who: Frank Sinatra was an American swing singer during the 1940s and 50s, and one of the bestselling singers of the last century. His style of music, swing, developed from jazz music. It was usually performed with a big band and was meant to be danced to.
Why we love it: The First Noël is actually a traditional hymn originating from the English Gospel in the early 19th century, but Sinatra lends his distinctive velvety vocals to the song on his Christmas album, A Jolly Christmas, released in 1957. Apart from this song, you can listen to 13 other classics on the album, from Silent Night to Jingle Bells.
Zat You, Santa Claus, Louis Armstrong
Who: Louis Armstrong was a trumpeter and singer between the 1920s and the 1960s in the US. Born in New Orleans – the birthplace of jazz – Armstrong was one of the most influential figures in that type of music.
Why we love it: Best known for his extraordinary trumpeting skills, Armstrong was almost as famous for his husky voice. He shows off both on Zat You, Santa Claus. Throw in a fast rhythm and fun lyrics, and you have a perfect song for your Christmas party playlist.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Jackson 5
Who: We are sure you have heard of music legend Michael Jackson, but you may not know that he first rose to fame as part of the Jackson 5, a singing group that included four of Jackson’s siblings. The band enjoyed huge success in the late 1960s.
Why we love it: You’ve most likely heard this song, too, but the Jackson 5 cover of Santa Claus is Coming to Town is one of our favourites. The group give this traditional Christmas standard a funky Motown spin. You won’t be able to resist singing along.
Step Into Christmas, Elton John
Who: You can count on the man who brought us the soundtrack to The Lion King to write a great Christmas song. John’s career spans all the way from the 60s to present day – he even appeared in this year’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Why we love it: Step Into Christmas combines John’s signature bright pop piano sound with Christmas bell chimes to really maximise the feel-good vibes. It’s sure to get you in the party mood!
Happy Xmas (War is Over), John Lennon & Yoko Ono
Who: John Lennon was one-quarter of The Beatles, the iconic British rock band of the 60s and 70s. After the group split, Lennon focused on his work as a solo artist and peace activist, writing songs such as Power To The People and Imagine.
Why we love it: Written and performed with Lennon’s second wife, Yoko Ono, Happy Xmas (War is Over) was a protest song against the Vietnam War. It was released in 1969, at the height of the protests against US involvement in the war. Today, its message remains as powerful as ever.