I can easily think of dozens of classic Christmas songs that, to me, are timeless. Some renditions are better than others, but the song is still a great song. What I really love to hear are original Christmas songs by modern artists. Even though they may not all have that ‘classic’ flair of White Christmas or Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas they are great songs in and of themselves and deserve a shout-out. Keep in mind that I am a fan of edgier rock, but, that said, here is my list:
1. 2000 Miles by The Pretenders – Just a great song, although a little sad, about love and loss around the holidays. Coldplay’s cover of this song is amazing too!
2. Better Days by The Goo Goo Dolls – Some might not consider this one a Christmas song but to me it is and it has such a powerful message and the vocals are so strong, it often brings me to tears!
3. Grown-Up Christmas List – Whether it is Natalie Cole, Amy Grant, or Kelly Clarkson singing, the song is just beautiful and reminds us all around the holidays of what is really important!
4. A New York Christmas by Rob Thomas – If you like Matchbox Twenty you will love this song by front man Rob Thomas. I am not sure if it compiled in any album or was just a single but it is another modern Christmas song with a powerful message.
5. Christmas in America by Melissa Etheridge – I just love Melissa Etheridge’s strong, powerful voice so I bought her Christmas album A New Thought for Christmas that was just released last year and fell in love with this song about celebrating the holidays when someone important is not there.
6. Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and David Bowie- Okay, so 1977 is probably not that modern but this song deserves mention because it is beautiful for one thing but also because it took a classic and put a whole new spin on it! A few years ago, Anthony Rapp (of Rent fame) did a version of this that is great.
7. Last Christmas by Jimmy Eat World – not the George Michael version (which is okay) – this one is edgy and fun!
8. Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24 by Trans-Siberian Orchestra – it is a compilation of several classics but is so magnificent – especially performed live! Fantastic Song!
9. Believe by Josh Groban – written for the movie The Polar Express, this song displays the best qualities of Josh Groban’s voice without being sappy! I used to read the original book to my daughter all the time and the song reminds me of that timeless classic Christmas story!
10. Santa Claus is Coming to Town – by Bruce Springsteen – Yes, I am well aware this was a classic (I watched the cartoon more times that I can count!) but The Boss made this song his own entirely and, to me, it is one of the best Christmas songs ever!