Christmas part III:'Tis the season for great holiday music - Curt Yeomans

OK, so this Christmas column series was supposed to stop at part II.

Notice "supposed to" was the key phrase in that statement. Well, I stretched it to a third column.

I know. I know. I am sorry you have to sit through one more week of Christmas columns from me. Look at the bright side, though. This is the last Friday before Christmas. Therefore, the series definitely has to end at part III.

I got divine inspiration for this column in the form of radio host, "Delilah," whose nightly music show is like the black hole of decent tunes.

Anyone with a radio on scan knows B-98.5 FM has switched to Christmas music until Christmas Day. That is not so bad, because there are some pretty good Christmas songs out there. However, if you want to keep your sanity, avoid "Delilah's" collection of Christmas songs like the plague.

They are terrible. I mean absolutely horrible. They either feature over-reaching divas or they are songs which seem to take a long trip to no where. Nothing personal, "Delilah," but I can not stand your radio show. It is like a five-hour snooze fest.

The worst are the songs which feature an acoustic guitar and a synthesized drum machine. Run, do not walk, from songs that feature an acoustic guitar and a synthesized drum machine. As soon as you hear that first hit on the drum machine, and the first strum of the guitar, you know you are about to listen to real junk.

So, "Delilah's" realm of annoying songs got me thinking about this issue.

What are the greatest Christmas tunes ever? Well, they have to be fun songs that really get you in the mood to celebrate the holiday. That is a no-brainer. Who wants to be depressed, or driven to sleep at Christmas time?

As a result, I came up with 16 Christmas tunes that are tops in my book. Of course, in four cases, I have listed two versions of the same song, because both versions are great. I would write explanations for each song, but then I would end up writing the "War and Peace" of top Christmas songs. So, I will just present you with the list, and let you make your own decision.

You probably know some, or most, of these singers and groups, but there are others you may not be aware of.

The top Christmas tunes are:

· "Christmas Wrappings" -- The Waitresses.

· "Merry Christmas [I Don't Want to Fight Anymore]" -- The Ramones.

· "Christmas Time" -- The Smashing Pumpkins.

· "Wonderful Christmas Time" -- Paul McCartney and Wings.

· "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" -- The Temptations.

· "Baby, It's Cold Outside" -- Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald.

· "Happy Holiday" -- Peggy Lee.

· "Last Christmas" -- Jimmy Eat World (This is a remake of George Michael's version).

· "Merry Christmas Baby" (two versions) -- Otis Redding, or Tina Turner.

· "Blue Christmas" (two versions) -- Elvis, or the Bright Eyes.

· "Do You Hear What I Hear" (two versions) -- Gladys Knight and the Pips, or Bing Crosby and David Bowie.

· "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" (two versions) -- Billie Holiday, or Ella Fitzgerald.

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.