I understand that people get frustrated when October rolls around and you begin seeing wal-mart already in full swing of Christmas. I get frustrated at the fake, consumeristic side of Christmas too. What I do not get tired of is good Christmas songs.
Let me preface by saying, there are a lot of bad Christmas songs. There are also a lot of good songs done poorly. But isn't that true about all music?! A long time ago I learned that if I wanted to hear good music, I had to look for it. Popular radio would never suffice. The same is true for Christmas music. So here is my list of good old and new Christmas music. And here is a link to the spot iffy playlist I created
Songs that capture desperate expectation One of things forgotten in the joy of Christmas that we experience on this side of the cross is the desperate state of God's chosen and confused people. God's chosen people, who's identity was wrapped in 1. Being God's chosen people 2. Having a land of their own. 3. Having a representative that communicated with God(a prophet), leading up to the birth of Jesus, had seen themselves in exile and/or captivity for 700 years and were currently occupied by Rome. On top of that there had been 400 years with no prophetic word from God. If there wasn't an identity crisis happening, there certainly was a waining faith and desperate need for God's deliverance, they just didn't fully understand what deliverance would mean(from sin not government). Here are some good songs that capture that emotion:
Comfort Ye - Daniel Renstrom Divine Messiah - Daniel Renstrom Deliver Us - Andrew Peterson
and the best dark Christmas sing of all O come Emanuel. this has become one of my favorite Christmas songs because the song is a desperate cry for God's promise to come and a reminder that WHEN He comes there WILL BE joy.
O come, o come Emanuel and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here(I think about their spiritual exile here, 400 years no word from God) until the Son of God appears, rejoice, rejoice, Emanuel SHALL come yo thee o Israel.
This song is an example to me of the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness can be circumstantial. Joy is independent of circumstance. Because of Christ we have joy regardless of circumstances. I can continue to have joy when life looks bleak.
Labor of Love by Andrew Peterson is another dark song that gives some needed perspective. This song looks at the birth of Christ from scared lonely teenage Mary's perspective. Very powerful song. "It was not a silent night".
But Christmas is a happy time. Our savior came! Here are some of my favorite versions of classics:
Do You Hear What I Hear? - Copeland and Duvall both gave good versions Angels We Have Heard On High - Daniel Renstrom, Duvall, Leigh Nash all have good versions. Little Drummer Boy - Duvall makes it fun for drummers, which I think the song should be. Christmas Song(Chestnuts) - Frank Sinatra(classic) and one that I'm sure sounds amazing on vinyl. What Child is This? - Sleeping at Last. Oh Holy Night - The national Anthem of Christmas songs. Seven Day Jesus has a good version. I think I do too! Hark the Herald Angel's Sing - Daniel Renstrom
and here are some of my favorite "new" Christmas songs:
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus - Daniel Renstrom. His Company - Daniel Renstrom. Eternal Gifts - Leigh Nash. (Ho Ho Hey) A Way for Santa's Sleigh - Emery. Three More Days 'Til Christmas - Mu330. Of Two Bearded Men - Number One Gun. I Celebrate the Day - Relient K. A Cradle in Bethlehem - Sleeping at Last
That's my list. What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?