Christmas Songology: Round 4 – The Fa-la-la-la-la Four

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We’ve arrived at the final four where we find a No.1 seed (Hark! by George Bailey & friends) versus a No.8 seed (Christmas Time is Here ala Snoopy) and a No.5 seed (Josh Groban’s O Holy Night) facing off against a No.7 seed (Little Drummer Boy by duo Crosby and Bowie.)

The biggest shock yesterday is Ella Fitzgerald losing to Christmas Time is Here. How classy, elegant and beautiful sounding Ella lost to the now overplayed, perhaps belongs-in-Christmas-song-jail (or at least probation,) is anyone’s guess.

Listen, enjoy, vote!

(Note: Two of these songs require you to sign up for a free Spotify account in order to listen to them.)


Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing was written in 1739 by Charles Wesley, and was originally performed with a slow and somber tone, unlike the joyful and upbeat way it is often heard today, like in this iconic last scene from the 1946 classic It’s A Wonderful Life.

Since 1965 Christmas Time is Here has been a perennial hit just like the television special it was written for, A Charlie Brown Christmas.


O Holy Night by Josh Groban

O Holy Night, a well-known traditional carol of the season, was composed in 1847 and happens to be the second piece of music ever broadcast on the radio in 1906.

Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy was filmed in 1977 for Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas special. The pair never recorded the song in a recording studio, and Bowie’s half of the lyrics (the “Peace on Earth” section of the song) was written as a separate song because the pop star didn’t want to sing Little Drummer Boy.