Christmas has always been a time for anyone in the music world whether it be writers, artists or musicians to put their stamp on this most beloved time of year. Some do it for their love of the holiday season, Others just to simply cash in and make a quick buck. Some songs though will never go away and we always get remakes after remakes every year, And to prove how many times some of those classics have been covered, TIME magazine crawled through records at the U.S. Copyright Office, which offers digitized registrations going back to 1978, and they collected data on every Christmas album recorded since that time.
Silent Night, it turns out is not merely the most popular carol with 733 copyrighted recordings since 1978, it is nearly twice as dominant as Joy to the World, in a distant second with 391 records to its name. So that means in 39 years Silent night has been covered 733 times, Wow that really is a lot of different versions of one song in that time frame, And think about how many times it’s been remade before those records began.
Silent Night was written in 1818 in Germany by the composer Franz Xaver Gruber and has become such a treasured global favorite that there are Several theatrical and television films depicting how the song was written. Most of them however though are based on a legend. But one thing to note is, when you think about it long and hard how different can any artist make that song?
In the U.K Christmas number ones are a huge deal, Novelty songs, charity songs or songs with a Christmas theme have regularly been at the top of Christmas charts. Traditionally the volume of record sales in the UK peaks at Christmas, with the Christmas number one being considered especially prestigious, more so than any other time of year. I have noticed here in the U.S that even though artists cover Christmas songs there isn’t a big release of songs trying to be the Christmas Number One, I am guessing it’s just a crazy British thing.
Moving along from charts to classic songs what do we have to look forward to for this year’s Christmas musical feast. Well we do have some original Christmas tunes this year and of course some seasonal classics, Music from Pentatonix, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Fifth Harmony, Lindsey Sterling and more. The only real stand out this year and even though I am not a huge fan is the Pentatonix Christmas album with five new songs on the deluxe version of their album.
Also worth checking out is Sia with her first Christmas album packed with some funky feel-good Christmas Songs, And even though on paper Shania Twain & Nick Jonas together on a song sounds awful it is a unexpected pretty good country-pop collaboration that’s worth a listen. And if you are taking the family to the movies over the holidays then the big movie to see is The Star and from that Christmas songs from Mariah Carey and Fifth Harmony.
Whatever you like to listen to from roasting chestnuts on that open fire to your very own carpool karaoke version of all I want for Christmas is you I hope you soak up the magic that is simply called music.
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