'Tis the season for the Top 10 original Christmas songs, as selected by the Songfacts community. By selecting original songs, we're excluding traditional favorites like "Silent Night." Merry Christmas to all.
10. Santa Baby
- Eartha Kitt
Madonna brought this one out of obscurity in 1987 for the Very Special Christmas album, and it's become a holiday standard for any diva who craves a special sugar daddy this time of year. Eartha Kitt's original helped make the future Catwoman a star.
9. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
- Judy Garland
Garland was much more than Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. In 1944 she starred in the film Meet Me In St. Louis, which featured this song. It was a big hit with soldiers fighting overseas during World War II.
8. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
- Darlene Love
Phil Spector wrote this for his 1963 Christmas album, which had the misfortune of being released on November 22, 1963 - the day US president John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. The album was pulled, but the song eventually became a Christmas classic, thanks in no small part to U2's cover in 1987 for A Very Special Christmas.
7. Wonderful Christmastime
- Paul McCartney
A rare Elctro-Pop Christmas song, McCartney used a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synth, which you also hear in Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" and the Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes." All four members of The Beatles released Christmas songs as solo artists.
6. Father Christmas
- The Kinks
This isn't your typical Christmas song, it's about a kid who gets mugged by performing as St. Nick, then asks for a machine gun and a job for his dad for Christmas. Where the Kinks come from, Santa Claus is known as "Father Christmas."
5. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree
- Brenda Lee
Written by the same guy who wrote "Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," Lee was 13 when she recorded this song in 1958. Something not a lot of people think about - Christmas songs are usually recorded in the summer. That was the case here, as Lee recorded it on a hot July day in Nashville. Her producer turned up the air conditioning and set up a Christmas tree to get her in the mood.
4. Do They Know It's Christmas?
The first big group charity song, this was organized by Bob Geldof to raise money for famine relief in Africa. The next year, Geldof got much more ambitious, organizing "We Are The World" and Live Aid. Appearing on this song, in order: Paul Young, Boy George, George Michael, Simon Le Bon, and Bono. The chorus included David Bowie, Phil Collins, and Paul McCartney.
3. You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch
- Thurl Ravenscroft
Written for the 1966 Dr. Seuss TV Holiday Special How The Grinch Stole Christmas, this is one of those songs that you gotta love even if you're burned out on Christmas music. Ravenscroft was the voice of Tony the Tiger, who said of Frosted Flakes cereal: "They're Great." In 2000, the movie was remade, and this song recorded by Jim Carrey and Busta Rhymes.
2. Blue Christmas
- Elvis Presley
Originally recorded by Ernest Tubb in 1950, Elvis sang the definitive version in 1957. After all, you can't have a White Christmas without that special someone, and who better than Elvis to express the pain of longing?<
1. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
- John Lennon
In 1969, John and Yoko bought billboard advertisements in major cities around the world that said, "War is over! (If you want it)." Two years later they turned the slogan into this Christmas song with an anti-war message. This is the second entry on the list produced by Phil Spector, who also worked on Lennon's "Instant Karma." Listen at the beginning as John and Yoko whisper to their children Kyoko and Julian.