Coog Radio Blog Team’s Top 20 Holiday Songs!

Christmas melodies are heard at every corner during the holidays! The bloggers of Coog Radio have listed their favorite holiday songs throughout the years, whether they are covers or originals of our favorite classics. The  songs are not listed in any particular order. Enjoy the winter break with your loved ones as you listen to our Spotify play list of our favorite holiday songs!

“O Come O Come Emmanuel” by August Burns Red

Every Christmas, August Burns Red comes out with a holiday song for everyone to enjoy. In 2009, after the release of their most notable album, “Constellations,” they came out with this cover of the classic holiday song, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” This was only the second song in the series song Christmas songs they’ve released through the years. This is my favorite because it is not only a great cover, but it illustrates the whole band’s instrumental talent, which they don’t have many opportunities to do. After the release of this cover, many bands tried to do their own interpretation of the Christmas classic, but never pared with the August Burns Red.

– Rajiv Radia

“I Hear the Bell on Christmas Day” by Echosmith

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” has to be one of the best Christmas songs! I know it’s a bold claim but it is! The song is soothing and beautiful remade into a modern classic. The sweet vocals of lead singer, Sydney Sierota start off the song with only simple guitar strumming that compliments her delicate voice. Then, all of sudden there’s a burst of change in tempo in the song, evolving from a slow song to a playful and up upbeat song, reflecting the groups very own individual style, indie pop. “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” is just a refreshing, fun and a modern Christmas song you can continue to listen over and over again. Promise!

– Sade Zibili

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by She & Him

I chose the She & Him version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” because it’s bare and delicate. It’s definitely my favorite holiday standard and I don’t I’ve ever heard a bad cover of it frankly, but their version stands out to me. It’s just Zoey’s sweet voice and a distant electric guitar that is sincere and light-hearted to create that perfect holiday “sentimental” feeling.

– Trent Lira

“All I want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey

Released in 1994, this song was destined to be a classic. When you hear the first few cords in the song, all of sudden you have a Santa hat on and you’re dancing and everything from there is kind of a blur. A familiar song to almost everyone around the globe, Mariah Carey’s Christmas jingle is a must for any holiday occasion.

– Daisha Lewis

 “This Christmas” by Mary J. Blige

This song absolutely gave me butterflies the first time I listened to it. This classic, for me, catches the essence of Christmas. The decorating of the tree, putting lights up with family, making cookies and setting stockings up to be filled with presents later is pictured in my mind when I listen to it as the holidays approach. Mary J. Blige does a fantastic job of remixing the original by Donny Hathaway and giving it a taste of her own musicality. Jam out to Blige’s soulful voice while you spend time with family over the break!

– Julia Ong

“Carol of the Bells” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Although the song was originally composed in 1904, the song is still alive and strong thanks to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  The group has an electrifying sound and has had many hits which can be both seen and heard at their live shows.

– Jeff Gower

“Mary, Did You Know?” by Pentatonix

Part of the recently released album “That’s Christmas to Me,” Pentatonix have been climbing the musical ladder since 2012. Their albums have increasingly become more and more successful over the years and their sound has garnered the attention of many looking for fresh new music. Gaining listeners through pop hit covers in their a Capella style, “Mary, Did You Know?” becomes the perfect icing on the cake for their most successful year yet in music. This song will give you goose bumps every time you listen to it.

– Yalda Etmadi

“Let it Snow” by Boyz II Men

“Let It Snow” by Boyz II Men is not your traditional holiday song and that’s why it’s my favorite. It’s a holiday R&B song that’s not only for the holidays but it’s a good song to play throughout the year.

– De’Andra Hurd

“All I Want For Christmas” by TLC

It’s crazysexycool, it’s holiday jammin’, and it’s NOT the Mariah Carey classic… It’s TLC! Baggy clothes and all, these ladies still managed to croon this sexy tune and well… Look sexy doing it. It is pretty shocking that many listeners have never heard this classic, but if you don’t know, now you know!

–  Tobechi Oparah

“Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by N*SYNC

This is one of my favorite holiday songs by the group formally known as N*SYNC. Before Justin Timberlake went solo, N*SYNC put out a Christmas album, “Home for Christmas.” The 1998 hit, “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,” is just one of the many holiday classics on the album.

– Jasmine Bass

“Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber

I personally love this song (even though I am not the biggest Biebz fan) because it is an original holiday song. You don’t hear many original songs during the holiday season these days. Bieber sings about holiday cheer and spending time with a girl in the cold winter time. This song makes me want to grab a cup of hot chocolate and cuddle with that nonexistent significant other by the fireplace. Happy holidays, everyone!!

– Rupal Mehta

“Christmas is Going to the Dogs” by Eels

“Christmas Is Going to the Dogs” by Eels is such a sweet song. First off, I love the recording of the song. Off of my smartphone, it sounds like it is playing off of my record player. It has a very upbeat semi folksy rhythm. To me this song is from a dog’s perspective. It’s simple, instead of wanting expensive electronics, a chew toy will work just fine.

– Corina Carrizales

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Mariah Carey

What’s more exciting during the holidays than the thought of Santa delivering presents all across the globe? No matter how old we get, I know for me at least the thrill will never get old. The song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” by Mariah Carey is the ultimate holiday jingle and never fails to get me the Christmas spirit. It’s a timeless classic and its upbeat tempo and cheery words can get any child or adult ready to welcome Santa to town.

– Candy Rodriguez

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Idina Menzel & Michael Bublé

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” was written to be a romantic winter song, and was played on the radio as more of a pop song in the 1950s. The lyrics are structured in a conversation form, as the two people have returned from a date. The woman decides it is time for her to go home, but the man insists that she stay because “it’s cold outside.” The song continues in back and forth format, with similar statements from the woman and quick responses from the man. Starting in the late 1990s, the song has since been turned into a very popular Christmas and holiday single. This has continued into the 2000s, with the recent release of a popular cover by artists Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé. This version reached number one on Billboard’s weekly Adult Contemporary Chart. This song is truly one of the most popular holiday songs of all time.

– Micah McDonald

“The War is Over” by John Lennon

Not only is it an ode to world peace and cooperation, but it’s also a great listen that doesn’t subject the holiday season to just Christmas. It holds a greater message that brings people together regardless of their religious and political beliefs.

– Tiffany Valdez

“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas” by Michael Bublé

I picked “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas” (the Michael Bublé version) for my top holiday song. It was written by Robert Meredith Willson in 1951, but has been covered many times by people including Bublé and Bing Crosby.  I think this is the top song because let’s be honest- what is Christmas without some Michael Bublé? His beautifully deep voice practically oozes with Christmas cheer and from the second the first note of this song starts playing, even if I am in a terrible mood, it will always cheer me up…and that’s what Christmas is all about, right?

– Fatema Sabir

“Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses

Combining new wave, ska, and hip-hop (?) into an 80’s Christmas song is anything but traditional, and that’s the main reason I love it.  I’ve never been a fan of the generic tunes that see cover after cover, but the Waitresses’ only hit manages to let me get fully behind a Christmas tune.  The lyrics chronicle the narrator’s attitudes towards the upcoming Christmas (which she plans to spend alone), as well as her fruitless encounters with a man she’d seen several times during the year leading up to it.  In the end… well, you should just listen to it.

– Travis Phillips

“Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms

“Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms has accumulated millions of views on YouTube and countless more plays in malls worldwide. It’s easy to see why. Sampling jingle bells, referencing Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and other parts of Christmas culture and setting it all against a rock waltz, this song is as warm as a fireplace in December.

– Nick Randall

“All I Want for Christmas” by Michael Bublé

What could be better than hearing Michael Bublé saying all he wants is you…? For that reason alone I love this song. To me the Christmas season just isn’t complete without this Sinatra-esque singer and his delightful Christmas album. It’s a classic song and Michael makes it even better.

– Natasha Naik

“Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande

Although this song was released just this past month, it is already one of my favorite holiday songs of all time. Ariana talks to Santa about a new boy in her life and if she should trust him after last year’s heart break. This fun song was accompanied by a fun music video shot with Ariana and her friends.

– Sunita Dharani

Happy Holidays from Coog Radio!

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