It’s that time of year again. With only 13 days left till the big one, we feel it’s the perfect moment for the obligatory festive blog post. So, without further ado, here are our 10 favourite songs from Christmas movies.
10) ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch’ from How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
Aaah The Grinch. There’s one in every family and he’s got to be one of Dr. Seuss’ most memorable creations. Composed by Albert Hague with genius lyrics from the Dr. himself, the tune is ominously voiced by Thurl Ravencroft to great effect, bursting with meanness and sin. Whilst Jim Carrey’s more recent version may be admirable, there’s no substitute for the original written for this 1966 animated TV special.
9) ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ from Elf (2003)
Ok so the context of this scene is a little weird – Zooey Deschanel is showering in a department store (what?) and Buddy (Will Ferrell) seems to think it’s just fine to intrude on her personal bathroom space. However, Zooey’s lovely rendition of this classic Christmas song composed in 1944 by Frank Loesser somehow makes it all ok. Plus Will Ferrell chiming in makes it a strangely sweet little duet. As Buddy says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear”.
8) ‘Christmas Time Is Here’ from A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
Written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi for the 1965 TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas, this tune is strangely moving for an animated show and remains a Christmas classic.
7) ‘Walking in the Air’ from The Snowman (1982)
The Snowman is a childhood Christmas staple and the fact that the animation is wordless makes the effect of the music even greater. ‘Walking in the Air’, composed by Howard Blake, is performed by St. Paul’s Cathedral choirboy Peter Auty in the film version and its sweeping melody and haunting vocals makes it a perfect choice for the beautiful scene.
6) ‘Auld Lang Syne’ from It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
This may possibly be the only time we’ve listened to this song sober, since it’s traditionally sung when the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve. It’s A Wonderful Life may be a classic American Christmas film but ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is infact a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.
5) ‘What’s This?’ from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Aah the Tim Burton/Danny Elfman relationship. It’s brought us many classics over the years but the score for this rather twisted Christmas film is undoubtedly one of the best. It’s a refreshing contrast to Hollywood’s cheesier winter offerings and in our chosen song ‘What’s This?’, Chris Sarandon delivers character Jack’s rather morbid fascination with all things festive rather perfectly. Plus only in a Tim Burton film are you going to have a plot to “kidnap the Sandy Claws.”
4) ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ from Love Actually (2003)
Now this is a film full of Christmas cheer. We could have chosen several songs from this (Billy Mack’s ‘Christmas Is All Around’, Prime Minister Hugh Grant singing ‘Good King Wenceslas’) but this cover of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ performed by actress Olivia Olson is probably our favourite. Worth watching just to see poor old Sam’s (played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster) dismay when Joanna not only points at him, but half of the crowd.
3) ‘White Christmas’ from White Christmas (1954)
Yet another Christmas cracker of a movie with this oh-so festive song of the same name. Written by Irving Berlin, Bing Crosby’s version is the best-selling single of all time according to the Guinness World Records. The song first featured in musical Holiday Inn in 1942, for which it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and was then later used in 1954’s White Christmas. Of his part in the song’s success Crosby rather modestly said “a jackdaw with a cleft palate could have sung it successfully.”
2) ‘Somewhere In My Memory’ from Home Alone (1990)
Let’s face it, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Home Alone on the telly. It’s a festive staple that’s basically as important as the turkey and who better to provide the music than film score composer legend John Williams. ‘Somewhere In My Memory’ is a main theme that never fails to make us feel warm and festive. Merry Christmas ya filthy animals.
1) ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Is there a better Christmas song than this? This wonderful tune was immortalised by Judy Garland who sings the song to cheer up her little sister Margaret O’Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis. Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, ASCAP recently ranked it as the fifth most performed Christmas song of all time. Pass us the mince pies.
Stop us if you’ve heard any of the following this month. “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!” “Bah humbug!” “Have yourself a merry little Christmas.” Sounding familiar? Just as Christmas carols are being streamed relentlessly over the radio, so are the slew of Christmas movies and specials being pumped into our TVs and screens.