Last Monday we featured 11 modern Christmas songs destined to become classics. For those of us who grew up listening to “classic” Christmas songs from the likes of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, it’s sometimes challenging to listen to modern Christmas recordings and have the same feeling we get when songs like White Christmas or Sleigh Ride come on the radio.
And that’s even true for contemporary remakes of those old classic standards. For me, it seems like only when the modern versions sound like the classic versions (a la Michael Bublé on, well, pretty much every song he sings) or when a new recording harkens back to a classic style (a la Brett Eldredge on Glow) do I feel that similar sense of nostalgia I have when Nat King Cole sings the Christmas Song. Now I’ve never had roasted chestnuts on an open fire, but when the guitar and strings and piano start playing the first few bars and Nat starts in with his gentle, pitch-perfect voice on his definitive 1961 recording, it takes me back. So many classic songs do that, and this time of year the local radio plays a fair amount of them, interspersed among the more recent holiday efforts by Carrie Underwood, Trans Siberian Orchestra and Justin Bieber.