December Playlist of the Issue:
Since its first appearance in The Panel almost three years ago, “The Playlist of the Issue” has become a customary article for the print publication. Not only does it provide a great opportunity for Panel staffers to write about their favorite songs, but it also exposes Belmont Hill students to new music genres. For those reading The Panel for the first time, “The Playlist of the Issue” features two authors who each pick five songs which they feel deserve recognition and write about them. For Volume 68 of The Panel, Andrew Jinhee Lee ‘20 and Andrew Jonghyun Lee ‘20 will be taking over from Matt Goguen ‘19 and Matt Smith ‘19 as curators of “The Playlist of the Issue.”
Have you ever wanted to curl up next to the fireplace with some hot chocolate in-hand? If so, then “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby is the perfect song to accompany these near-Christmas activities. Hands-down one of the most famous Christmas albums, this classic-of-a-song will get you right into the Christmas mood. Bing Crosby’s clear, deep voice is bound to warm your soul during these cold winter days. If you ever want to listen to this song, just turn on the radio — at least one station is bound to play this song at any point of the day.
Judy Garland is no Adele or Beyonce. But, her song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” introduced in the film “Meet Me in St. Louis” (a must-watch Christmas film) deserves just as many listens as any of these current pop artists. Since Halloween and Thanksgiving, I may have listened to this song over twenty times; every single listen to the melancholy bridge sends shivers down my spine. In conclusion, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” a Christmas song that will bring back childhood memories is the perfect one for the holidays. Add it to your Christmas playlist.
Any song by Nat King Cole is an automatic classic. His smooth voice will have you so entranced in the first seconds that all your thoughts will effortlessly slip away from you other than his tunes. The beauty of the song is the reassurance that Nat King Cole provides through his hymn-like voice and thoughtful lyrics of positivity and well-being. From the introduction to the end, you will never be able to skip this song after listening to it one time through. You have been warned.
Josh Groban’s angelic voice makes any song sound good, if not better than the original — this is the case with his performance of “Silent Night.” From his masterful control over his voice, I guarantee you that chills will run down your spine after listening to the chorus of this song. I can tell you that I never skip this song whenever I hear it on the radio or my Christmas playlist. If you enjoy a song that is a bit slower and more somber than your average Christmas piece, give this song a listen.
With the days getting shorter, the weather growing colder, and the snow building up higher, what’s a better way to get into the holiday spirits than listening to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Buble? This song always gets me in a happy mood because it reminds me that winter break is only a few days away. Michael Buble’s smooth voice intermingled with lyrics filled with Christmas spirit is the perfect concoction to make your December Saturdays a little warmer.
Released in 1981, this age-old classic is a holiday-favorite for all. Feliz Navidad, which translates loosely to “Merry Christmas”, fuses simple lyrics with a catchy tune and somehow compels all listeners to follow along to the song. This song is arguably really overplayed on the radio; nevertheless, every time you listen to this song, you will find a deep joy in your heart that you once had in the forgotten days of your childhood. Jose Feliciano’s song is unique compared to other holiday tunes in that he combines both Spanish and English to create a unique multilingual lyrical melody. Listen to this song! Again . . . and Again!
Bruce Springsteen singing about Santa Claus? It doesn’t get any better than that. Everyone knows this song, and everyone loves this song! With a rustic live interpretation of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”, Springsteen again steals the stage with his unique cover of an age-old holiday tune. This song is rare because of its concert feel; different from others, it almost seems as if Springsteen is truly singing to his fans. It is not often that you will find quite an established singer performing a Christmas tune. We should appreciate Springsteen’s ingenuity every time (yes, every time) we hear him yell out “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”.
How many more hearts will Wham! give on Christmas? The world may never know. The famous British duo of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley created this Christmas classic back in 1984. Unlike other Christmas songs, “Last Christmas” has a rather melancholy tone as Michael and Ridgeley sing of a Christmas heartbreak in the year prior. Personally, although the song can be a bit redundant, I appreciate the tune as it is a nice change of pace from the other slightly cheesy, jubilant Christmas songs. Looking forward to the next “Last Christmas”!
Andy Williams comes back yet another year to remind you that “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” The melody line is almost as exuberant as its lyrics. Its graceful smooth tune will leave you swaying and tranquil, and its cheerful tone will have you feeling like a child again. The holidays are loved for a reason, and Andy Williams will continue to remind us of the beauty of the holidays.
It’s a bright time. It’s the right time. It’s “Jingle Bell Rock” time. Whenever this song’s playing, people are dancing. Released in 1970 by Bobby Helms, “Jingle Bell Rock” infuses an unconventional Christmas beat with slightly more complex lyrics to create one of my personal favorite Christmas songs. This song truly epitomizes the spirit of the holidays. Enjoy the holidays!