“Merry Christmas”- Bing Crosby
The album Merry Christmas has been a part of my family’s Christmas tradition for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories of driving around in our old family van with this album softly emanating from the car’s speakers. We’d mill about the neighborhoods on cold December nights, admiring the Christmas lights while listening to Bing’s lovely takes on the Christmas classics.
Bing’s bass-baritone voice is well-known to many. Every song on this album brilliantly showcases his one-of-a-kind vocalizations and his considerable musical talent. The way he plays with the notes and lingers on certain syllables is simply a joy to listen to again and again.
“Adeste Fideles,” one of my favorites of the album, perfectly exemplifies Bing’s penchant for straying from rigid, mechanical melodies in favor of creating a flowing, laid-back style that matches his tone of voice.
The big-band instrumentation and the choral accompaniment of the songs on Merry Christmas may have a slightly dated quality, but if it is dated, it is charmingly so. The muted brass and swelling strings have a distinctly 40s/50s air, which adds to the classic, enduring quality of the songs.
No matter how my Christmases may change from year to year, I know that Bing’s mellow crooning will always have a place in my heart.
Thanks for reading about the Christmas music that I love. Next up: Essential Christmas movies!