There’s a body of work that reflects the anticipation of Christmas. Some are more overtly religious, while others are secular.
Gabriel’s Message – Sting. This song, from the original A Very Special Christmas collection (1987), is either in a Methodist or Presbyterian hymnal, possibly both.
E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come by Paul Manz – The National Lutheran Choir. I’ve sung this probably two dozen times. Interestingly, though, the scripture is from Revelation, suggesting anticipation of a second coming, not the first.
River – Joni Mitchell. I will always associate this with my late friend Donna George, who was a big Joni fan.
Christmas Is A-Comin’ – Leadbelly. My father had this song on an album that I now own.
Getting Ready for Christmas Day – Paul Simon. Simon, b. 1941, samples. The sermon is from 1941, which can’t be a coincidence, can it?
This Christmas – Donny Hathaway. I miss Donny, who was a great singing partner with Roberta Flack.
Christmas Wrapping – the Waitresses. An MTV favorite. I have this buried in my vinyl collection somewhere.
We Need A Little Christmas – Angela Lansbury. Per Wikipedia: “Lansbury finally gained stardom for playing the leading role in the Broadway musical Mame (1966), which earned her her first Tony Award and established her as a gay icon.”
Please Come Home For Christmas – Charles Brown. The man from Texas City, TX (1922-1999) was thrice nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in the 1990s.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Bing Crosby. Wikipedia notes: “Despite the song’s popularity with Americans at the front and at home, in the UK, the BBC banned the song from broadcast, as the Corporation’s management felt the lyrics might lower morale among British troops.” Twenty or twenty-five years ago, I heard Kim and Reggie Harris, possibly with others, perform this at the College of Saint Rose, very close to where we live. One felt the melancholy the song deserves.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – MonaLisa Twins. They really are twins, Mona and Lisa Wagner.