Christmas is upon us and as Santa prepares himself for his ride, we asked Jannero Pargo to give us some of his favorite Christmas songs. He was happy to oblige*. He kept his list short, at our request, as this is a time of year you’ll want to spend with your families. You don’t need to read #longform pieces that you have to tackle on the toilet in 5 minute spurts. You want jams. Christmasy, holiday-y, wintery wonderlandy jams.
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Frank Sinatra
This is the G.O.A.T. and the song by which all other Christmas songs shall be measured. Sinatra is at the highest of highs here and the level of connection that he finds with this standard should be commended and praised.
“White Christmas” – The Drifters
What a remarkable jam. Still a banger after all these years. Dub dub dub d-dub. The Drifters bring the heat to Christmas with this one. It’s as soothing a song as you could want and the ultimate drive-slow-through-those-
“O Come O Come Emmanuel” – Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan has been living in the future ever since he was born so the fact that he would regress to our mean and live within our world musically for a brief flicker of time is truly a gift in and of itself. It’s haunting. I fell asleep listening to it once and some hours later woke up with words and thoughts and pictures in my head. I grabbed a pen and began writing and after five hours I looked at what I’d done and felt good and tired and went back to bed. The next day I gave those writings to my friend. I’d re-written Blood Meridian word for word. I’d never even read the book before.
“Christmas In Harlem” – Kanye West feat. Cyhi Da Prynce & Teyana Taylor
Teyana Taylor is doing her best Beyoncé impression here and Kanye is back on his Mase. Now, I like saying “I like the way you think, mami” with Kanye, but I especially like when Cyhi Da Prynce says “I’m with Ye at the Macy’s Day Parade”. Cyhi Da Prynce sounds like he’s doing a Cyhi Da Prynce impression the whole song, and that’s something I can get behind. Also, not sure if there’s been enough discussion about the fact that a rap name like Cyhi Da Prynce exists. If Christopher Guest had ever made a movie about rap he’d have named the lead character Cyhi Da Prynce.
“It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” – Andy Williams
It really is the hap-happiest season of all. This is a jam and a classic. One that will be in rotation for decades. Before his recent death, I think saw Andy Williams in the booth announcing Kings games. Or else he just looked like every elderly white man that ever lived, albeit with whiter teeth than most.
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey
I’d imagine I’m contractually obligated to put this here or else I’ll be burned in the comments. Wait. Do people comment on this site? <Quickly checks other columns and rolls eyes> Geez. So nobody ever comments? Course, why would they? Look at all this trash. Anyway, I’ll just say then: I think this song is hugely overrated. Those that have given it the title of being a modern classic certainly outnumber those of us that don’t like this song, and I suppose that being the exception makes one weird, but I’m going to thrust myself into the minority and say this is a tired and lazy song. There is no feeling to it. It’s also a lie. Mariah’s only ever wanted herself.
“Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley
You can tell me this isn’t a Christmas song and I’ll tell you OF COURSE IT’S NOT A CHRISTMAS SONG. Don’t be an idiot. This is here because we’ve done been given an early gift. They’re coming back, baby! Gnarls is back! Looking forward to Cee Lo’s video outfits already.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours and keep it Pale Rider real this holiday season – do the right things and take care of those that can’t take of themselves and be true to everyone but keep some secrets for yourself because you wind up looking cooler that way. Then beat dudes down with an axe handle.
*He was actually furious about it.