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The CHIRP Blog

Tyler Clark presents: Local Mythologies writesTop 25 Christmas Songs of the Last 25 Years: #20 - Rufus Wainwright, “Spotlight on Christmas”

It's the holiday season, which means Christmas music. Lots and lots or Christmas music, most of which was written before the people listening to it were even alive. While "Jingle Bells" and "We Three Kings" are great, and resilient, we're devoting this year to finding the best Christmas song written since 1989. We continue today with #20, and Rufus Wainwright's uncanny ability to write songs that sound 70 years old.

 

#20: Rufus Wainwright, "Spotlight on Christmas" (2003)

When I started prepping for this countdown, I thought that Rufus Wainwright's "Spotlight on Christmas," which first appeared on 2003's Maybe This Christmas Too?, was a cover of a much older song, and thus ineligible for inclusion. Fortunately for all involved, I was wrong, but my initial mistake speaks to both the timeless quality of the sentiments and Wainwright's own ability to conjure the spirits of Tin Pan Alley.

Take a listen again and see if you can't imagine the song as a bonus track on an Andy Williams, or maybe as a lost Bing Crosby number from the deleted scenes of Holiday Inn. So much contemporary holiday music goes out of its way to cover topics and feelings not represented in classic carols, but Wainwright proves that a little holiday moralizing should never go out of fashion.

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Categorized: Christmas Top 25

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Previous entry: Top 25 Christmas Songs of the Last 25 Years: #21 - Nick Lowe, “Christmas at the Airport”