One of the things I've loved about making this list has been the variety of approaches to music I've been able to explore.
Rock, pop, country, R&B, classical?
Loud or quiet?
Big or small?
Classic or contemporary?
Contrary to some of the stances I've taken in some of the blogs, there really are no wrong answers. The fun is in the variety of ways people approach these songs.
I've found this to be especially true in discovering various versions of "Carol of the Bells." When I started the list, it wasn't penciled in for inclusion because I didn't have a definitive version.
But as Christmas songs began to preoccupy me, I kept coming back to this song and I knew I had to find a version to write about.
I found a pretty straightforward, classic approach from Kenny Rogers, some modern a cappella arrangements from Straight No Chaser and Pentatonix and even Carol of the Bells (for 12 Cellos) by The Piano Guys. (Wait, pianos or cellos? I'm confused. Let's move on.)
There's even the go BIG or go HOME approach espoused by Tran-Siberian Orchestra in their medley "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo."
When I stumbled across the Celtic Woman version you'll see below, I knew I'd found the right one. The orchestra, the violin solos, the choir, the beautiful women making their way on stage to deliver the intricate harmonies this song demands -- this one has it all.
Doing this song right means doing it big, and this rendition doesn't shy away from the scope of the song.
Here's the Celtic Woman Version, with "Ding Dong Merrily" added in for good measure.
For anyone interested, "Carol of the Bells" is an English song set to the tune of an old Ukrainian New Year's carol known as "Shchedryk." The words of the two songs have nothing in common.
The words of "Shchedryk" actually originate from a prehistoric Ukrainian New Year's chant. Pink Martini does a really cool version in the original Ukrainian, at least as far as I know -- I don't speak Ukrainian.
So anyway, if you want to, go ahead and enjoy this one as well.
Tomorrow it's the first Christmas song I ever learned, "Jingle Bells."
The 24 days of Christmas (songs)
Dec. 1: 'Sleigh Ride' -- The Ronettes
Dec. 2: 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' -- Marty Robbins
Dec. 3: 'O Tannenbaum' -- Vince Guaraldi Trio
Dec. 4: 'Blue Christmas' -- Elvis
Dec. 5: 'Santa Baby' -- Madonna
Dec. 6: 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas' -- Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters
Dec. 7: 'Here Comes Santa Claus' -- Alvin and the Chipmunks
Dec. 8: 'Angels We Have Heard on High' -- Brian Setzer Orchestra
Dec. 9: 'White Christmas' -- The Drifters
Dec. 10: 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' -- Bing Crosby