Posts Tagged ‘christmas comes but once a year’

25 Greatest Christmas Songs Countdown #8 Christmas Comes But Once a Year (Christmas in Carrick)

December 18, 2011 7 comments

At some point somebody recommended to me that I pick up the Barra MacNeils’ Christmas album. (The Barra MacNeils, if you haven’t heard of them, are a Cape Breton family who does Celtic music.) I did so. And it’s excellent; one of the best Christmas albums I have. They’ve done a second Christmas album since then, and it’s good too, but nowhere near as good as the first. The standout tracks are “Christmas in Killarney,” “Carol of the Bells,” and this one.

Which I looked up online, to see if I could come to some kind of insight from seeing the lyrics in front of me. I couldn’t, but I did notice one thing. Every place I see the lyrics, there’s one line that’s different. Here are the different takes on it that I found:

“Who cares if we work tomorrow? Now’s the time to spread good cheer,”
“All cares are put for tomorrow, now’s the time to spread good cheer,”
“Who cares if we’re poor tomorrow? Now’s the time to spread good cheer,”

None of which are what the Barra MacNeils sing. They get right to what I suppose is the point:

“Who cares if there’s no tomorrow? Now’s the time to spread good cheer,
Pass the punch around the table; Christmas comes but once a year,”

Greet some strangers as you pass in honour of the Barra MacNeils and “Christmas Comes But Once a Year (Christmas in Carrick)“.

#25: Sleigh Ride
#24: Huron Carol
#23: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!/Count Your Blessings/We Wish You a Merry Christmas
#22: The Twelve Days of Christmas
#21: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
#20: Fuck Christmas
#19: Jingle Bell Rock
#18: What’s This? & Making Christmas
#17: Oi! To the World
#16: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
#15: Blue Christmas
#14: Christmas in Hollis
#13: We Need a Little Christmas
#12: Marshmallow World
#11: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
#10: Step Into Christmas
#9: Jingle Bells