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25 Greatest Christmas Songs Countdown: #23 Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!/Count Your Blessings/We Wish You a Merry Christmas

December 3, 2011 27 comments

When I was a kid my parents had a couple of Christmas albums by the Ray Conniff Singers. The contents ranged from cheesy to not bad. My sister has said that, for her, Ray Conniff is what Christmas sounds like. But the one that sticks with me (the one that made me track the album down on CD years later!) is the medley of “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”, “Count Your Blessings”, and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.

I know that at the time, “Let It Snow…” was my favourite Christmas song. Not sure why it was. It isn’t now; it’s just one of many acceptable songs. And “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is neither here nor there, although I am surprised to find out how old it is. Sixteenth century! No, the one that gets to me now is “Count Your Blessings,” which is the least known of the three; it was written for the movie White Christmas but is much better here. The thing about this song for me is, well, it plays on my weak spots.

One time two friends and I were talking, and this one friend asked the two of us what our thoughts were about marriage. We’re both married, see, with kids, and he’s not, and he was wondering if it was actually something we would recommend to him. And we did. But I said that one problem with it was that you’re giving hostages to fortune. You now have these people in your life that you not only care about but that you have to care about, and therefore you’re opening yourself up to how terrible it would be if anything happened to them. And there’s nothing to be done about that.

And my other friend said, basically, yeah, but you also get to share in their joys and triumphs and stuff, so you actually come out ahead on that.

Which had never occurred to me.

Not only hadn’t it occurred to me, it doesn’t even work for me. Not that I don’t enjoy watching my kids have fun or I’m not proud when my wife does something awesome again. I do and I am. But deep down I’m paranoid that something’s going to take it all away.

So that’s why the song’s so poignant for me: it’s giving me advice that I know I need and I know I’m incapable of following. This is just me, you understand; I don’t suggest that your reaction to it would or should be anything like mine. But it’s a good song.

Anyway, I give you the Ray Conniff Singers.

#25: Sleigh Ride
#24: Huron Carol