The Temptations’ 1980 version of “Silent Night” is one of the most popular Christmas of all time.
Christmas is almost universally regarded as the most wonderful time of the year.
Often, strangers help other strangers during the holiday season.
People give back to the less fortunate.
And those that celebrate Christmas break out some of the best music of all time that only seems appropriate during the month of December.
But for some, holidays do not represent the most wonderful time of the year because the holidays remind some of those missing loved-ones that they cannot spend time with anymore, this side of Heaven.
Therefore, some of the best Christmas music of all time have some of the saddest and most melancholy musical notes and lyrics ever put to paper.
Therefore, RegalMag.com staff members put their heads together to come up with a list of some of the best Christmas music of all time that deals with pain, world issues, heartbreak and loss.
Check it out.
And as always, let RegalMag.com staff members know what they got right and what they got wrong.
- “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto” by Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Bad Azz, Daz Dillinger and Tray Dee-When one thinks of the untouchable Death Row Records and its former infamous CEO Suge Knight, Christmas songs do not always come to mind. But by sampling a James Brown classic, the Death Row inmates and affiliates rapped about all the struggles in the hood during the holiday season. But they also rapped about how joy could still be felt during Christmas season, even for those less fortunate.
- “Christmas Won’t Be the Same This Year” by Jackson 5—For a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses who did not celebrate Christmas, the Jackson 5 released some of the most played Christmas songs of all time. While a prepubescent Michael Jackson handled the light-hearted pop songs, Jermaine Jackson took lead on the more soulful numbers like this one about spending Christmas without the one you love.
- “Christmas in the City” by Marvin Gaye—Although “Christmas in the City” is an instrumental by the late, great Marvin Gaye, listeners can still feel the melancholy texture of the track. This song is beautiful. But it is not a joyous one. One can sense the pain and emotion coming from the musicians.
- “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto” by James Brown—The lyrics in James Brown’s classic “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto” is almost a plea from the “Godfather of Soul.” He is begging St. Nick not to forget the people in the hood that are often forgotten or ignored. He tells Kris Kringle to not bring anything to him. Just make sure the children in the ghetto get some holiday cheer this year.
- “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Jackson 5—Although the classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” talks about the hard times, the song urges the listener to still enjoy the Christmas season despite those difficulties. The lyrics read, “Let your heart be light, from now on our troubles will be out of sight.” Furthermore, this rendition practices what it preaches as the outro of the track includes an upbeat back and forth by the group, with Jermaine and Michael Jackson taking the lead.
- “I Want to Come Home for Christmas” by Marvin Gaye—Marvin Gaye’s “I Want to Come Home for Christmas” is sung from the perspective of a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. The Christmas season really brings his predicament into focus as he just wants to see the Christmas tree, snowflakes, Santa Claus and his family. However, he can only come home if the war is stopped. Therefore, all he can do is wish his family well and hope they do not worry so much about him while he is gone.
- “Every Year, Every Christmas” by Luther Vandross—Lost love is always hard to deal with. But it is even harder during the holidays and special days because it is difficult not to reminisce and wonder how much better things would be if that special someone was still in your life. Luther Vandross sang, “So much emotion, it’s driving me mad, yeah, But I’ll take my chances with these feelings I have, And I’ll come back to this same corner where we met, And I’ll be here every year, every Christmas.”
- “Another Lonely Christmas” by Prince—In this B-side that became a classic for Prince, “His Royal Badness” reminisces about a former love that is not around to spend Christmas with. While Christmas is often wholesome, leave it to the late musical genius to make it a little risqué as he remembers how he and his ex would swim naked in her father’s pool. No, he is not just waiting on his ex to come back. There have been others since she left. However, she is the only one he cares for.
- “Someday at Christmas” by Stevie Wonder—Although this classic talks about the problems in the world, the song is still hopeful that things will change. And one day at Christmas, the world would not have to deal with the negative issues that have become commonplace throughout the planet. The opening verses say it all. “Someday at Christmas men won’t be boys, Playing with bombs like kids play with toys. One warm December our hearts will see a world where men are free.
- “Silent Night” (1980) by The Temptations—To many, The Temptations’ 1980 version of the Christmas standard “Silent Night” is the best Christmas song ever recorded. Rest in Peace to Donny Hathaway because “This Christmas” is definitely in the conversation of Christmas song G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time). But The Temps’ “Silent Night” from 1980 has everything in it from acknowledging the birth of Christ, which is often forgotten in many Christmas songs to social commentary. Although Christmas is a festive time, the Motown legends let it be known that what they really wanted for Christmas is for all men to be free.