The 12 days of Christmas begin Thursday and run until Epiphany, January 5. Here is a song for half those days. See what's in the other half tomorrow morning.
12. "Silent Night," Mahalia Jackson. The supreme Christmas melody requires the supreme voice, and if anybody's ever sung it prettier or more powerfully than Mahalia Jackson I haven't heard it. There are different renditions floating around. While some are better than others, all are devastating.
11. "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy," Buck Owens. 'Cause everybody needs some ass-kickin' Bakersfield shiznit on their Xmas mix.
10. "Fairytale of New York," The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl. The greatest musical representation of a 10-degree New York Christmas ever; not to mention a fantastic commentary on marriage (and hell, life) in general.
9. "Merry Christmas from the Family," Robert Earl Keen. The greatest musical representation of a 70-degree Houston Christmas ever
8. "Christmas Time is Here," The Vince Guaraldi Trio. Not having this song in your Xmas mix should get you a one-way ticket to a fenced-in pen in Guantanamo.
7. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Ellis Marsalis. The piano-pounding patriarch of the famed Marsalis clan delivers a swingin' and classic solid sender of a rendition of the hoary old classic. - John Nova Lomax
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.