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Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas

The ten best holiday songs penned by Jews

Marc Tracy
December 20, 2010
Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” (music and lyrics by Irving Berlin).(YouTube)
Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” (music and lyrics by Irving Berlin).(YouTube)

Yesterday, Jewcy noted that, for all the Christmas songs that have famously been written by, shall we say, People Who Don’t Celebrate Christmas, not one of a recent list of the Ten Most Depressing Christmas Songs was authored by a Member of the Tribe (“Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk on Christmas)” is John Denver, in case you were wondering).

But it reminded me that around this time last year, I collaborated with David Lehman, author of Nextbook Press’s A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, on a list of the ten best Christmas songs of all time. Check the original for extensive commentary; check after the jump for just the list itself.

My favorite? “Santa Baby.” I see Taylor Swift has ruined it, but below you’ll find a link to Eartha Kitt doing it right.

10. “The Christmas Waltz,” music and lyrics by Sammy Cahn and Julie Styne.

9. “Silver Bells,” music by Jay Livingston, lyrics by Ray Evans.

8. “Winter Wonderland,” music and lyrics by Felix Bernard.

7. “Santa Baby,” music and lyrics by Joan Ellen Javits and Philip Springer.

6. “Sleigh Ride,” lyrics by Mitchell Parrish.

5. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” music by Buck Ram, lyrics by Walter Kent.

4. “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.

3. “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow,” lyrics by Sammy Cahn, music by Julie Styne.

2. “The Christmas Song” (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”), music and lyrics by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells.

1. “White Christmas,” music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.