I’m a Christmas music snob
I can’t just listen to the generic department-store music. I hand pick each song that goes into my playlist and it goes in only with a very specific reason: Maybe it’s a song that hubby grew up listening to during Christmas. Or maybe it’s the song that I discovered when knitting a stocking for my friend. Or maybe it’s what I listened to while reading Harry Potter by the fire. Or maybe it’s a song I learned on the piano as a surprise for my brother.
All that to say . . . I’m selective. This is crucial if I’m going to keep myself from hating Christmas music forevermore! (Can I get an “Amen”?) We must guard the precioussss!
So, as I was cleaning up my little Christmas list on Spotify, I thought it’d be fun to pair Christmas songs with some YA books. (Tweet this!) After all, Christmas is reading season! Books, fireplaces, cocoa, trees, snow, pine candles…
Reading at this time of year is a MUST. So allow me to give some recommendations, both to music and to bookishness.
For listening ease, I’ve created a Spotify list of the songs I’m about to mention. If you have a Spotify, then you can follow along and press play as you go through them. If you don’t have a Spotify, just click on the name of the song in each header and it will take you to a YouTube playing of the song.
Here we go!
1. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins —> Carol of the Bells by George Winston
Just . . . listen to this version. IT IS PERFECT. Melancholy, but beautiful. The version of this song makes all the difference in the world. Not just any “Carol of the Bells” will do.
I chose this song because it sounds bittersweet, with a touch of hope–which is how I felt reading the first book. (We won’t talk about the rest of the series. 😛 )
2. Doon (Carie Corp & Lorie Langdon) —> The North Star, by Fretless
Irish? Scottish? I don’t even know…but this song belongs with this book FOREVER. I’m not actually sure if it even is a technical “Christmas” song, but it’s been on my Christmas playlist for years so . . . that makes it legit. (This is my blog post. I can do what I want. 😛 )
3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer —> Hallelujah, by Lindsey Stirling
Okay, Hallelujah isn’t exactly a Christmas song either. (Oh dear, is this becoming a habit?) But I say that the instrumental version is. 😛 (Yes, that’s totally cheating.) This song just seemed to fit so well! *shrug* Judge me if you want. It’s a violin song and violins are totally Christmassy. Besides, it’s Lindsey Stirling. And I think this particular violin song has Asian undertones and it’s simply gorgeous. It goes perfectly with a Chinese cyborg fairytale book.
4. Blood of Kings Trilogy, by Jill Williamson —> O Come O Come Emmanuel, by Enya
Oh my goodness, guys. Just listen to this song. It’s so haunting and epic and promising and Blood of Kingsey!! Now I want to re-read this series. And re-buy it. And shove it in everyone’s faces. Hands down my favorite Christian fantasy series of all times.
5. Harry Potter Series, by J K Rowling —> North Pole Express, by Jon Schmidt
The song starts with a train. Was there any other option for this series? 😉
6. What Light, by Jay Asher —> Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Relient K
Confession: I haven’t actually read What Light yet, but after reading the blurb, drooling over the cover, and stalking its release this song is the best I can do. It’s cheery, but also has a melancholy sound which I feel captures the main character’s journey of feeling like she isn’t settled into a home anywhere. Besides, she lives on a Christmas tree farm!
7. Legends of the Woodlands by Angie Brashear —> Ding Dong Merrily on High, by Rend Collective
Rend Collective is my new favorite band. And their Christmas album is GLORIOUS. Can you really go wrong with Christian Irish boys singing folksy campfire songs?
I chose this song to pair with the Legend of the Woodlands series because it makes me think of the people dancing and celebrating in Tuveil (the invisible gemstone city.) I can totally see Laila and Lars dancing around the campfire with all their friends, smiling and laughing until far past midnight.
8. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis —> The Holly and the Ivy by George Winston
Oh, did these books squeak in to my YA books post? Oopsie daisy.
I chose this song because I think that C. S. Lewis would approve and appreciate this gorgeous piano song. It has a light and magical feel that makes me feel hopeful, which is the same for the books. They were meant to go together.
9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott —> Here We Come A Wassailing by London Philharmonic Orchestra
The only reason I picked this song (and the only reason it’s on my playlist) is because they sing it in the Little Women movie (best movie ever!) and every time I hear it I think of tromping through the snow carrying hot Christmas dishes and presents to the neighbors. In fact, last year hubby and I skipped through the snow with our gifts, singing this song, on Christmas day. Yes we did. 😀
10. Unblemished, by Sara Ella —> I Saw Three Ships, by Jon Schmidt
Why this song? Because THERE ARE SHIPS IN THESE BOOKS. (Have you seen the cover for Unraveling?) And Sara’s world building is so magical that this song just seemed to fit.
11. Storm Siren Trilogy (Mary Weber) —> God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, by Elle Zamudio
I chose this version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen for the Storm Siren Trilogy because Elle Zamudio makes me think of Nym. She’s hard core, she sings hard core, and I feel like even in wishing people tidings of comfort and joy, it’s done in a “This isn’t all sparkles and roses, people. Comfort and joy come after DOMINATING THE WAR.” It’s an intense rendering of the song. And Nym is intense and awesome and would probably be really good friends with Elle Zamudio.
12. Blades of Acktar, by Tricia Mingerink —> I Celebrate the Day by Relient K
Just makes me think of when Leith is first discovering hope and freedom through the Maker. It’s like a beautiful, humbled brokenness. No, it’s not the perfect song for this book, but it’s as close as I can get. And it makes me think of Leith Torren. 😀
What Christmas song would you pair with your favorite book? (Or any book?) I want to know!
Which of these was your favorite?