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Music » Sound Stories & Interviews

Who Did It Better?

We made a playlist, checked it twice...

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The fire's burning, the presents are under the tree and the records are spinning—but what's playing? Everyone has a couple of favorite Christmas songs, and even as hard as those Scrooges may try to suppress the cheer, there are always a couple of tunes that come on throughout the holiday season that don't let you fight the feeling.

While this is the case for listeners, the same can be said for musicians themselves. Artists love to tackle Christmas hits. You could spend hours scouring the internet for Christmas songs and the various versions that exist. That's the real beauty of Christmas songs—they take on a variety of forms and you might become more attached to one than the other.

From Bublé to the Jackson 5, this playlist, found on our Spotify profile, has a little bit of everything! - ISAAC BIEHL / ADOBE SPARK
  • Isaac Biehl / Adobe Spark
  • From Bublé to the Jackson 5, this playlist, found on our Spotify profile, has a little bit of everything!

So, what versions are best? I hand-selected nine renditions of classic Christmas hits and put them to a public vote on Instagram. The end result? One rockin' playlist you can listen to while opening gifts.

"Last Christmas"

Wham! 99 votes
Carly Rae Jepsen 14 votes

"Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

Jackson 5 – 104 votes
Justin Bieber – 21 votes

"Baby Its Cold Outside"

Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw – 39 votes
Nathaniel Rateliff & Julie Davis – 68 votes

"All I Want For Christmas Is You"

Mariah Carey – 97 votes
Bowling For Soup – 33 votes

"Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"

Brenda Lee – 49 votes
Ingrid Michaelson – 26 votes

Listen to our "Who Did It Better" playlist on Christmas morning! - EUGENE ZHYVCHIK, UNSPLASH
  • Eugene Zhyvchik, Unsplash
  • Listen to our "Who Did It Better" playlist on Christmas morning!

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Gene Autry – 55 votes
DMX – 28 votes

"Santa Baby"

Eartha Kitt – 72 votes
Ariana Grande & Liz Gillies – 15 votes

"Deck The Halls"

Nat King Cole – 57 votes
Relient K – 16 votes

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"

Bing Crosby – 44 votes
Michael Buble – 47 votes

In most occurrences, if it was an older version versus a newer version, the old came out on top—reinforcing the power of nostalgia that Christmas music holds over us. The song that received the most votes was the Jackson 5's "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" at 104. The song with the least number of votes was Carly Rae Jepsen's "Last Christmas," receiving just 14—sorry, girl! The closest battle was between Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé on "It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas." In the end, Bublé came out on top 47 to 44.

To listen to the final playlist, you can find us on Spotify as Source Weekly—you might even find a few picks from the editorial team to round it out.

About The Author

Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...

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