TORONTO — Nothing sets the holiday mood like carols and Christmas songs — and no one knows more about enjoying a white Christmas than Canadians.
So, in the spirit of the season, we’ve compiled a very merry Canadian Christmas Playlist featuring holiday songs performed by homegrown artists from coast to coast.
There’s a little bit of traditional and a little bit of contemporary by artists both old and new. There are classic carols as well as new songs that might be classics one day (yes, Justin Bieber could be the next Bing Crosby).
Pour yourself some egg nog, turn the volume up, and scroll through this Canadian Christmas Playlist.
“Let It Snow” – Diana Krall
Jazzy B.C.-born singer Diana Krall released her version of this Christmas classic on her 2005 album Christmas Songs.
“Wintersong” — Sarah McLachlan
This original song by Nova Scotia native Sarah McLachlan was the title track on her 2006 album.
“Song For a Winter’s Night” – Gordon Lightfoot
You can’t help but chill out when you hear Ontario-born Gordon Lightfoot’s 1967 classic. “The snow is softly falling,” he sings in this… well, it’s right there in the title.
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Michael Buble
B.C. crooner Michael Buble puts his spin on the 1963 Darlene Love ditty, which he included on his 2011 album Christmas.
“River” – Joni Mitchell
Prairie girl Joni Mitchell recorded this song in 1971. It’s about the breakup of a relationship before Christmas and her yearning for the cold comforts of her native country.
“O Holy Night” – Celine Dion
The pride of Charlemagne, Quebec, Celine Dion included her version of this carol on her 1998 album These Are Special Times.
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings” – Barenaked Ladies
The boys from east Toronto recorded this medley for their 2004 Barenaked for the Holidays album.
“Good King Wenceslas” – Loreena McKennitt
Manitoba-born folk singer Loreena McKennitt put this version of the traditional carol on her 2008 collection A Midwinter Night’s Dream.
“O Holy Night” – The Canadian Tenors
This carol cover was performed by The Tenors (before they dropped the “Canadian”) and was included on the 2009 album The Perfect Gift.
“Mistletoe” – Justin Bieber
This Justin Bieber holiday offering, co-written by Nasri Atweh and Adam Messinger, is the only one on the playlist to include the lyric: “Imma be under the mistletoe.”
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree / Jingle Bell Rock” – Michael Buble and Carly Rae Jepsen
Michael Buble brought fellow B.C. native Carly Rae Jepsen out for this duet during one of his holiday TV specials.
“Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)” – Dragonette
Keeping things young and fresh, here’s a decidedly modern (and somewhat bitter) Christmas song from Ontario-based group Dragonette. Warning: This song contains language some may find offensive.
“The First Noel” — Crash Test Dummies
This carol has never sounded quite like this. Brad Roberts shared his bass-baritone for this cover version by Winnipeg band Crash Test Dummies.
“Tinsel Town” – Jimmy Rankin
Jimmy Rankin of Nova Scotia’s famous Rankin Family shared this acoustic Christmas song.
“Twelve Days of Christmas” – Bob & Doug McKenzie
The loveable hosers Bob and Doug McKenzie from SCTV recorded their very own version of this holiday song in 1981. The McKenzies are, of course, Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis.
“It Snowed” – Meaghan Smith
This delightfully catchy song was the title track on Ontario singer Meaghan Smith’s 2011 album. This performance of the song was captured at the Rivoli in Toronto.
“It’s a Marshmallow World” – Kim Stockwood
Kim Stockwood, a native of Newfoundland, recorded her version of this fun 1949 song in 2006 for her album I Love Santa. It’s become a holiday favourite on Canadian radio stations.
“It’s Christmas Time” – Suzie McNeil
Ontario singer Suzie McNeil used her own family photos to make the video for this song, in which she shares her memories of the season.
“Maybe This Christmas” – Ron Sexsmith
Here’s a dose of optimism from Ontario-bred singer Ron Sexsmith. “Maybe this year, love will appear, deeper than ever before,” he sings.
“Winter Wonderland” – Anne Murray
The Nova Scotia native who famously sang about a “Snowbird” released a whopping seven Christmas albums. This version of the classic “Winter Wonderland” last appeared on 2008’s Anne Murray’s Christmas Album.
“Old Toy Trains” – Susan Aglukark
Born in Churchill, Manitoba, Susan Aglukark grew up in Nunavut. In 1993, she released this holiday favourite on her Christmas album.
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” – Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright was born in New York but grew up in Montreal with his Canadian mother Kate McGarrigle, so he qualifies for this playlist. Here’s his 2005 recording.
“Auld Lang Syne” – Guy Lombardo
No celebration of 2014 would be complete without big band leader — “Mr. New Year’s Eve” himself — Guy Lombardo from London, Ont.