#GWMusicMonday: The Ultimate Holiday Playlist

Members of the George Washington University community share their favorite holiday songs and memories.

December 19, 2016

To help you get in the holiday spirit, George Washington Today asked members of the university community for songs that remind them of what some call the most wonderful time of the year. Deck the halls with this eclectic Spotify mix that covers everything from the classics to punk to hip-hop and read why students, staff and faculty requested each tune:

“White Christmas,” Bing Crosby

“The first time I heard this song in English was 12 years ago, when I immigrated to the U.S. with my family. It actually snowed a lot that winter, so the song finally became real to us. That song always reminds me of my first Christmas in this country, the start of our new life and how magical it was to see snow.”
-Graduate Student Marisa Cordon
“A Marshmallow World,” Darlene Love
“A holiday song that I love is called ‘A Marshmallow World’ by Darlene Love. It's upbeat, with jingle bells and catchy lyrics.”
-Sophomore Elizabeth Matthews
“A Child Is Born,” Tony Bennett and Bill Evans
“We have a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, and I’ve always thought of the Christmas holiday as a celebration of the babies. The poet Carl Sandburg observed that ‘a baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.’ Tony Bennett and pianist Bill Evans recorded two classic jazz albums. On the second of these, they included ‘A Child Is Born’ with music composed by Thad Jones and poignant lyrics written by Alec Wilder... I think it confirms Mr. Sandburg’s observation!”
-Special Assistant for Broadcast Operations and Events Dick Golden 
“Christmas Wrapping,” The Waitresses
“The holidays are always stressful, and this song touches on the feeling people sometimes get this time of year when you just want to skip everything and be left alone. The singer goes through her day vowing to skip the festivities, but in the end, she makes her holiday dinner and meets someone and realizes that despite her reluctance, she ‘couldn’t miss this one this year.’ ” 
-Senior and WRGW Radio Marketing Director Veronica Zutic
“Christmas in Hollis," Run-D.M.C.
“I think one of my favorite holiday songs is ‘Christmas in Hollis’ by Run-D.M.C., because not only is it an untraditional song, it also reminds me of car rides with my dad during the Christmas holiday.”
-Freshman Kyanna Spaulding
“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," Gayla Peevey
“It’s my favorite holiday song because (a) nobody plays it at the mall, so I'm not sick to death of it, (b) because what GW Colonial doesn't want a hippopotamus and (c) because the legal liability consequences of having an actual hippopotamus in the house would be fantastic.”
-Professor of Law Roger Schechter
“Jingle Bells,” Ella Fitzgerald
“‘Jingle Bells’ plays in my head throughout the year, but it specifically comes to life during the holidays for my family because it is the inspiration behind how we sign our Christmas cards: ‘TingleBells.’ ”
-Graduate Student Max Tingle
“Santa Can’t Stay,” Dwight Yoakam
“It’s not a festive song in the traditional sense of the word, but the holidays are about spending time with the family. And hey, sometimes that just doesn’t work out quite how anyone planned it.”
-Associate Director for Communications at the Graduate School of Political Management John Brandt
“Ave Maria,” Eleven, Chris Cornell
“I'm a Gen-Xer, and nothing defined that more than my coming-of-age during the Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden grunge era of the '90s. My family would wake up every Christmas morning when we got older and listen to ‘A Very Special Christmas 3’ while we made breakfast and had coffee before heading into the living room to open presents. I still play this album regularly when decorating the tree and when I wake up on Christmas morning."
-Managing Director of Digital Marketing Strategy Jon Hussey
“Joy to the World,” Whitney Houston
“Whitney Houston’s version of ‘Joy to the World,’ originally recorded for ‘The Preacher's Wife’ soundtrack, is one of my all-time favorite holiday songs. It not only showcases her iconic voice, but the vibrant, gospel rendition of this classic song is amazing. It’s not the holidays if this song isn’t playing daily in the Cheers household." 
-Assistant Professor of Media and Public Affairs Imani Cheers
“White Winter Hymnal," Fleet Foxes
“This song makes me feel like I am sitting by a window in a cozy cabin, looking out onto a snow-coated forest. It is a relaxing song, but has such rich harmonies that it never gets boring.”
-Graduate Student Grace Mausser
“Dog Eat Dog” by “Weird Al” Yankovic
“I received the Weird Al box set for Christmas in 2001, and I must have played this song 30 times that night. I’m a huge Talking Heads fan, so hearing this parody was like finding a lost B-side from David Byrne’s personal collection. This song on repeat will get me at least across the Delaware Memorial Bridge on my drive home to Connecticut this year.”
-Associate Director of Development Communications Craig Burdick
“Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight),” The Ramones
“The Ramones are awesome, and this song is different from all of the usual radio options.”
-Senior University Photographer William Atkins



#GWMusicMonday: Songs That Remind Us of Mom

May 02, 2016

We asked members of the GW community to help us create a Mother’s Day-themed playlist in time for May 8.