Holiday Bark Beats

Classics: Andy Williams: “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Initially released in 1963, Andy Williams’ album, “The Andy Williams Christmas Album,” has remained popular in the years since (Photo courtesy of Amazon).

Written by Edward Pola and George Wyle in 1963, Andy Williams’ song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” is a common addition to many people’s holiday playlists. From the album, “The Andy Williams Christmas Album,” this song initially took the backseat behind Williams’ cover of “White Christmas,” but later increased in popularity. The song’s lyrics include a description of the hustle and bustle during the holidays, and it transports listeners into the winter season. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is a pleasant mood setter, and Williams’ slower, melodic tone is easy to listen to. It sets the scene for a great holiday season and helps listeners shift into “the most wonderful time of the year.”


Pop: Mariah Carey: “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

Posing for her Billboard No. 1 song, Mariah Carey stands next to a shimmering Christmas tree (Photo Courtesy of In the Know by Yahoo).

With an instant buzz after its release in 1994, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” became a Christmas staple and continues to gain popularity every year during the holidays. Its upbeat tempo, bell chimes, background vocals and synthesizers allow Carey’s voice to shine through at ideal moments. This song is the most praised on her album, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” With an estimated 16 million copies sold worldwide, “All I Want For Christmas is You” is the best-selling holiday song by a female artist and one of the best-selling singles in history. One can’t help but sing along every time it is played in a car, store or in the comfort of your home with the fireplace crackling in the background. 


Country: Dan + Shay: “Take Me Home For Christmas”

Belting their song, “Take Me Home For Christmas,” Dan Smyers (left) and Shay Mooney (right) perform live (Photo courtesy of Reality Titbit).

Country duo Dan + Shay released their single, “Take Me Home For Christmas,” in the holiday season of 2020. The song sparked immediate popularity throughout the country music world when Shay Mooney’s voice took center stage. Previously well known for his incredible vocals, Mooney did not disappoint on this song. His voice expertly captures the feeling of sitting cozily in front of a fire and drinking hot chocolate on a cold winter day. Dan Smyers, the guitarist and backup singer, also plays the catchy baseline under Mooney’s sweet-toned vocals. The duo was able to connect and hit home in this meaningful, original song. “Take Me Home for Christmas” is able to create a warm feeling with lines like, “You’ll check every box off of my list if you take me home for Christmas.” Since this song, Dan + Shay has made a new, original Christmas song every year during the holidays. In 2021, the duo released their single, “Officially Christmas,” and in 2022, they released a song called “Holiday Party.”


A capella: Maccabeats: Candlelight

Ready for their tour, the New York-based group the Maccabeats heads to Israel (Photo courtesy of Jewish Ledger).

The Jewish a cappella group, the Maccabeats, puts a unique spin on traditional Hanukkah music. Their song, “Candlelight,” is extremely catchy and is a cover of the song, “Dynamite,” by Taio Cruz. Without the musical accompaniment that is common in holiday music, the sounds of a capella make the song extremely intriguing to listen to. “Candlelight” also explains the story of how Hanukkah came to be, with the candle burning for eight days and nights. This single by the Maccabeats was one of their first songs, but they have since produced a Hanukkah album, “A Maccabeats Hanukkah,” released in 2015.

Producing his brand new extended play record (EP), “Merry Christmas Y’all,” Thomas Rhett included four songs (Photo courtesy of



Recent Release: Thomas Rhett: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

This year, on Oct. 21, Thomas Rhett released his new holiday extended play record (EP), “Merry Christmas Y’all.” The best song coming off of this four-track EP was Rhett’s cover of “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.” This cover took an untraditional swing at the standard, slower song by sporting an upbeat tempo and country essence. Rhett’s country twang also adds a nice flow and beat compared to Meridith Wilson’s original version from 1951. Because the EP is very new, it has not yet gained much popularity, but if listeners give it a try, they are guaranteed to have Rhett’s four songs on repeat.



Infographic by Sarah Goody