When you’re a parent, your Christmas traditions tend to change a bit, with a focus on trying to keep the magic alive for your children. Brian Fallon‘s yearly regiment is especially wholesome in this way. “We still put out cookies and milk and then smash them all up and spill the milk a little so the kids think Santa had a good time eating them and enjoyed a treat from them on his long night of work.” Fallon and his family are inspired by the feelings of joy and camaraderie that tend to come out around the holidays, mostly the “moments where people pause and reflect a little. Maybe they feel a little kinder at times.”
Despite his love for the season, Fallon hasn’t historically loved holiday music. That all started to change recently. “I’m sure that has to do with getting older and wanting a connection to my youth or maybe I’m just less grumpy now. I can’t really say, but I am finding I enjoy the songs much more recently.” To get in the holiday mood, Fallon took part in the Uproxx Holiday Playlist series to select some of his favorite songs that help him get in the mood for reflection and generosity.
Check out the full playlist, along with Fallon’s explanations for each of his picks, down below. And check out Fallon’s new holiday album, Night Divine, here.
Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
As soon as I hear this song come on in stores or on the radio, I know it’s going to be Christmas soon. The weather’s getting colder, you start bringing out your winter coat. It kind of rings in the season to me because it’s been a part of my life for so many years. And also, it’s Mariah, who is the greatest singer to ever live.
The Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”
What can you say? Sometimes Christmas can be stressful. You see a lot of relatives who maybe aren’t the most agreeable. Maybe you aren’t the most agreeable. Maybe you had too much egg nog. Maybe I did. Either way, it’s Christmas, I don’t want to fight tonight.
Bruce Springsteen – “Santa Clause is Comin’ To Town”
I mean, not my pick for a tune, but even still, he sells it to me so well I gotta buy it. I can’t help but be swept away by Bruce and The E Street Band in prime form on this, the song I would absolutely not have chosen to have them tackle.
Jon Bon Jovi – “Please Come Home for Christmas”
I really like Jon Bon Jovi’s voice, I love the way he approached this song. It feels like the classic versions to me in a way that it’s not trying to be more than it is.
Nat King Cole – “The First Noel”
This is a classic version from an era that feels mysterious and haunted to me. It brings on imaginings for me about my Grandmother’s youth, how the winter looked then. The clothes she wore. It transports me into a different world in my mind. Not a better world, but a world where I am not from and I can only look into in my mind. When I listen to this song, like I am as I type this, I get a feeling like I’m watching someone I love very much, who is no longer here, be free.
Odetta – Virgin Mary Had One Son
I’ve loved this song and this version for so long that I can’t remember the first time I heard it. Odetta was a pioneer of folk music and had a truly one-of-a-kind voice. Check her albums out if you haven’t heard.
Scala & Kolancy Brothers – Wintersong
I love the versions Scala and Kolancy Brothers do of popular songs. There’s something truly beautiful about a choir singing together in harmony. It takes a good song and makes it otherworldly to me. This version always stops me in tracks when I hear it. “And this is how I see you, in the snow on Christmas morning.”
Lauren Daigle – “O Come All Ye Faithful”
Lauren Daigle’s music is a new discovery for me, and I was happy to hear her update so many of the classic hymns that I’ve heard all my life on the Behold album.