Young, beautiful, talented, famous and rich. Yep, Taylor Swift is one of country’s greatest stars, seemingly having it all as she both writes and records her own music which has sold in the 10’s of millions. But as you should know by now none of the above really makes much impression on us unless Taylor has at least half a dozen top notch Christmas songs. And wouldn’t you know it Ms Swift once again rises to the challenge and in a career that began in 2006 she already has a handful of great Christmas songs. Not that you’d expect anything different from a girl that spent the early years of her life on a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania!
It didn’t take Swift long to conjure up festive moments as her extended play EP from 2007 ‘Sounds of the Season: The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection’ gave us 6 perfectly judged numbers to enjoy over the Christmas break. Opening with a countrified ‘Last Christmas’ (originally recorded by UK duo Wham! in 1984) was a good decision as it offered a taste of the old with a brand new sheen and Swift sounds perfectly happy in her role as a jilted romantic. The EP contained a couple of original songs, both co-written by Swift, that offered a more contemplative view of the season. ‘Christmas When You Were Mine’ is decidedly acoustic in nature with just Swift and her guitar left to emote about the loss of a former love. ‘Christmas Must Be Something More’ is a lot more up-tempo but decries the watering down of the traditional Christmas experience. Thankfully Swift acknowledges the need for lighter moments too so her version of Eartha Kitt’s ‘Santa Baby’ is a bouncy effort with slide guitar and a raft of Christmas decorative noises.
‘The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection’ is not without its more familiar renditions but on ‘Silent Night’ the 'I Knew You Were Trouble' singer gives the famous old carol a new twist. It is imaginative and interesting without ever losing the power of the original air. Her ‘White Christmas’ is perhaps as country as this festive EP gets with fiddles, strummed chords, plucked banjo and some close harmonies all adding up to a simple yet very effective take on the classic Irving Berlin tune. And with that short set of songs Swift laid out her Christmas intentions on the table. The EP was originally set for distribution through the Target retail network only but owing to its quality it has since made its way into the wider world.
Taylor’s most recent stab at anything resembling Christmas material came on her 2010 ‘Speak Now’ album and was titled ‘Back To December’. Although not directly related to the season the accompanying snowy video seems at home during the cold December nights. This is perhaps just the start and you can expect plenty of festive material as Swift’s career progresses.Author: Kevin