Take The Rest Of The Day Off And Listen To Ella Fitzgerald Sing Christmas Songs

Ella Fitzgerald is both ubiquitous and welcome at Christmas thanks to the incomparable Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas.Ella is as great here as she ever was, and if you were only able to buy only one Christmas album ever and it couldn’t be a compilation because of some weird arbitrary rule that always prevents you from choosing compilations in best album ever type of selections, then this would be a great use of your hard-grifted cash.

It’s tough to choose just one song from the record. There’s a couple songs that get knocked out early using my patented completely capricious calculation. First, “White Christmas” is out, thanks to Rosemary Clooney. “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” is out both because it is not New Year’s Eve yet, duh, and because Ella’s lightly swinging version doesn’t quite capture what I think is the wistfulness that lives at the heart of that song. That leaves ten songs left to choose from and then I ran out of time and just picked one. Sue me.

Although a completely random selection, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” is a great choice. The lyrics are by Sammy Cahn, who also gave us the criminally underappreciated and overused “Love and Marriage (godDAMN you Married With Children) and the beautiful “Until the Real Thing Comes Along.”

Ella makes the album great, of course, but the arrangements are also top-notch, thanks to Frank De Vol. If that name seems familiar to you but you just can’t place it, you know it because of this.

Or perhaps because of this.

1960s–1970s sitcoms did not fuck around when choosing theme songs, people. And Ella did not fuck around when choosing arrangers. Go listen to the whole record this afternoon.

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