You voted, we tallied, and although Christmas has come and passed (unless you celebrate all 12 days), we’ve officially found a winner for the ultimate Christmas song.
It was a fierce competition, with polls far closer than they were for our Ultimate Christmas Movie Bracket, but in the end the people chose, and their choice was the three-seeded “Christmas Time Is Here” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
(3) “Christmas Time Is Here” (51%) Over “The Christmas Song” (49%)
“Christmas Time Is Here” has risen from the twinkling piano behind the Peanuts to soundtracking the peaceful wintry tones of the holiday season. Released in 1965, Guaraldi, a San Francisco-based pianist, assembled bassist Fred Marshall and drummer Jerry Granelli to record his fifth studio album, a soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” One of two originals from the album, (the other being the right-hand dazzler “Skating”), “Christmas Time Is Here,” is a placid and tempered melody, almost melancholy in ways, but one of the more comforting Christmas tracks on the record. Guaraldi, much like his finals contender Nat King Cole, left us at the early age of 47, but this track, and the entire album, only grew in popularity. Today, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” remains one of the most prominent jazz albums of all time, and “Christmas Time Is Here” is beloved universally.