12 Holiday Songs…is part of a series. To read them in order: Day One: Sara Bareilles’ Love Is Christmas
Readers of stargayzing know how much I adored Donna Summer, so it will come as no surprise that I’m including her on my musical Christmas list. I was also thrilled to see that the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame is finally showing Donna some love, though it’s still hard to wrap my head around the reality that she isn’t with us to accept the honor.
I feel Donna’s spirit strongly at holiday time owing to her sublime Christmas Spirit holiday collection. Released in 1994, the album is a joyful combination of new and old, secular and non-secular, it contains three original songs—all quite wonderful. Of course, her singing is a revelation on this album. I almost went with the more soulful mid-tempo ballad Christmas Spirit, but decided instead to share the uptempo and uplifting Christmas is Here, because most of my choices have been ballads and I thought a touch of old-fashioned whimsy Donna Summer-style might be in order given the grim events of the last week. Christmas is Here is a glorious, celebratory treat: how can anyone resist a song that changes tempo as much as this one does?
The song was co-written by Donna, husband Bruce Sudano, and the album’s producer, frequent collaborator Michael Omartian (She Works Hard For The Money). Donna was not only one of the great all-time singers, but also a first-class songwriter—she co-wrote almost all her classic hits—and the delightful Christmas is Here is as good an example as any of her writing prowess.
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