Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit quite like a Christmas singalong. No matter how Grinchy you get about Christmas music, everyone has one song that makes their too-sizes-too-small heart swell. I love singing – perhaps most during the holiday season – but there’s a problem: I’m not a good singer. The timbre of my speaking voice conveys a certain of authoritative approachability, but carrying a tune is a Sisyphean endeavor for me. If I was in a barber shop quartet, I’d be the person in the back handling the “bum da di da” in the background.
There are a lot of us out there who wouldn’t impress Simon Cowell, but still want to celebrate the sounds of the season. For the casual carolers out there, song selection is key. You may not be Bing Crosby or Mariah or Michael Bublé, but if you keep this song advice in mind, no one will ever know the difference. Maybe.
Best Songs for Your Horrible Singing Voice
1. Frosty the Snowman
The whimsy of this song will help people forgive you for being completely out of tune. You can even sing in an old fancy gentleman accent and get away with it. Understanding the context of a song is important for bad singers. Singing badly about a anthropomorphic snowman? Fine. Recreating a raccoon mating call during a song about baby Jesus’s birth? Not so good.
Bonus tip: When that “thumpity thump thump” drops, do not hit that high note. No one’s expecting this of you.
2. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
This song was made for bad singers. No matter how awful you sound, your voice can’t possibly be more annoying than Alvin.
3. Dominick the Donkey
I know you might be thinking a song with donkey sounds in it is beneath you, but be humble. Some of us have to work our way up to “Silent Night,” okay? The la-la-la segment in this song will help train your vocals without overexerting yourself.
4. Winter Wonderland
If you can master inflection in your speaking voice, you’ll be able to sing this song. Everyone knows all the words to “Winter Wonderland,” and no one really cares what it sounds like anymore. We’re all just waiting to hear where those birds are going and what’s happening with Parson Brown. You could savagely massacre this song and no will even notice.
5. Holly Jolly Christmas
“Holly Jolly Christmas” is another one of those jovial Christmas jams that’s more about enthusiasm than talent. If you sing this song with good intentions, people will recognize that and forgive your melodic shortcomings. Wear a Santa hat or some reindeer antlers if you really want your holiday cheer to distract from your voice.
Notable mentions: You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; Feliz Navidad; Jingle Bell Rock; Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Worst Songs for Bad Singers
1. Christmas Canon
Don’t even think about singing this. Unless you’ve performed the national anthem at a community event and your friends are always encouraging you to audition for reality singing competitions, you aren’t ready for this. I get it – it’s beautiful and when when the choir comes in with the “on this night, on this night” you want to join in – but do you really want to dishonor a Christmas classic?
2. Carol of the Bells
If you question your singing abilities whatsoever, do not attempt this song. You don’t have the harmony or the lung capacity to pull this off. Unless you’re as talented as that little redhead in Home Alone, leave this one to the pros.
3. White Christmas
Hoping for snow on Christmas Eve is a common sentiment, but singing is not the most common talent. Let the record show that dreaming of a white Christmas and singing about dreaming of a white Christmas are two very different things.
4. All I Want for Christmas Is You
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” is ubiquitous during the holiday season, and we hear it so often that we overestimate our ability to sing along. Love it or hate it, it’s still a Mariah song, and the probability of you actually pulling this off (at least without the deceptive courage of egg nog) is very slim.
5. O Holy Night
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to deliver a rousing rendition of this epic, but most of us shouldn’t attempt it.
Notable mentions: Merry Christmas, Darling; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Silent Night; I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Don’t let your voice hold you back this season. If you choose the right song, you’ll be able to carol with confidence.