Dial-A-Carol Will Sing You Your Favorite Christmas Song If You Call Them on The Phone, So Here Are 9 Songs To Request
The holiday season is a time of sugar and tinsel and singing. A lot of singing. I know it; you know itl and the students at University of Illinois definitely know it, because they run Dial-A-Carol, a 24-hour Christmas song hotline. It's exactly what you think it is, too: If you call a certain phone number, someone will sing you a Christmas song from the other end. A real, live human. What a time to be alive, no?
This week, the residents of Snyder Hall at the University of Illinois will be answering phones around the clock and providing a live rendition of whatever Christmas-y song your little heart desires. A tradition that began in 1960 with a few residents and a lot of records, it's since morphed into a celebrated annual tradition, with the line hitting 1,000 callers from all 50 states within the first 14 hours of opening this year, according to the Washington Post. It's an event that honestly benefits both the callers and the students, too: Is there anything more stress-relieving than screeching out a Mariah classic after finishing a terrible final? No. No, there is not.
And speaking of Mariah Carey, the students have also instated a "Mariah Meter" to measure how many times "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is requested. Last year it was 339. That's a lot of screeching.
But I would like to help them not break the Mariah Meter this year, so here are some alternate Christmas tunes to request. They also happen to be the best Christmas carols. OK, some are not carols — they are songs — but whatever. They're great. So ring up Dial-A-Carol at (217) 332-1882 and request away!
1. The First Noel
I know that Celtic Woman did not invent "The First Noel," but Celtic Woman consistently adds drama, drama, and more drama to every song they ever cover. Thus, all their covers are my favorite. Are we allowed to request either a violin or a vocal impression of a violin?
2. Good King Wencelas
Despite its title, which says nothing of Christmas, or snow, or the color red, or the color green, or presents, this is in fact a traditional Christmas carol. It's also the only song I can play on the piano, so... there's that. Additionally, this is the song that the Prime Minister sings in Love Actually, so maybe it's a British thing?
3. We Three Kings
Preferably the nasal, jazzed up version sung by The Roches. It opens with a really sultry saxophone solo, which could easily be subbed for a kazoo or a mouth trumpet.
4. What's This?
You know, from the seminal Christmas film Nightmare Before Christmas? Christmas is in the title, haters. This counts.
5. O Little Town of Bethlehem
Whatever. It's a classic and I like it, and Sarah is a classic and I like her.
6. I'm Mister Heat Miser/I'm Mister Snow Miser
You probably know this song even if you don't celebrate Christmas, because man, do the TV stations love playing all those Rankin/Bass holiday specials over and over and over again during the month of December. Heat Miser and Snow Miser are brothers. They are the stars of the movie The Year Without A Santa Clause. Their song is the showstopper. Stop staring at me like that.
7. I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas
It's fine that I'm crying. Don't even worry about it. Like, it's honestly totally normal. Please proceed.
8. I'll Be Home For Christmas
Yes, I know that I'm still crying. Shut up about it already and just get on with the depressing Christmas carols, please.
9. O Tannenbaum
You have probably heard "O Christmas Tree." This is the German version. There's a lot more hacking and choking involved. It's a family tradition in my house to sing it during Christmas. Then again, it's also our tradition to hide a pickle ornament on the tree for the children to find. I don't know. Holiday traditions are weird.