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Deck the Halls With This Momentous 90s Christmas Battle

🎅 Merry Christmas! 🎄

We have a week until Christmas! Are you excited?

This battle is long overdue. I promised you, my readers, that I would showcase a new battle on Monday. However, I fell asleep Monday night as I received a late-night call Sunday night from my grandpa. Since my grandpa and I are separated by a 14-hour time difference, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk to him when he called at 3:30 am!

Battle of the Songs: 2019 Christmas Edition!

Finally, here it is: The Annual Christmas Battle of the Songs. Last year, I have the ultimate battle of two 90s Boy Bands; Backstreet Boys vs. *NSYNC. I wanted to travel back to the 90s one more time for this battle, however this time with 90s Jpop. The reason why I chose this genre is that I love Jpop from this decade. I think that decade was the golden age of Japanese music. Many could argue that other decades’ music was the best one. But for me, it was all about the 90s! It had a lot of my favorite artists like Morning Musume, Namie Amuro, DREAMS COME TRUE, and others. But, it also had interesting sounds too!

The two songs I picked for this battle are Junichi Inagaki’s “Christmas Carol no Koro ni wa” from 1992 and DREAMS COME TRUE’s “Winter Song” from 1994. I kind of cheated a little bit as “Winter Song” is actually an English version of the song “Yuki no Christmas” (1990). However, I really like the English version better and it does have a pretty cool music video.

Who will be the victor: Junichi Inagaki or DREAMS COME TRUE? Listen to both and tell me your favorite in the comments below.

Junichi Inagaki – “Christmas Carol no Koro ni wa”

I found out about Junichi Inagaki’s “Christmas Carol no Koro wa” (When The Christmas Carols Play) when I was downloading various Jpop songs in the early 2000s. I think I found this song on Napster or a similar P2P file sharing service. I would keep on listening “Christmas Carol no Koro wa” over and over, but never really ventured into other songs by Inagaki. I think “Christmas Carol no Koro wa” is still the only Inagaki song I know and that is a shame! Inagaki is a talented singer judging by his vocals in the video above. I will have to venture more into his discography in 2020.

"Christmas Carol no Koro wa" cover

“Christmas Carol no Koro wa” is something different than a normal Christmas song. It does feature a lot of bells, but there is something different in the tune that doesn’t make it a likely Christmas tune. Maybe because it has a vintage feel to it. If you take a listen to how the song is recorded, it doesn’t sound like a 90s Jpop tune. It sounds more like an 80s one with light but muffled AOR sound. This could be because of Nobuyuki Shimizu, who was the song’s arranger. He has been credited for arranging various songs for such artists as EPO and Yasuhiro Abe. These two artists have released music in the Japanese AOR genre during the 80s.

This song is a great listen for the Christmas season as it has a different sound than a normal Christmas tune. The lyrics are about a person that is thinking back on a lover during the holiday season,. But musically, the song doesn’t really sound like that. It is a bit strange, don’t you think?

What do you think: Does “Christmas Carol no Koro wa” sound like a Christmas song?

By the way, the lyrics were written by Yasushi Akimoto. He is the infamous mastermind behind top-selling Japanese idol groups like AKB48 and Onyanko Club. He has also written lyrics for countless award-winning songs in Japan. This guy is a legend!

Junichi Inagaki' performing the songs in the 90s
Junichi Inagaki performing the song

Translated Lyrics

Here are English translated lyrics for “Christmas Carol no Koro wa”, thanks to JpopAsia:

When it’s time for the Christmas carols to play
Our answer should definitely appear
When it’s time for the Christmas carols to play
Who will I be loving? Even if I can’t see them right now

When I reached out my hand a little bit, even though it reached you
Just missing a love that’s not quite enough by 1 mm
We understand one another too well
And my heart can’t look away

Until it’s time for Christmas carols to be heard
Let’s go back to before we met, and be freer
Until it’s time for Christmas carols to be heard
I want to think about what’s important to me, by myself

Having someone by my side makes me warm
But we can’t embrace each other’s backs, instead of our blankets
My support was so close that I couldn’t see it
But now that I’ve tried going away from it, it seems I understand

When it’s time for the Christmas carols to play
Our answer should definitely appear
When it’s time for the Christmas carols to play
Who will I be loving? Even if I can’t see them right now

When it’s time for the Christmas carols to play
What kind of you and me will the snowfall on, I wonder?
When it’s time for the Christmas carols to play
What kind of you and me will the snowfall on, I wonder?

DREAMS COME TRUE – “Winter Song”

Like I mentioned above, “Winter Song” is the English version of “Yuki no Christmas”.The English version was included in the Japanese edition of the Sleepless in Seattle (or めぐり逢えたら/Meguri Aetara in Japanese) soundtrack. The release of the song started a wave of English DREAMS COME TRUE (or DCT for short) songs. In late 1993 and 1994, the band was trying their luck to break into the American music market. They released “Eternity” for the animated movie Swan Princess in 1994. DCT then released a tune with Earth, Wind, and Fire’s Maurice White entitled “WHEREVER YOU ARE”.

I have always loved the DCT sound since I was a little girl. You read that right! I first discovered DREAMS COME TRUE when I was watching Swan Princess on VHS in the mid-90s. I would always fast forward to the end of the tape to catch a glimpse of the music video for “Eternity”. The reason why I would watch the music video over and over is the same reason why I love “Winter Song”: DCT music is simply magical.

Cover for DREAMS COME TRUE's "Winter Song" single

Each song featured in the DCT discography is simply magical in the sense of how the song feels, They also portray a different feeling of life and love. Some make you think and some make you feel. But, most songs make you feel good. They are also pleasant to listen to, like “WINTER SONG”. Yes, the tune does feel a little slow as the tempo isn’t fast-paced. But, the tempo is decent enough to savor the lyrics’ meanings and the instrumentation. Pay attention to the guitar riffs because they are very interesting!

I love “WINTER SONG” for Miwa’s talented vocals, the lyrics, and just the magical feel of the tune. Do you find “WINTER SONG” magical too?


Who Will It Be?

Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor? Tell me in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am also part of the “Battle of the Bands” blog collection. After you vote, please visit the other battles:

🌞 Visit TOSSING IT OUT by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit MIKE’S RAMBLINGS’by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CURIOUS AS A CATHY by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit ANGELS BARK by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE DOGLADY’S DEN by clicking HERE.

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This Post Has 35 Comments

  1. Arlee Bird

    Can’t say I’m particularly enthralled with either song. They both sound like 80’s music. Not that I dislike this era of music–I do. However there was a sort of sterile nature to these–kind of like prefab music.

    Of the two I’m going with the brighter sounding “Carol” by the first singer J.I. Does it sound like a Christmas song? Not really according to traditional standards, but by modern standards I guess anything might go. Still I would not have associated it with Christmas music.

    Merry Christmas to you!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  2. Renee

    I’m a super 90s check and I love the NSYNC Christmas album. Haha

  3. Merry Christmas! I love Christmas songs so this was a nice post to come across! I’ve never even heard of these before now. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Michele

    I have never heard of either of these songs, but I listened to both of them. I don’t know which one I like better. I wish I saw last years post… I am all about backstreet boys!

  5. Susann

    I haven’t heard of these songs… but Christmas is a great time either way 🙂

  6. Zak

    Awesome Christmas songs! I’ve never even heard of these but I am always happy to find new music to add to my playlist this time of year. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Kevin Akidi

    I didn’t know either song until today so it is hard to pick after just one listen. I’d probably pick Dreams come true winter song but the other song is a close second.

  8. Luna S

    The music video for “winter song” is pretty neat and it is a good tune!

  9. Kate Murray

    Dreams come true! Both great though for sure! Merry Christmas!!

  10. Milica

    These songs are great! Thanks for sharing

  11. mike a

    lol, it is a tie for me. I like them both the same….
    Team nsync here, by the way, unelated,

  12. mike a

    lol, it is a tie for me. I like them both the same….
    Team nsync here, by the way, unrelated,

  13. Derek

    I’ve never heard either of these. Just when I thought I’ve heard every X-mas song. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Bella

    i don’t know any of these songs I totally gotta listen to this soon! Such a great post.

  15. thanks so much for this sharing, love Dec as always because of Santa Claus & Christmas, enjoy reading this, lovely!
    cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  16. chad

    mmmm both are good but I would pick the winter song, super like the melody. Great Christmas songs.

  17. Serena

    Merry Christmas! I love this time of year! I love cheesy Xmas songs also! 90’s ones are the best, nothing compares!

  18. Samar

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays in Advance.

    The song is great especially when you listen with your loved ones.

  19. Henson

    love to hear kind of those songs…

  20. Jay Mih

    I’ve never heard of him. Thanks for sharing.

  21. tweenselmom

    I never realized we can enjoy holiday music that aren’t english nor in local language. These are fun!

  22. Carriann

    Love how passionate you are about this!!

  23. I have not listened to all of these songs… but X-mas is a great time either way 🙂

  24. Vasundhra

    Merry Christmas! Thanks for the nostalgic playlist!

  25. Shannon

    I hadn’t heard of these songs before, so thanks for sharing! I’ll have to share these with my family on Christmas day 🙂

  26. Maysz

    I love 90’s songs because I’m a 90’s kind but I would love to check all these songs! Nice post!

  27. Jackline A

    Love the concept of this blogpost of battling. Thank you for sharing. 90s songs were the best

  28. Amelia Pollock

    I have heard these songs before. Thank you for sharing. Great music to play on Christmas celebrations and holiday season.

  29. Stacy

    Thank you so much for sharing so many great options for this monster wonderful time of the year!

  30. Lyanna Soria

    I’ve never listened to these songs before but they are quite interesting, I will check them out sometime. I’m more into Rock bands when it comes to Japanese music.

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