Advent / Christmas music 2019

I LOVE Thurl’s voice

Christmas House Advent CalendarOK, NOW I’m getting into the Advent season. Music is the linchpin for almost everything. Jaquandor has his Daily Dose of Christmas. Someone else posted The Top 100 Christmas Songs, some of which may be replicated below. I’m OK with that.

Since I finally saw Hamilton this year, I should post Hamildolph!, which is really good at what it does.

I believe these are new tunes:
Snow Falls Softly At Night -MonaLisa Twins
Merry Xmas Everybody – Robbie Williams, featuring Jamie Cullum

The Usual Suspects

Most of these I’ve posted in some prior year.

Getting Ready for Christmas Day – Paul Simon. Interesting that the sermon sampled was delivered in 1941, the same year Paul was born.

2000 Miles – Pretenders

White Christmas – the Drifters. One of my favorite bits of animation, ever.

Jingle Bells – The Fab 4. NOT the Beatles.

Linus And Lucy– Vince Guaraldi Trio. I read a bio about Vince some years back

Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty. I still miss Petty.

What Christmas Means To Me – Stevie Wonder

The Bells of Christmas – Julie Andrews. There are at least three different versions of this on those old Firestone tire LPs my parents used to buy. One has an unnecessary one-minute instrumental in the middle, and the other has too cheery background singers. This is the best one.

The Coventry Carol – Alison Moyet. From that first A Very Special Christmas album in 1987.
Gabriel’s Message – Sting. Ditto. I had a girlfriend who HATED Sting’s voice.

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole. My late mom LOVED Nat Cole.
Mary’s Boy Child – Harry Belafonte. My late father incorporated elements of Belafonte in his folk-singing career.

Every valley– Handel’s Messiah, A Soulful Celebration

Santa’s Too Fat For the Hula Hoop – The Pixies Featuring Thurl Ravenscroft. I LOVE Thurl’s voice.

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. A truly terrible song. Not as bad as Dominic the Donkey, but still.

More holiday stuff

The 60 Best Christmas Movies To Watch This Holiday Season

The Book of Dreams (Extended Version) – Argos Christmas advert 2019

Movie’s E.T. And Elliott Reunite 40 Years Later In A Commercial Sequel. I feel I should hate this, yet I don’t

fillyjonk’s tree

Mary and Joseph’s Battle Against the State

Advent as Lent-lite?

“I’m not a Christian but I used to have a very strong respect for what they stood for.”

liturgical cycleIt seems that Advent, the season we’re in now, doesn’t bring me as much joy as it does for others. Someone, I don’t remember who, recently suggested that Advent is Lent-lite.

And I submit it may be true. Just as the Lent precedes the Easter Resurrection, so too is the waiting for the birth. The songs can be somber and in minor key.

It may be Seasonal Affective Disorder, “a type of depression that reoccurs during the winter months and typically lasts until the spring or summer.” The early snow did not help.

Back in the 1980s, I used to go visit my parents’ house in Charlotte, NC January, around Martin Luther King’s birthday. The perfect timing was mandated by doing seasonal music at church and the heavy retail period at the store I worked, FantaCo, followed by doing inventory just after the first of the year.

But I reckon that I also become despondent over how the season has been taken over. Mark Evanier said, “I’m not a Christian but I used to have a very strong respect for what they stood for,” and I knew too well what he meant.

When Christianist apologists act Unchristian, when they “show that on immigration, race, and poverty, white evangelical Protestants have surrendered moral judgment and social responsibility, ” it makes me somewhat angry, but mostly incredibly sad.

Alternet suggests the so-called “war on Christmas” for a proxy war for white supremacy. And it sounds about right.

Then Christmas Eve arrives. It still involves waiting, but it is now of a very short duration. The music that we sing generally has a special magic.

The service has some of the structures of the previous years, yet it always has something new. I trick myself into believing that, for a short while at least, all IS right with the world.

Music Throwback Saturday: O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion

Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
(Isaiah 60: 1)

handel.soulfulMore soulful Messiah, an Advent celebration.

O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God!
(Isaiah 40: 9)
Continue reading “Music Throwback Saturday: O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion”

Music Throwback Saturday: Every Valley Shall Be Exalted

Ev’ry valley shall be exalted, and ev’ry mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight and the rough places plain.
(Isaiah 40: 4)

handel.soulfulHandel’s Messiah is surely An Unexpected Easter Masterpiece. But I’ve sung it often enough during Advent – that period before Christmas that we’re now in – to associate it more with this season, even though it was first performed in April 1742, to an audience of 700, “as ladies had heeded pleas by management Continue reading “Music Throwback Saturday: Every Valley Shall Be Exalted”