Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Five Christmas Songs!

Yes, I have to start with this.  Hate me if you must!

He's absolutely right though.  I was spending a night trying to get all the numbers right.  I got confused after 6.  I know there are Lords a Leaping and Drummers Drumming, but well, never figured out.

When I was a kid, my mother used to listen to tapes, because remember, this was back in the early  90's.  CDs still costed about $20 a pop.  We didn't have a K-Mart or a Wal-Mart to buy CDs at for the longest time, so it was really between three tapes.  (If you wanted a CD, it meant having to go to National Record Mart and most likely ordering it!)  The first was all those very classical Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas songs.  This may have also been my grandmother's but I'm not entirely sure.  So whenever I hear certain versions of large choir songs, I get a big smile.  I don't know why, but of all these songs, probably my favorite is their version of "Away in a Manger."  I think it's the key they sing it in.  I find it lovely.

The second Christmas song that really makes me happy is another song off the tapes.  My mother was a fan of Nat King Cole, and as a result she had that Nat King Cole Christmas tape as well.  Now there were really a couple, but this was the first experience I had with jazz of any kind.  It was the first time I had heard Lou Rwals, and my brother's swear by his version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

My favorite though was a song by Nancy Wilson.  I just always thought it was such a beautiful song.  I loved her voice too.  It just made me so happy whenever I heard it, and it just really symbolized how I felt about Christmas in general.  I actually bought CDs of her music based on that one song.  I'm sure that people will think I'm silly because she's an amazing singer in her own right.  But I will always love "That's What I Want for Christmas."

Now, another station that my mother used to listen to used to play a lot of Carpenters, so it was only a matter of time before they played the Carpenters Christmas album, A Christmas Portrait.  I am a sucker for anything that involves Karen Carpenter, so yes when I found out that she used to have a show, I was about ready to fly right on out of there.  When I found out that there was a video with this, well....there was cleanup involved.  Anyway, continuing, here's the Carpenters with "Merry Christmas, Darling."

Finally, the first Christmas song I ever came to love without any family involvement.  I actually found a version of it I really liked, because I'm not actually a huge fan of Bing Crosby, even though my mother is.  She had his tape too, but well, I am just not a fan.  I can listen to it, and sing along with most of the songs, but I just can't bring myself to really play most of his stuff.  However; I really liked one of the most unconventional of his Christmas songs I had ever heard, "Mele Kalikimaka."  It was one of those songs my mother hated, and she would always comment on how she didn't like it.  She is very traditional, especially in her Christmas music.  I found a version I like even more though, done by KT Tunstall.  It.  Has.  Kazoos!  That was all it took.  That, and I love her voice.  

Now there are a lot of traditional songs that didnt' make the list.  I have an entire collection of Mormon Tabernacle Choir music over at Grooveshark, should you be so inclined.  I also have a collection of other Christmas music I love.

There are a lot of other ridiculous songs that I remember laughing about with family like Gene Autrey's version of  Here Comes Santa Claus.  If you've never heard it, listen to it, because it's ridiculous, and perfect.  I also hate it, but well, you have to hear Gayla Peevey's I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.  I find it cringe-worthy.  And of course, what list of songs would be complete without The Voice Actress for Sailor Mars covering  Last Christmas by Wham.

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