Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Little Holiday Music.

One thing I've learned over my time with Spouse is that there is a $hit-ton of holiday music out there. He loves this area of music more than is possible to relate to you using human language. 

With songs ranging from the sacred to the profane, from the morose to absurd, from traditional to extreme - not to mention every single genre you can think of - between the two of us, we have at least a little bit of all types. It's pretty amazing what you can find, when you start looking. 

When people ask what my favorite holiday tune is, I have to request a genre, because I have favorites in every area. 

Novelty tune: "I Want A Hippopatamus for Christmas". I love this song so much, that one year, Spouse found a concrete hippo and bought it for me for the holiday. I named her Gayla Peevey after the young lady that sings the original song. 
This is my Gayla Peevey. 

Sacred tune: "O Holy Night". The first "religious" experience I remember was when I was in 1st grade, during the Mass before Christmas break started. One of the teachers, who is a classically trained singer, sang this song and it was just transcendent.

I get very irritated if I hear a crappy version - this is not an easy song to sing, so you HAVE to have the chops to do it well. Leontyne Price has those chops and more.

Traditional tune: This is hard. I really love both "The Christ Child Lullaby" and "The Coventry Carol", but have to give the award to "In The Bleak Midwinter". To me it is the perfect balance of quiet and solemn, with joy and celebration. Whether it is sung or instrumental, I just love it. 

AbsurdJoseph Spence's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" is right up there. It makes me laugh, and then I feel guilty because he was a great musician.....likened to the Jamaican version of Thelonius Monk, and a man who influenced some seriously amazing musicians, even after his death in 1984. 

Classic Rock tune: Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl with "Fairytale of New York". Just because it is an awesome song, with lots of cursing, a man with no teeth, and a woman who was taken way too damn soon

Extreme(ish): Joan Jett and The Blackhearts' version of "Silent Night" is definitely on the list. But there is actually quite a plethora of pretty hard versions of holiday songs that will have you rocking out. Spouse has a lot more that truly fit this bill. 

Morose: I adore this song but if you listen to the words, so sad..... Over The Rhine's "Mary's Waltz". Karin's voice is just so pure and Linford's piano is haunting...

Best song with super thick Scottish accent: Glasvegas' "A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss)". 

My "Remember that I am a child of the 80's" favorite: I can still tell you every single soloist as they are singing. 

My favorite hippie carol: It's a tie.You only get a gold star if you *didn't* choose John Lennon's "Imagine". 

Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" from 1967

I could pretty much go on for days. Parsing out categories and genres, until it is just minutiae, but I will just. stop. there. So hard. There are so many incredible songs, artists,'s just wonderful. 

I'll end with my favorite hope-full, joy-full and celebratory song, by one of my most favorite groups ever. Peter, Paul and Mary's "Light One Candle". 

What is your favorite holiday tune? 

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