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Currently Browsing: Christmas

The Wexford Carol – Yo-Yo Ma And Alison Krauss.

By request from a reader is this video with Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss.

Simply beautiful.

Thanks for the suggestion!

English lyrics:
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Friday Two Fer! Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee And The Andrew Sisters.

We went looking for Christmas songs like we do every day and decided to go with music from the Big Band Era.

We came upon Benny Goodman with Peggy Lee performing “Winter Weather” and The Andrew Sisters kickin’ it with “Winter Wonderland.”

But then we hit a snag. We couldn’t decide which one we like the best for a Friday so we decided to have a “Two Fer Friday” for Christmas music.

(It is the season for giving, you know.)

Enjoy!


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White Christmas – Bing Crosby. (The Holiday Inn Version.)

You can’t beat this classic.

While most people associate the song “White Christmas” with the 1954 movie of the same name starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, Rosemary Clooney (who played the role of Vera-Ellen’s older sister but in real life was 6 years younger) and Dean Jagger, the first time the song appeared in a movie was the 1942 film “Holiday Inn.”

Holiday Inn starred Crosby, Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds.

A couple of interesting trivia facts include Reynolds’ singing voice being dubbed using the voice of Martha Mears. In addition, the set for Holiday Inn was used again in the making of the film White Christmas. Finally, the song won an Academy Award for “Best Song.” In a twist of fate, the Oscar for the category was presented by Irving Berlin who had actually written the song White Christmas. Berlin became the first presenter to present an Academy Award to himself.

The first public performance of the song was by Bing Crosby, on his NBC radio show The Kraft Music Hall on Christmas Day, 1941; a copy of the recording from the radio program is owned by the estate of Bing Crosby and was loaned to CBS Sunday Morning for their December 25, 2011, program. He subsequently recorded the song with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers for Decca Records in just 18 minutes on May 29, 1942, and it was released on July 30 as part of an album of six 78-rpm songs from the film Holiday Inn. At first, Crosby did not see anything special about the song. He just said “I don’t think we have any problems with that one, Irving.”

The song initially performed poorly and was overshadowed by Holiday Inn’s first hit song: “Be Careful, It’s My Heart”. By the end of October 1942, “White Christmas” topped the “Your Hit Parade” chart. It remained in that position until well into the new year. It has often been noted that the mix of melancholy — “just like the ones I used to know” — with comforting images of home — “where the treetops glisten” — resonated especially strongly with listeners during World War II. The Armed Forces Network was flooded with requests for the song. The recording is noted for Crosby’s whistling during the second Chorus


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Twelve Days Of Christmas – John Denver And the Muppets.

technically, the “twelve days of Christmas” start on Christmas day and run after Christmas/ We have never been much for that tradition, so we are going to put this up on December 13th, with the twelve days ending on…..well… you figure it out.

We have said it before and will say it again: this is our favorite version of this song for a couple of reasons.

The Muppets are not great singers. No matter how you slice it, they would never win a singing competition. That’s what makes their vocals so great. It is as is anyone can sing with Muppets and sound great.

We are a big Fozzie Bear fan for many reasons. No one tries harder to make people laugh and to be loved.

Third, John Denver is just great with the Muppets.

Lastly, once you hear the song, it is really difficult, if not impossible, to hear another version of the song and not sing “ba-dum dum dum” after “five golden rings.” It is a blast to do it.

So here are two versions of John Denver and the Muppets performing the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” The first is the actual television special with the Muppets and Denver, and the second is from an album that was released after the success of the show. (And yes, we still have our copy of that CD.)

The television version:

The CD version:
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2017 Holiday Flash Mob at Gaylord National – US Air Force Band.

The gift of music is a wonderful way to bring together family and friends to celebrate this time of year. The season also reminds us that the freedom we enjoy as Americans remains one of our greatest gifts. To celebrate the start of the 2017 holiday season, we surprised visitors at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland with a surprise performance of “Dona Nobis Pacem” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”




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God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen – Mannheim Steamroller

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen is an English traditional Christmas carol. It is in the Roxburghe Collection (iii. 452), and is listed as no. 394 in the Roud Folk Song Index. It is also known as Tidings of Comfort and Joy, and by variant incipits as Come All You Worthy Gentlemen; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; God Rest Ye, Merry Christians; or God Rest You Merry People All.

It is one of the oldest extant carols, dated to the 16th century or earlier.[4] The earliest known printed edition of the carol is in a broadsheet dated to c. 1760. The traditional English melody is in the minor mode; the earliest printed edition of the melody appears to be in a parody, in the 1829 Facetiae of William Hone. It had been traditional and associated with the carol since at least the mid-18th century, when it was recorded by James Nares under the title “The old Christmas Carol”.[6]

The carol is referred to in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, 1843: “… at the first sound of ‘God bless you, merry gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!’, Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost.”

This carol also is featured in the second movement of the 1927 Carol Symphony by Victor Hely-Hutchinson.




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Christmas Canon – Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

This is a bit of a two-fer today as we listen to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform the “Christmas Canon.”

The song is set to the tune of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major with new lyrics added.

There are two versions the Orchestra performs. The first is in a very classical style, and the second which we have included below the fold is “rock music” based. It is amazing how similar yet different and beautiful both versions are.

Classical version:

Rock version:
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“You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch” – Dr Seuss.

What else needs to be said?

“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is a Christmas song that was originally written and composed for the 1966 cartoon special How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. The lyrics were written by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, the music was composed by Albert Hague, and the song was performed by Thurl Ravenscroft.




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