My big Gazoo, aka Harley, happily sleeping..maybe sugar plums are dancing in his head but, I bet, they are shaped like steaks. I can’t believe the Christmas season is upon us and I truly sucked this year in card making. I am making that epic fail scrapbook for my brother for almost a year and still dimly hope I can get it done by Christmas. I think I’m seeing those blasted sugar plums...I’m just choosing songs I grew up with or love from a recent album. Here are my first 3...
1. SLEIGHRIDE FROM ANDRÉ KOSTELANETZ-1960
This was the first Christmas album my parents bought together in late 1959 and it’s one of my favourites. This musical piece was written by Leroy Anderson during a heatwave when he was dreaming of cool temps, back in 1949. There are many, many versions of this song but I find this tempo one of the best because, often, it is done too slowly, in my humble opinion.
2. CAROL OF THE BELLS BY THE HARRY SIMEONE CHORALE-1965
This is one of my favourite Christmas songs and this version comes from Simeone’s Christmas hit album “Little Drummer Boy.” I do love this album but there are 2 songs that are just off the wall whack a doodle. The songs are fine but the versions, from this album, makes me think they all took a snort of coke before going nuts. Thankfully, this is not one of them but I may save those 2 for another time. I had no idea that this song comes from a Ukrainian folk chant called “Shchedryk” that was enhanced by Ukrainian Mykola Leontovych with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky.
3. O HOLY NIGHT SUNG BY IL DIVO-2005
This comes from their hit Christmas album “The Christmas Collection” with this song just so powerfully sung by all 4 men but especially the baritone Carlos Marín who, sadly, died last December from Covid. This is a French song based on a French poem by Placide Cappeau in 1843 with Adolph Adam setting it to music in 1847.
Hope you enjoyed this Christmas musical interlude.
Which is the earliest Christmas album you own?
Oh, what the hell..
Anybody craving sugar?
Awww... I wish I were there to give Harley's belly a good scratchin'. Of course, I'd wait until he was finished with his beauty sleep. Don't you sometimes wish you were a dog and could just flop on the furniture and sleep blissfully without a care in the world, not fretting over yesterday or worrying about tomorrow?
I enjoyed your musical interlude featuring sounds of the season. There are quite a few Christmas songs that rub me the wrong way, but not the ones you picked for us. I like all of your selections. I agree with your opinion that the song "Sleigh Ride" works better as a brisk, up tempo number. "Carol Of The Bells" is another song I never tire of hearing at this time of year. Yessum, it is a shame that Carlos Marin, a member of the Italian classical crossover vocal quartet Il Divo took ill and died just before Christmas last year. I read that he was replaced on tour by Mexican-American baritone Steven Labrie. I enjoyed their version of "O Holy Night." I have a version of that song coming up in my next post along with my own selection of holiday classics, (no hard rock), and I think you will enjoy that post which starts Saturday.
I don't remember a Christmas album from my boyhood, only a few singles that come to mind, beginning with "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" by Jimmy Boyd. Listening to that record was one of my earliest memories, and so it was with "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" by Gayla Peevey:
Another very early memory is the song "Thumbelina" by Danny Kaye:
Thumbelina, Thumbelina tiny little thing
Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing
Thumbelina what's the difference if you're very small?
When your heart is full of love you're nine feet tall
I don't know if the above could be considered a Christmas song, but it just popped into my head, and I know you like Danny Kaye.
Another biggie from boyhood was Harley & The Singing Dogs doing their version of "Jingle Bells." :)
Have a wonderful Wednesday, dear friend BB. I'll be waiting for you tomorrow, sitting in the balcony-- "At The Movies!"
Sorry you are struggling with your cards this year.ReplyDelete
I have never owned a Christmas album!ReplyDelete
I totally gave up on Christmas this year. Nothing wrong with gifting a scrapbook in March. Or April. Make it easy on yourself this year.ReplyDelete
A doggie's life, especially one that lives indoors doesn't look too bad. It would be grand to just stretch out to take a snooze anytime. lol I loved listening to your Christmas music. Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" is wonderful. Did Stephen inspire that pick? :D You're certainly welcome to link up with the 4M party if you'd like. ;) I hope you get your brother's scrapbook finished. Enjoy the Christmas season, dearie!ReplyDelete
I think we had the Harry Simeone Chorale album as well, but I can't be certain.ReplyDelete
Ohhhh I LOVE Christmas music and all three of your selections!!ReplyDelete
I completely agree that Sleigh Ride must be done at a quick tempo. You should feel like you're racing through the snow of the title conveyance during the entire tune.
I couldn't possibly say what the first Christmas album we own, my parents loved Christmas and the music just as much as I did and we had scads of them for as long as I can remember. Over the years I've tried to replace them with CD's. One of my happiest days was when I found Calypso Christmas by The Depaur Chorus on CD-we had listened to it for years until the album wore out. My parents were so pleased to have it again, I actually played it today!
My mother loved all the instrumentals and while I enjoy most of them I prefer vocals. Since we already had all the biggies of the season-Bing, the Andrews Sisters, Streisand, Sinatra, Doris Day, Burl Ives, Johnny Mathis etc.-for several years I hunted down less common albums from the golden period of the 40's and 50's and while not every one was a winner I've found some real treasures. I just love my Kate Smith and Jo Stafford albums as well as the Kingston Trio's "The Last Month of the Year" which contains one of my top two favorite Christmas songs "The White Snows of Winter". My other is "Mele Kalikimaka". One of my nieces and I have a competition each year to see who hears it first, but it MUST be the Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters version and it has to be on the radio or in a store, no just playing it yourself. :-)
My foodie friend Sally loves Il Divo, so I suspect she'll be playing this. My favorite is Little Drummer Boy, but I did enjoy Carol of the Bells. Thanks for trying to get me in the mood for Christmas. I can't seem to get my cards out, either.ReplyDelete
Give Harley a snuggle for me, please.