The Music of Christmas – Day 24: “Carol of the Bells”

“Carol of the Bells” By David Foster I first heard this song as part of a TV show of some sort. I caught only the last portion of it and never knew who the artist was.  I made it a mission to find out.  However this was years and years before Shazam was around, and I never heard it on the radio, so doing an internet search for “Carol of the Bells” was just an exercise in failure. Found many versions but not the one I needed. I’d hear it very sporadically on the radio the next few years, but

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The Music of Christmas – Day 23: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

It’s a theme of three today.  The selections here are all versions of a Christmas classic. It’s amazing how this song can differ in mood simply by changing the tempo and the arrangement. I had a hard time picking which mood I’d showcase first, but since this is 2020, I went with a melancholy feeling first. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” By Kenny Loggins This version starts with a piano melody, but what I really like is when the guitar starts about thirty seconds in, and then the harmonic enters. To me, a slow harmonica just captures the feeling

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The Music of Christmas – Day 22: “Feliz Navidad”

Feliz Navidad By José Feliciano Ah, now we’re in the final days until Christmas, and we’re in the really good music.  These last four are some of my most favorite holiday tunes, the ones that I really love. This song, written in 1970, is just so dang happy. It’s a simple song, repeating verses and choruses. Each repeat adds some more layers of audio, growing in size until at the end it’s a Latin pop spectacular.  This song that is one of the most played every Christmas season, and unlike most songs that I hear over and over and over

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The Music of Christmas – Day 21: Monday Music Monstrosity #3

Welcome to Monday Music Monstrosity, where each Monday I will talk about a holiday song I absolutely detest. I won’t link to it because it sucks so hard. I just want to share my pain because misery loves company. “The Little Drummer Boy” By the Harry Simone Chorale This is it. This is my most hated Christmas song. And God, how I hate this song. I can still remember my parents pulling the record out of the cardboard sleeve every Christmas, and putting it in the stack of other vinyl Christmas albums. Sometimes it would be the first record played.

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The Music of Christmas – Day 20: “Sleigh Ride”

https://youtu.be/5yjZa4XI0 “Sleigh Ride” By Debbie Gibson I admit it. I had a crush on Debbie Gibson growing up. Her “Electric Youth” album was a favorite of mine in high school. I still love “Lost in Your Eyes”. I outgrew the crush, but I still have a fondness for her 80’s songs. This song appeared on one of the “A Very Special Christmas” albums. I think I happened to randomly hear this on the radio, and was able to figure out how to get it via Tower Records website. This was back in the late 90’s, so ordering online was very

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The Music of Christmas – Day 19: An Orchestral Appreciation

In what seems like a former life, I once played in symphonic bands and orchestras. Starting in college band then moving on to community bands after graduation, back as an alum in orchestra, with a few years break in there, I loved playing in the percussion section. While it’s been a while now since I played, I still have a lot of love for orchestral music. That holds true for holiday music, too. Whether it was the winter concert in college or playing on stage at local shopping malls, there was at least one concert a year with Christmas music.

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The Music of Christmas – Day 18: “When the River Meets the Sea”

“When the River Meets the Sea” By Various Muppets I include this song not because it’s so much a Christmas song but it represents Christmas to me. This song appears in both “Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas” and on the “John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together” album. I don’t remember if it was in the TV special or not; but these two appearances are part of what means Christmas to me. I talked about my thoughts on the Muppets and John Denver when I profiled their version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. But I’ve yet to speak about

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The Music of Christmas – Day 17: “Christmas Vacation”

https://www.coverville.com/episodes/2017-christmas-cover-show/ (No video, so go to the third song in this podcast.) “Christmas Vacation” By Yacht Rock Revue “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is one of my favorite holiday movies. It’s funny and poignant, and many people can find something to relate to in this story about how the holidays drive people. The theme for the movie, “Christmas Vacation” by , instantly brings to mind the trials and tribulations of Clark and Ellen Griswold and their family. But this version, by Yacht Rock Revue, puts a great spin on a great song. YRR is known for covering the great smooth rock

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The Music of Christmas – Day 16: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” By Band Aid It’s hard to believe this song is over thirty five years old. Recorded in November of 1984, this is one of the biggest supergroup recordings ever, and it was all for charity. To help relieve suffering due to famine in Ethiopia, producer Bob Geldof and Donna Yates, his wife, were moved to do something after watching a television report on the hardship.  Yates happened across singer Midge Ure who agreed to help, Geldof enlisted Sting, and the whole thing just steamrolled from there.  Geldof and Ure came up with the basic melody

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The Music of Christmas – Day 15: “Elf’s Lament”

“Elf’s Lament” By Barenaked Ladies with Michael Bublé The second entry on this list from “Barenaked for the Holidays” “Elf’s Lament” is the story about how maybe Santa isn’t the jolly old elf we think he is. Maybe that’s just a facade he puts on for the malls and TV and all the PR stunts. No, Santa is actually a horrible employer of all the elves. They work hard to get all the presents ready for Christmas, and he exploits them for it.  He takes the credit, they take abuse, and work conditions are awful. At least that’s the viewpoint

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