Consider this your Xmas rant thread...
Man I hate Christmas carols…Dec 22, 2008 by OCSteve
Dec 22, 2008, 05:23:26 OCSteve wrote:
Recession/depression huh… I went to a mall today. I knew better, but I did it anyway to humor my wife. She is owed a few…
Ugh. (Not you Ugh.) Ugly scene. No one was injured but it was a close thing.
Dec 22, 2008, 05:57:31 DaveC wrote:
Around here, high temperature of -5 F, with wind gusts up to 30 mph.
Dec 22, 2008, 08:46:38 OCSteve wrote:
I have gusts to 40, but temp is like 35.
Dec 22, 2008, 10:22:58 marbel wrote:
Does <A href="http://www.youtube.com/watc...">this</a> appeal more ;) ?
Dec 22, 2008, 10:23:50 marbel wrote:
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...]I can do links, I can I can I can!!![/url]
Dec 22, 2008, 11:13:50 JayS wrote:
Ouch, Marbel, that requires a palette cleanser.
How about [url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...]Lullay, Lully[/url] as something different from the normal schlock.
Dec 22, 2008, 11:21:33 JayS wrote:
Or Mannheim Steamroller's [url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...] Pat a Pan [/url] for something a bit more uplifting. It sounds like OCSteve could use it.
Dec 22, 2008, 11:37:49 marbel wrote:
lullay, lully was to sweet for me. I'd prefer [url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...]this version[/url].
But my taste is more [url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...]oldfashioned[/url]. I once saw a concert by the Tallis Scholars in one of our cathedrals and it was as close to becoming religious as I've been since I was 8 and adored the childrens bible stories.
Then again: I *like* christmas and christmas carrols. We're in the process of teaching our three boys 'on the first day of Christmas' to suprise the neighbours with ;)
Dec 22, 2008, 11:52:12 marbel wrote:
For OCSteve though we should go for the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...]less traditional[/url] christmas songs, if I interpret his post correctly...
Dec 22, 2008, 11:55:34 DaveC wrote:
[url=http://iowahawk.typepad.com...]More Christmas Trouble.[/url]
Dec 22, 2008, 12:17:03 DaveC wrote:
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...]Vienna Boy's Choir Silent Night[/url]
Dec 22, 2008, 12:38:12 JayS wrote:
The Christmas Carols you hear in the U.S. are generally pretty schlocky Santa Claus stuff, not particularly religious or even good. Radio is inundated with stuff from the 50's through 80's and remakes of the same. It starts around Thanksgiving (mid November through Christmas) and is every where, as in elevator muzak. I'm surprised we don't have more mass murders here during Christmas season.
So I thought something less crap-tacular might work.
I did try to find a piece online that might fit OCSteve's mood. It's "Pioneer Square" by David Maloney of "Reilly and Maloney". But it's only available for sale, and pretty specific to Seattle at that.
I found your "Lullay, Lully" too somber. But then there has just been a death in my wife's family, so our tastes are probably skewed a little to the sweet. My wife's choir has done the Coventry Carol with the same arrangement I think. Better than your prefered "Lullay, Lully" but still the wrong mood for me tonight.
Dec 22, 2008, 14:05:00 dr ngo wrote:
FWIW, on Christmas Eve my wife, my son [AKA "Anarch"], and I, along with about 100 other choristers, will be singing the following in Duke Chapel:
Rutter - What sweeter music
Willcocks - The Lord at first did Adam make
Rutter - Joy to the world
Darke - In the bleak midwinter
Gardner - Tomorrow shall be my dancing day
Goss/Bertalot - See amid the winter's snow
Handel - Hallelujah Chorus [this is sung just after midnight, i.e., as early as possible on Christmas morning].
If you're in or near Durham, come, but come early. The Chapel seats around 1200, but is totally packed, usually by about 10 PM for the 11 PM service.
And a Merry Christmas to you all.
Dec 22, 2008, 20:09:35 marbel wrote:
@JayS: we have less of that indeed. But I also don't listen to the radio much these days - with three young children I relish the quiet.
We have *two* Christmas days over here and celebrations are more like your thanksgiving I think (lots of food with lots of family). I often play the schlocky stuff during the day and the nice music (which for me is rather solemn) in the evening, with a fire and everybody around the table. So I'm not overfed yet.
Sorry to hear you had a recent death in the family. Family-oriented holidays always confronts us with the empty seats.
@dr ngo: I'll just join in with the carroll singing in the neighbourhood, Durham isn't biking distance ;)
Dec 23, 2008, 03:41:36 Ugh wrote:
The Christmas crap gets rolled out earlier and earlier, it seems, every year. The only thing holding the line right now is Halloween, otherwise the crap would come out the first of October.
Dec 23, 2008, 03:50:01 JayS wrote:
Christmas muzak is pervasive here, not just on radio, or TV.
Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are feast days here, but the emphasis is more on food for Thanksgiving.
Durham is a bit out of my neighborhood as well, I think I've been there only once. Besides, we are snowed in here in Seattle! Of course it doesn't take much snow, since it is so rare that it isn't economical to prepare for it on a large scale.
Dec 23, 2008, 09:19:52 marbel wrote:
<i>Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are feast days here, but the emphasis is more on food for Thanksgiving.</i>
That's what I mean, though giving presents gets more popular. I read a 'study' the other day, that this year 23% of the Dutch people have presents on first Christmasday and 9% on second Christmas day. Last year that was respectively 16% and 7%. If I hadn't been married to a Brit I'd never give christmas presents because I prefer Sint Nicholas.
Most companies give a box with presents (used to be mostly food) to their employees, we send lots of cards and everybody wants to eat very nicely with the family or those dear to us. The perfect Dutch christmas is a family gathering where every party made a dish and you sit around the table, eat and drink too much, and talk for hours.
Dutch kids make reindeers, but most don't actually know what they do. Nor do they know where Santa lives and they wouldn't have a clue about the connection between elves and Christmas. These days, with the abundance of American 'family films', they recognize more - but it is patched knowledge. The only thing they all know is that having snow is good - but snow in winter is *always* good.
Marjolein (actually listening to Ton Koopman, Bach's weihnachtskantaten)
Dec 23, 2008, 10:47:32 JayS wrote:
[i]If I hadn't been married to a Brit I'd never give christmas presents [/i]
I nearly forgot the gift frenzy was a British export. Damn you, Tiny Tim! Of course the US refined it to a marketing art form, extracting the most money for the least emotional benefit.
[i]Dutch kids make reindeers[/i]
Now just a gol durned minute. I know furin kids are gitt'n a more advanced edumakation than us 'muricans, but I don't believe for one minute they are genetically engineering reindeers from scratch.
Dec 23, 2008, 14:09:50 tgott wrote:
I agree with OC about the FM band bringing out Christmas songs earlier and earlier each year -- I think a week's respite after Thanksgiving should be respected, but that will never happen.
Nevertheless, being the sentimental sap that I am, I love Christmas songs, and pretty much tune in to them in the car non-stop after my birthday (Dec. 10), which seems just about the right for the Christmassing to begin.
Eartha Kitt -- who I found so kinky and tantalyzing as Catwoman in the old "Batman" series as a young boy, even though I had no idea what "kinky" was at the time (that's a compliment, Ms. Kitt) -- and her "Santa Baby" are irresistible.
Chuck Berry's "Run, Run, Rudolph" is my young son's favorite -- and always puts a smile on my face.
Bing's and David Bowie's "Little Drummer Boy" -- which I remember seeing as a young teen the first time when they performed it, back when Christmas specials on TV were a big deal -- is a modern-day classic.
I adore Gene Autry's "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" -- Burl Ives' rendition as well.
Elvis Presley makes a "Blue Christmas" sound divine.
But not quite as heavenly as Bing's "White Christmas," which could only be better with some "Chestnuts" from Mr. Nat King Cole.
Yes, Virgina, I am a sentimental sap indeed.
Merry Christmas, one and all.
And a extra cup of cheer to lj and russell, whose concern and goodwill have touched my heart and brightened some dark days.
Dec 23, 2008, 23:16:37 JanieM wrote:
bedtime -- I have to come out of the closet and admit to being a sentimental sap myself. I didn't want you to be all alone in that category!
A few of my Christmas favorites:
-- [url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...]Mary's Boy Child[/url]
-- Mannheim Steamroller -- Auld Lang Syne (can't find it online)
-- All of the albums by the Ray Connif Singers. (We had these as 78s when I was a kid.)
-- [url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...]Transiberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve in Sarajevo[/url]
-- Any version of Little Drummer Boy, of which the 4-part harmonies still float around in my head from the days when I was the accompanist for the high school choir and had to play the parts over and over again so the kids who couldn't read music could learn them.
And this, which isn't a Christmas song, but which belongs with Auld Lang Syne in the sentiment department:
-- [url=http://www.youtube.com/watc...]From the movie "Waking Ned Devine"[/url]
Merry Christmas to all!
Dec 24, 2008, 00:03:16 john miller wrote:
Well, had to comment on this thread. Personally I love Christmas songs/carols. I make a differentiation between the two. Christmas songs are really more holiday/winter songs. Very secular. Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Judy Garland, even the Oak Rdige Boys. A small percentage of the secular, but I do like them.
Carols, to me, are the more religious songs. I still like "I Saw Three Ships", which I seldom hear. I am getting tired of hearing Josh Groban's "O, Holy Night" however.
A local Catholic church (actyually shrine) in Chicago which I occassionally attend has a special event early in December called Mary and Christmas. Not cheap (They use it to some degree as a fund raiser to pay for renovations) but absolutely wonderful. A lot of carols most people have never heard.
Finally, one of my absolute favorites is "Mary Did You Know/"
And yes, way too early. I am old enough to remember when even the stores didn't put up decorations until the day after Thanksgiving. Oh, for the old days.
Dec 24, 2008, 02:32:19 nous wrote:
How about some [url=http://www.last.fm/music/Ul...]Ulver[/url] to brighten your holidays? Nothing like an avant garde post-metal adaptation of a major Portuguese poet, (Pessoa), to get you in the spirit.
Streaming media player in the top left corner.
Dec 24, 2008, 03:40:15 tgott wrote:
Janie: There's something very stirring about the Manheim Steamroller thing, although I am sure it is not everyone's cup of tea.
Like john miller, I like some of the religious songs: my favorite being "O Come All Ye Faithful" -- "Silent Night" makes for a quieter complement.
Heard the Chipmunks for the first time this season just now on the radio on the way to work. Yuk -- never even liked them as a kid, although my son does.
I mentioned Gene Autry above -- love his "Here Comes Santa Claus" (and the way he says "right down 'Santy' Claus Way."
Another Burl Ives -- "Have a Holly Jolly" -- is indeed jolly. I think anyone who looks like a snowman has an edge right off the bat.
Andy Williams' "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is corny, but I like it. Never liked his specials when I was younger, now I like his Christmas music; strange.
"I Caught Mommy Kissin' Santa Claus" is a winner in my book no matter who sings it -- heard a rock rendition this morning; think it was Springsteen. Cool that you can have two very good risque Christmas songs, that and "Santa Baby."
Frank Sinatra, my favorite singer, period, is not really known for Christmas songs, but I've never heard him sing a bad one. On the other hand, alas, Tony Bennett just doesn't do it for me -- or, cleek will be happy to know, Barry Manilow (I'm not that sappy -- except to say that Anne Murray makes any Christmas song sound good).
"Do They Know It's Christmas" is a moving anthem.
Boris Karloff brings joyous dread to "The Grinch" theme -- enough so to make you almost forget that Jim Carrey made such an awful movie about the green Heartless One.
If you can't be sentimental about Christmas, what can you be sentimental about -- well, of course, there are dogs and cats.
Speaking of which, I think I dislike reflection as much as I like it sometimes. My first Christmas in a long time without CoCo and Bowser and it makes my heart miss a beat or two.
Been staying up late lately -- which really is unhealthy (took a sleeping pill Sunday, and my wife said I talked like a crazy man in my sleep the whole night; stress) -- and I miss my CoCo when I am restless as she'd be by my side wherever I'd be in the house, her big brown eyes trained on me the whole time, no matter the hour.
I'm not sure if I will come to grips with how I lost such a wonderful dog. I guess some things never change -- now 46 and having felt the same way when I lost my first dog, SueSue, as a very young boy; locked myself in the basement for an entire afternoon and balled my eyes out. What is it about these furry creatures that can create such madness?
Of course, I think Christmas is more for cats -- they act as if the tree is the greatest thing ever each and every year.
Tiger once climbed it as a kitten. Now she just keeps watch on her sister Baby with an angry stare: Every morning we wake up to find our Santa and Mrs. Claus, both too big to hang on or atop the tree, toppled over under the tree as if they went five rounds with Mike Tyson.
Boy, could I go for some Christmas cookies right now.
Dec 24, 2008, 04:28:00 JakeB wrote:
As a teenager, I had to learn about 15 christmas carols for the guitar one night in order to accompany a caroling group the next night. Ever since then, I've loathed them. In my Republic, playing Christmas carols in a store before Dec. 18th and after the 25th would be a capital offense.
I still like some of the very old stuff, of the sort dr. ngo enumerated, but for modern Xmas songs, I'd probably go with Mr. Garrison's Merry F***ing Christmas from South Park.
I do wish a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to all.
Dec 24, 2008, 04:41:54 russell wrote:
[i]What is it about these furry creatures that can create such madness?[/i]
With dogs, specifically, I think it's their capacity for generous and unquestioning loyalty. They are true-hearted beings.
For Christmas music, my favorite is Anonymous 4's "On Yoolis Night". Really old carols, also a favorite.
Christmas, and winter generally, is for me always a time of reflection. It's the time for sleep, for rest, for going to ground. It's when the sun dies, and when everything dies, too, or seems to, in order to live again. It's the portal to the new year.
Welcome to my life as a pagan.
So, I go less for cheery and merry and happy and more for quiet, thoughtful, and reflective.
I will, of course, eat my share of dark chocolate peppermint bark and drink my share of cherry bounce and rum-laced nog. No fool, I.
But I also look forward to deep winter's time of rest and reflection.
Anything, just as long as I don't have to go back to the mall for at least another month or two. :)
I'm away from home and time online this week will be spotty. So if I don't get to post again until after the holiday, hope you all have happy and peaceful Christmas, Chanukah, solstice, Festivus, et al.
Dec 24, 2008, 08:39:15 OCSteve wrote:
OK ok. Now that it actually is close to xmas…
I do enjoy a few of the old traditional ones. And I like “Santa Baby”. Also The Waitresses, Christmas Wrappings. One or two times each. And “The Hanukkah Song” – one time only. Then knock it off. ;)
Dec 24, 2008, 08:52:56 tgott wrote:
P.S. Just heard The Waitresses on a quick trip to the bakery for Mrs. Bing's apple crumb pie and a few other sinful sweets and they never cease to sound cool and liberating.
Dec 24, 2008, 09:33:09 tgott wrote:
Yes, winter does tend to lend itself to reflection -- just as spring ripens us for love; summer, fun; and fall, reaping what we have sown.
I was reflecting about dogs and winter and remembering the dog we had after SueSue: Tom, another Beagle mutt mix, who followed my brothers and me home from school one day at a fairly old age, lived much longer, and became one of the most devoted family pets we ever had -- even melting my father's icy heart.
The unquestioned loyalty that this dog possessed made him the only one in the family who always forgave my dad for coming home late and boozed up from whatever construction site he happened to be working on.
Tom took on many personalities, friend, lover, dare-devil.
His dare-devil spirit showed when he accompanied us kids to the big hill at Rockford Park after a good snow for sledding. The old boy would accompany one of us down the hill just as you might see in a sketch by Rockwell, who was famous for sneaking dogs in his drawings.
And old lover boy fell madly, deeply for my middle brother's male guinnea pig, Ben, even becoming visibly heartsick when the golden guinnea moved on to Guinnea Pig Heaven.
Hadn't thought about those memories for quite a while.
Now we've come full circle with another old -- this time, pure-bred -- Beagle, Hamilton, who is a handful despite being 12-years-old.
When he passes, I want an English Setter like <A HREF="http://www.petfinder.com/pe...">this guy.</A> Looks like he has some Gordon in him, which is very hard to find and quite regal-looking.
However, I would love to provide a home right now for <A HREF="http://www.petfinder.com/pe...">Finnegan.</A> This poor guy has been there since late spring.
Dec 24, 2008, 12:28:53 justinslot wrote:
I've only heard Christmas Wrappings once this year. But I have heard Snoopy's Christmas several times! Because nothing says Christmas like artillery echoing over the Western Front....
Christmas radio is as calcified and awful as regular radio--it's not that the songs are so bad, it's that they play the same stuff again and again and from year to year. I'm sure the doowop and girl group covers sounded great in the 60s, but come on. And then I'll stumble across the local college station doing their own countdown and it'll all be wonderful songs and covers I've never heard that somehow never make the commercial circuit. I pine for the Waitresses but end up with Andy Williams and former Beatles.
(I can't get enough of any version of "There's no place like home for the holidays", for whatever reason. Probably all the American geography--it's the "This land is your land" of Christmas songs. Pennsylvania and some home-baked pumpkin pie....)
Dec 24, 2008, 13:48:36 tgott wrote:
"Because nothing says Christmas like artillery echoing over the Western Front ..."
"Merry Christmas, my friend," I believe it ends -- you can't put anything past ol' Snoopy.
Agree with you about "No Place like Home" -- and what a great lyric: "Pennsylvania and some home-baked pumpkin pie" -- makes you want to break out the Cool Whip.
Dec 25, 2008, 03:01:17 nous wrote:
Russell -- "Christmas, and winter generally, is for me always a time of reflection. It's the time for sleep, for rest, for going to ground. It's when the sun dies, and when everything dies, too, or seems to, in order to live again. It's the portal to the new year."
Yup. As heathens we do Yule and it's much the same thing. We went out and watched the sunset, came back home and drank mead.
Dec 26, 2008, 05:22:36 JayS wrote:
It seems I may have been too glib with my [url=http://fe30.story.media.ac4...] genetic engineering[/url] crack. So how are the test tube reindeer coming?