Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Songs

I made it all the way until today before hearing my least favorite Christmas song of all time--Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. It's not just the music I dislike, it's the hillbilly theme and the lack of dignity. There's nothing about Christmas about it at all.

In general I like "traditional" or "old fashioned" Christmas songs. I've found that I don't like Rat Pack singers and their Christmas songs (how many times must I hear freaking Dean Martin sing that damn song?) but prefer orchestras and choirs; I don't mind Mannheim Steamroller at all, perhaps because I like the songs that they modernize.

Christmas carols? Love 'em! O Come All Ye Faithful is probably my favorite, but there are plenty I like. Remember that store, Natural Wonder? I have an instrumental CD of Christmas songs from there, and I like it as much as I like my CD of the Londonderry Boys Choir--or even George Winston's December CD.

I love Christmas songs.

Last year, I discovered a new Christmas song--at least, one I hadn't heard before. It's pleasant, it's heartfelt, it's catchy, and the people who performed it are as cute as buttons. I linked to it a year ago and the link is still good, so here we go again. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Update: Here's a non-Christmas-y thought: if I play in class the instrumental Natural Wonder CD mentioned above, could someone legitimately claim some First Amendment violation, as if I were forcing my religion on them by having such background music on? How about if I play one with religious lyrics?


pseudotsuga said...

I *really* like the Barra MacNeils' Christmas album (the first one that they did.) The Barra MacNeils are a family from Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia. They do Scottish music mainly, but this Christmas album is full of traditional gems. Most are in English, a couple in Gaelic, but the group's sound is fabulous.
See if you can locate a copy to listen to, Darren, if you like traditional carols.

KauaiMark said...

Nope! Hadn't heard this song before. Is it one of their originals?

Mr. W said...

I play music everyday in my class. And if you take one look at my blog you can tell most of the time it's heavy metal (no cussing though). Although sometimes I shake it up with a cover song week or pop music week.

However, 2 times a year I play straight up Christian music. I'm talking Tim Hughes, Chris Tomlin and the likes. I play it the week before Christmas break (now) and before Easter. Some of the students know the songs and others mention it's "church" music. No one has ever complained, probably because it sounds better than the normal music we listen to.

The last week before break I listen to the classic Christmas songs.

I have now just jinxed myself and I will have to stop playing my music.

On a different side note, here is a nice video explaining taxes, don't know if you have seen it.

Darren said...

At the very beginning of the video, for a brief moment, there is text saying they're covering the song; I haven't heard of the original artist.

Steve USMA '85 said...

I think if it is a religious song, even without the words, you could be charged with promoting religion. Silent Night even as an instrumental could be construed as being religious.

On the other hand, Santa Claus is Coming to Town as an instrument, that would be a stretch. I think you should be able to do that as it is part of "Americana" if you will. The lyrics do not mention Christ or the Christian religion.

Darren said...

I hope you're mistaken, when even musical notes are considered religious speech that I'd be promoting.

Jamie said...

My school has regularly played Holiday music (mostly Christmas, but some Hanukkah) over the exterior PA system. Usually only a day or two before Christmas break. This year they started playing it today. All day. Not just passing periods.

And I vote for that stupid "Christmas shoes" song as the worst Christmas song ever.

Darren said...

That Christmas shoes song is as sappy as the reindeer song is stupid. Two different categories, but each at the top of their respective lists.

Steve USMA '85 said...

I love Christmas shoes. I also love Grandma got run over by a reindeer.

Sure, Grandma isn't really a 'Christmas' song. Doesn't pretend to be in my opinion. It is just a neat story that happens to occur at Christmastime and is set to music.