folkarchivist

Christmas Music–Advent Calendar

In Christmas on December 21, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Part of the Advent Calendar of Memories as suggested by http://www.geneabloggers.com/.

Now here’s something that is most definitely a big part of our holidays.  It started with dad playing “Baby’s 1st Christmas” to us our first Christmas, not that I remember it personally, but he told us he did, and I did see it happen with my nephew (his grandson) a few years ago.  From there it moved on to albums by Wayne Newton, Perry Como, Yogi Yorgesson (Street Corner Santa Claus, for one), The Royal Guardsmen (Snoopy’s Christmas) and of course Elvis Presley.  As the year passed new albums were added including Phil Spector’s Christmas Album, Do They Know It’s Christmas, Boney M, A Very Special Christmas and Crystal Gayle.  I’ve added with my own collection which includes Barbara Mandrell, Barbra Streisand, Sarah McLachlan, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Connick Jr, Canadian Brass, and The Greatest Christmas Album in the World…Ever!.

But LPs and 45s were not our only source of music.  As I’ve written before, the Player Piano (something like this one) played into our Christmas spirit.  As well mom and I would sit down and play some carols from time to time throughout the season.

The last two Christmases have brought a new music experience into my holiday season.  I’ve been given tickets and attended the local symphony Christmas concert and what an enjoyable experience it is proving to be.  Each concert includes opportunities for the audience to join in singing a carol or two–800 people makes quite an impressive choir!  Last year there was some excellent fiddling, and this year featured bag pipes.

I have never gone caroling, although I think I might like to — too bad I really can’t sing in key!  I also don’t recall ever having carolers at our door either.  Seems to be more of a historical practice in this area of the world.  Too bad.

Do I have a favourite song?  Well, I enjoy God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen because it seems to be in a range I can manage to sing comfortably.  Silent Night is beautiful, both Silver Bells and A Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire) really caputre the spirit for me, and every year I sing O Tannebaum (O Christmas Tree) to my tree.  And who doesn’t love Christmastime is Here (Charlie Brown).  The Little Drummer Boy has been a favourite since childhood, and I really enjoy David Bowie/Bing Crosby’s duet of it with The Peace Carol.  I Give up What is it? (Yogi Yorgesson) makes me laugh, even after all these years of listening to it.

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