day in the life, Music

Ring Christmas Bells

One of these years I will write consistent and faithful little entries that illustrate my fascinating life in quaint detail. I will respond to all of the lovely emails I receive in a timely and decorous manner, and I will never let my reading get behind.

Right.

While I am behind on a million, squillion things this December, one thing I am current and ahead of is Christmas shopping. Wait, no I’m not.

But I am all caught up on listening to Christmas music. And then some. My favorite song this year is the oldie-but-goodie, war protesting, irate hippy anthem I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake.

It’s been covered by U2 as well as a more recent version by Lake himself, but I prefer this 1975 recording, with Lake’s higher-pitched, intense singing voice, and disturbing end-of-the-world reverb over the “heaven or hell” part of the lyric. And don’t you love that video? The part with the kid and soldier reuniting at the end is classic Vietnam-era stuff, and I found myself filling with anxiety as I waited, and waited, and waited for that kid to finally reach the solider. C’mon…c’mon…get there already! It was too much like a recurring dream I have where I’m running and running and hardly moving a step. I needed a xanax when I was done.

My favorite performer this Christmas has to be the legendary Rick Astley. He has been rick-rolled right back into public prominence, culminating with his cheesy Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade appearance. You have to love someone willing to laugh at himself and the guy has great pipes to boot. Check out his performance of Silent Night.

The man can sing. Plus, the hand of time has not touched him at all. He looks as adorable as when Never Gonna Give You Up first came out and I taped the video and watched it over and over and over wishing I could just freeze the frame and have a picture of his face to look at all the time.

I love modern technology.

My favorite traditional carol has always been Angels We Have Heard on High. Back when I was a good Catholic girl, I sang this with my church’s choir every Christmas in a perfect SATB arrangment. I was a solid, too-loud alto and this particular arrangement had the best alto part, ever. I love singing this song. And as complex as that choir version was, this rendition played on a single ukulele is really perfect.

Lastly, I’m over-indulging in 50s crooners this year. My favorite by far is Dean Martin. He was a lackadaisical swinging hepcat (like Frank Sinatra without the mob ties) with an easy charm that made his vocals silky-smooth and creamy like butter. I’m crazy CRAZY for his version of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I don’t what I love more about it: that he refers to Rudoph as “Rudy” throughout, or the Nazi Germany accent he uses for Santa. Aren’t you convinced yet? Watch this performance of Christmas Blues.

No one can touch Dino.

One Comment

  1. Wow! I’ve never heard the song by Greg Lake, and I really really love it! Although I was half expecting the soldier’s gun to accidentally go off and shoot the child.

    Angels We Have Heard on High is my favorite too!!! Remember singing Christmas carols in the car on a warm summer afternoon? Let’s do that again!

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