Unlike Steph, my Christmas music collection is pretty weak. I have a vast CD collection, yet the Holiday genre is sparce. I am not the biggest fan of Christmas tunes. Indulge me my diagnosis of why I'm fighting my way back to loving them again. I have come up with a couple reasons why I am a bit Bah Humbuggish...
1) Many years being forced to practice Carols on the organ. From ages 10-15, once a week lessons at good old Yamaha music school. After many years of practice, sucking up my dad's hard earned money, I doubt I could do more than fumble through Jingle Bells. Sad. I also hated that when I took group lessons, this one little suckup told me he practiced for 3 hours a day - thanks for telling the teacher that too. Feliz Navidad you weenie.
2) Seven seasons working in retail ... grade 11 through University is enough to kill it for even the most heartily Christmas spirited folks. The darkest moment was hearing Barbra Striesand's version of Jingle Bells. Everything about it... her inflection, tone and the galloping pace of the beat is just wrong. Try working with one 'authorized' tape, played on a loop for 8 hour shift for 6 weeks solid... you'd be fortunate to not be institutionalized. In the interest of good mental health, I will NOT provide a link however, I am sure it's out there for you if you're a masochist.
That aside... I also have some very fond memories of Christmas tunes. Putting up the tree with traditional carols on the stereo with family. Like Steph, I also sang in choirs all through school and in my high school years, there was the Annual tradition of playing Sleigh Ride in Orchestra. I played Cello - the best instrument of course -and clearly remember the raves from the parents about how good we were and my baby brother rolling his eyes. My acting debut in school also was filled with music of THE Holy Night persuasion. My role? The Virgin Mary. To those who know me and can't stop laughing... not a word. ;)
So, what Christmas tunes do I love?
The Little Drummer Boy - Performed by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Just the juxtoposition of these two Icons and how their voices seamlessly blend... a perennial fave. Last Christmas, I was fortunate to attend Sean Cullen's Christmas 'Sean Schau' and enjoyed a live version of this tune performed by Sean Cullen and Chris Murphy from Sloan. It was awesome. Two red mittened thumbs up on that action!
Santa Baby - Performed by Eartha Kitt. Need I say more? Eartha brings a sexy vibe to this that no one can match. Madonna is just a poser on her version.
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - By Miss Brenda Lee. A TOTAL guilty pleasure. Bouncy and fun... the featured tune in pretty much all Company Christmas parties over the years.
Merry Christmas Baby - By Otis Redding. Otis is was and will always be The Man.
From the Modern Era, I remember the first time I heard 'Do They Know it's Christmas' which featured almost all my 80's musical heros. It still sends a tingle down my spine so many years later. It was a palatable way to bring awareness of the devastation in Africa and brought much needed attention. Did it solve famine and other social ills? No. But it was the first time I remember thinking it was cool to care and try and do our part to help others.
I really enjoyed The Hour's Christmas Music Special last year and the highlight was definitely Fairytale of New York... performed by The Mahones and Damhnait Doyle. I've loved this song for years and admit I was a bit reluctant because of course the original artists - The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl weren't on the stage. Not a traditional tune of course, but amazing.
So, I'll close my part with a lyric...
"So Happy Christmas I love you baby, I can see a better time, when all our Dreams come true. "
Hopefully this rings true for one and all this Holiday Season - I wish all our readers a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2009.
Now, I must retire to make the Perogies... I've been 'proroging' it for too long. Sorry... don't get political, don't get political....
Cheers to all.... Tracy