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Christmas music you actually enjoy

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  • Christmas music you actually enjoy

    Merry Christmas! Just like the subject heading says... what Christmas music do you know of that conjures up those warm, pious feelings (including the vague realms of atheistic piety [™] familiar to many of us non-Christians)? I'd love to be turned on to something new.

    Mine is this- a classic- A Music Box Christmas.


    Feliz Navidad, locs!
    Last edited by sharkbait; 12-24-2016, 06:15 PM.

  • #2

    I like the pre-commercialization stuff -

    nat whilk ii


    • #4
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      • #5
        I'm with nat - it also prefer the 'pre-commercialization' era music. For me it is Handel's "Messiah". A few years back we did the entire thing in our church. One of the hardest pieces of music I ever tired to do. It is not for the faint of heart, whether from an instrumental or vocal standpoint.

        The Mandolin Picker

        "Bless your hearts... and all your vital organs" - John Duffy

        "Got time to breath, got time for music!"- Briscoe Darling, Jr.


        • #6
          I don't mind most of it, except Feliz Navidad and The Little Drummer Boy (even the bluegrass version), but it's repetition that makes me hate all of it. You can't get away from it. Radio stations play it all the time. It's in stores. It's in elevators. It drives me nuts! Even our local classical radio station plays the dreaded dozen all day for the week before Christmas.

          Bless WWOZ for not playing Christmas music on Christmas Eve evening.
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          • #7
            I have a fondness for much of the vintage Rhythm & Blues Christmas stuff, especially from the 1940's and '50's. This Otis Redding is from around 1966. I also love the Perry Como Christmas recordings - wonderfully crafted arrangements.


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            • #8
              I'm definitely one of those "the older the better" types, but I'll make an exception for the Ronettes doing "Sleigh Ride" and the Crystals singing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." (True fact: The Phil Spector Christmas album was released the day JFK was assassinated...it didn't get a lot of traction when it first came out. It only became a "classic" over the years, and got a big boost when Apple Records re-released it.)

              I wrote an article for the last newsletter called Craig's List: 5 Toxic Hazards of Holiday Music and included Paul McCartney ("Wonderful Christmastime"), Neil Diamond (for his reggae version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"), and Kenny G (just on general principle) in my Christmas Carol Hall of Shame.

              However, the good news is that these contemporary Christmas songs do help me cut down on holiday spending. I'll be in a store thinking of what to buy, but then Paul McCartney singing "Wonderful Christmastime" comes over the sound system with its 700 Hz - 2 kHz response, and I flee from the store in terror before I actually spend anything.

              One of these days I'm going to do the "Police State Remix" of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." An excerpt from the above-mentioned article:

              "You better watch out . . . he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake...making a list, checking it twice...he knows if you’ve been good or bad...”

              Threats, spying, database of offenders, summary judgments without trial—Santa sounds like a cross between a pedophile, the DHS, and your creepy uncle Sammy.

              Merry Christmas, everyone! And a happy Festivus to all.
              Last edited by Anderton; 12-25-2016, 08:34 AM.
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              • #9
                Originally posted by Anderton View Post

                I wrote an article for the last newsletter called Craig's List: 5 Toxic Hazards of Holiday Music and included Paul McCartney ("Wonderful Christmastime"),

                When that song came I out I would have never imagined it would still be played on the radio almost forty years later.

                Not that I dislike it or anything but it always sounded like a B-side throw away novelty song to me. Paul got a new synthesizer and an echo box and started playing around with the sounds and said this is neat and it's almost Christmas so maybe I should write a Christmas song.

                Since then it has become a Christmas standard and has had dozens of remakes.
                Last edited by Folder; 12-25-2016, 10:20 AM.


                • #10
                  My parents were into Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' album and, for years, I associated it with the warmth and excitement of the Christmas experience.

                  Then one foggy December night, my band got a month long gig at a restaurant/club that was set to finish on NewYear's Eve. The venue had a cassette player and, for the entire month, they had Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' in the deck.

                  When we went up onstage to start our sets, someone from the club would simply stop the tape - usually mid song. When we finished the set someone would start the tape where it sat and it was as if we hadn't played our set at all. This went on for the entire month and souredthe feeling I used to get from Bing's velvet voice singing those songs.

                  Last edited by onelife; 12-25-2016, 12:05 PM.
                  "Isn't it a pity, isn't it a shame,
                  how we break each other's hearts
                  and cause each other pain"


                  • sharkbait
                    sharkbait commented
                    Editing a comment
                    What a poignant story. It seems to underline something about the commodification of the holiday, and perhaps the melancholy implicit in "growing up" out of a child's sense of the holiday.

                    That's another facet of Christmas- the melancholy. All the stuff that comes with real family life, trying to align with notions of "how it should be". I didn't mention the Charlie Brown TV soundtrack because it's so well-known and I was fishing for new things to enjoy, but surely Vince Guaraldi plugged into that facet on those compositions.

                    I'm agreeing with people's "pre-commercialization" suggestions here (which are lovely); they seem to transcend the issues that fired other people's complaints (which seems to have to had come out, even though that wasn't my question).

                • #11
                  John Lennon's "Happy Christmas" has been my favorite Christmas song since it's release. It still warms my heart every time I hear it.

                  The song is reflective, sad, joyful, and hopeful all at once. No religious dogma whatsoever.

                  The children singing the chorus was a stroke of genius.


                  • #12
                    To answer the OP directly...

                    I enjoy this arrangement
                    "Isn't it a pity, isn't it a shame,
                    how we break each other's hearts
                    and cause each other pain"