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Dec 25 2010

Popular Culture 20101224: Doc’s Favorite Christmas Songs Updated

I was going to write on a completely different topic, but decided that some Christmas music would be appropriate, since I often write about music here.  Most of the songs are either from my childhood or from comparatively long ago.  I have no “new” favorite Christmas songs.

What I intend to impart is just this:  Christmas is a legal holiday in the United States, but is also a time for people of any, or no, faith to come together and celebrate family and friends.  I care not a whit if you are Jewish, Wiccan, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Shinto, Taoist, Buddhist, a believer in Confucius, or any other religion, or none at all.

In the United States, Christmas is recognized officially, for good or ill.  If all of the great religious can agree about anything, it is good will towards everyone.  With this in mind, please enjoy with me a bit of music that sort of makes the season for me.

Most of these are either of Christian tradition or more modern.  Once again, I have no prejudice towards any other faiths, but was raised in the Christian tradition, so that forms a large amount of my frame of reference.  I do believe that the words of Jesus that involve generosity, love for others, and forgiveness are universal if we, as decent people, desire to be better.  He was just one of many who advocated that message.

Of course, I have to lead with The Who.  This little gem is embedded in Tommy, and must might be one of the bestest (I spelt that intentionally) Christmas songs ever.  Here is a little personal history.

For many years we would go back to our parents’ houses to celebrate Christmas.  Many times I would write the words on my mum’s refrigerator board, and she always thought that it was appropriate.  Listen very closely because not only is the music, but the lyrics are quite brilliant.

This is interesting because it overlays the music from the original album from 1969 to the motion picture from 1975.  Please do not pay much attention to the sparkling movie things.  The original music is the better.

You know that I, as the most dedicated fan of The Who, keep that as my favorite Christmas song.

It might bowl everyone here over to know that one of my other favorite performers is Maurice Chevalier.  He was a great actor, and not a bad singer.  I love this song, Joly old St-Nicholas.

You might also be surprised to know that I actually like at least one country artist.  Yes, the great Willie Nelson is on my list of favorites.  I really like Pretty Paper.  Please enjoy it with me.  It has become more poignant to me lately.

Whether or not you like him, Andy Williams could SING!  His rendition of O Holy Night is actually quite good, even if lip synced.  Here is is.

Williams and his wife at the time, Claudine Longet, pretty much were the big stars of the Christmas season on TeeVee in the 1960s.  They drifted apart and she fell in with what turned out to be a rough crowd.  She was accused of homicide years later.  Here they are in better days.  This is not really one of my favorite songs, but is representative of that era on TeeVee at Christmas.

Now, these are more uplifting.  The Beach Boys were good!  In the early 1960s, they were Keith Moon’s favorite band.

This one is even more close to my heart.

How about a very young David Bowie and a very old Bing Crosby?  I have seen this one for years, and still can not figure out why they made it.  Regardless, it is pretty good.

Even the Star Trek folks got into it, well not really, but this is a very nice fantasy of it, with multiple cuts from the Voyager series.

One of the best has to be John and Yoko, and I present it here with not any comment.  It stands for itself.  The embed code is blocked, but http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XNQd… is the link.

UPDATE:  How could I have forgotten this one?  Chuck Berry with Run, Rudolph, Run!



There are many, many more, but I would like to hear some of yours, so please be liberal with comments.  I was going to include some songs that I particularly dislike, but on reflection that would just ruin the spirit of the evening and might be offensive to someone, so I shall keep that counsel to myself.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all more than a better tomorrow.  Sunday Pique the Geek will address either Winter Solstice holidays from antiquity to the present or the extremely useful group of elements, the Rare Earth metals.  I have not decided which just yet, and it depends on what Muse tells me tomorrow.

Warmest regards,

Doc

Crossposted at Docudharma.com and at Dailykos.com

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