Sunday, December 9, 2007

Holiday music

No longer frightfully enferma (sick)......I have re-entered cyberspace with Christmas tunes running through my head..... Today is December 9 and I have just loaded some of my old and new favorites onto my I-pod.

Jolly old Saint Nicholas, Lean your ear this way!
Don't you tell a single soul What I'm going to say;
Christmas Eve is coming soon; Now, you dear old man,
Whisper what you'll bring to me; Tell me if you can.
When the clock is striking twelve, When I'm fast asleep,

Down the chimney broad and black, With your pack you'll creep;
All the stockings you will find Hanging in a row; Mine will be the shortest one,
You'll be sure to know.
Johnny wants a pair of skates; Susy wants a dolly;

Nellie wants a story book; She thinks dolls are folly;
As for me, my little brain Isn't very bright; Choose for me, old Santa Claus,
What you think is right.


As a child, going to Catholic school, I preferred the religious over the secular. Silent and Oh Holy Nights beat out Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Rudolph....Although I was rather fond of "Up On The Housetop"

Hearing The Little Drummer Boy brings a grade school Christmas program to mind, with my childhood sweetheart (K.M.) with the starring role as the drummer, must have been 1966 or so. Those "parupapum pums" made him seem like quite the dashing young man.

I met my first husband while were both in high school, and John Denver's " Please Daddy" had just been cut,,,, he bought me the LP, for those of you born after 1980 here is a definition.

Please Daddy, don't get drunk this Christmas I don't wanna see my Mumma cry
Please Daddy, don't get drunk this ChristmasI don't wanna see my Mumma cry
Just last year when I was only sevenAnd now I'm almost eight as you can see
You came home at a quarter past elevenFell down underneath our Christmas tree
Please Daddy, don't get drunk this ChristmasI don't wanna see my Mumma cry
Please Daddy, don't get drunk this ChristmasI don't wanna see my Mumma cry
Mumma smiled and looked outside the windowShe told me son, you better go upstairs
Then you laughed and hollered Merry Christmas
i turned around and saw my Mumma's tears
Please Daddy, don't get drunk this ChristmasI don't wanna see my Mumma cry
Please Daddy, don't get drunk this ChristmasI don't wanna see my Mumma cry
No, I don't wanna see my Mumma cry

No, my first husband was not a drinker, but hearing that song reminds me of him. In a good way, it is a pleasant memory. Another one of my current favorites reminds me of him, too. It is Dwight Yoakum's rockabilly "Santa Can't Stay"

Cold tears fall from his eyes As he turns into the night and walks away
Lucille runs outsideJust to see if there might be a sleigh
Little Bobby stares downAt the plate where cookies still lay
And tries to understandWhy momma said Santa can't stay

Chorus:
Momma said Santa can't stay
Said she told him that twice yesterday
Then a car just like Dad'sPulled out and drove away
After momma said Santa couldn't stay

They both heard him comingSaw Mom run down the hall and holler wait
Doug you're drunk don't come insideI'm not joking I've had all this I can take
He threw a present really hardThat almost hit Mom's new boyfriend Ray
And yelled ho-ho lucky for you she's hereAnd said that Santa can't stay

Chorus:
Momma said Santa can't stay
Said she told him that twice yesterday
Then a car just like Dad'sPulled out and drove away
After momma said Santa couldn't stay

My first husband left me at Christmastime,, and while the lyrics are dark and gloomy,,,, I can really identify with this song.... not exactly Norman Rockwell. I think a lot of families have holiday memories that are far from perfect.


O Come, O come Emmanuel reminds me of Ghen. When he first moved in with us, I heard him singing it in the shower, and that has stayed with me. Ghen has a deep, rich bass voice. His rendition was haunting...
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

On the other end of the musical scale, The Friendly Beasts conjures a memories of Clay's six year old voice in a solo at the school program. High, sweet and clear, he sang the verse about the dove, and I CRIED!

Jesus, our Brother, strong and good,Was humbly born in a stable rude,
And the friendly beasts around Him stood,
Jesus, our Brother, strong and good.
“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown,

“I carried His mother uphill and down,I carried His mother to Bethlehem town;
I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.
“I,” said the cow, all white and red,

“I gave Him my manger for His bed,
I gave Him hay to pillow His head;I,” said the cow, all white and red.
“I,” said the sheep with curly horn,

“I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm,He wore my coat on Christmas morn;
I,” said the sheep with curly horn.
“I,” said the dove, from the rafters high,

“I cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry,We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I;
I,” said the dove, from the rafters high.
Thus all the beasts, by some good spell,

In the stable dark were glad to tell
Of the gifts they gave Emmanuel,
The gifts they gave Emmanuel.
That little boy is now a grown man, but I still love to hear him sing.

Other favorites include:
"Pretty Paper"
"Run, Run, Rudolph"
"Christmas in Dixie"
"Fall Softly, Snow"
As you can see, my tastes are leaning deciedly to country music.. Fall Softly Snow has a line that hits my maternal instincts :

The time is here.
Oh Holy Night, the angels sing.
And from on high, heavenly hosts proclaim the King.
In the manger by her side, Mary's eyes are filled with pride.
Fall softly snow. Fall softly snow.
Another country song tugs at my heartstrings as a mother, I brought my firstborn (twins) home on Christmas Day 1979 to the music of John Denver's "A Baby Just Like You"... babies bring hope for the future,
The season is upon us now
A time for gifts and giving
And as the year draws to its close
I think about my living
The Christmastime when I was young
The magic and the wonder
But colors dull and candles dim
And dark my standing under
Oh little angel, shining light
You've set my soul to dreaming
You've given back my joy in life
You' ve filled me with new meaning
A savior king was born that day
A baby just like you
And as the Magi came with gifts
I've come with my gift too
That peace on earth fills up your time
That brotherhood surrounds you
That you may know the warmth of love
And wrap it all around you
It's just a wish, a dream I'm told
From days when I was young
Merry Christmas little Zachary
Merry Christmas ev'ryone

Oh, I cannot forget to mention "White Christmas"..... Not one of my favorites, but it was the only thing that would calm my colicky granddaughter as an infant. While her mother worked, I took care of this crabby baby, singing White Christmas and rocking her fast and hard would put her to sleep........ I hope this long ,wordy post has not done the same for you.

3 comments:

Lynda said...

Oh Michele, not only did you not put me to sleep, you brought tears to my eyes thinking about all the wonderful Christmas music that I listen to obsessivly for a few weeks every year. Did you ever hear of Pandora Radio? you can choose you genre, country, jazz, classical and they just play one great song after another!

http://www.pandora.com/

Try it, you will love it for internet radio!

Lotzastitches said...

My childhood musical Christmas memories is "Holiday Sing-Along with Mitch Miller" with the carpet sweeper as the microphone stand. The very top was removable and became a cordless mic to sing while decorating the tree.

I also prefer the more churchy Christmas songs/hymns but enjoy most Christmas songs....well except maybe the newer ones...like the last 20 years or so. (giggle) Although Carpenter's Christmas is pretty high on my like list...but that's 30 years ago or so. Oh. MY. I'd better stop doing the math!

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