Monday, November 27, 2006

Yuletide Carols

This post could either be late, or timely depending on your answer to the question:

When do you start listening to Christmas music? (for a more overtly theological question, head over to Adam's blog)

This question is really representative of a much larger issue...Thanksgiving being devoured by the Christmas monster. I suspect there is a strong correlation between your views on Christmas music and the sanctity of Thanksgiving. Personally, I think Thanksgiving is awesome. But lets face it, it's pretty much Christmas pre-game. Thus, I stand in support of pre-Thanksgiving Christmas music. Further thusly lumping Thanksgiving into "the holidays". So to bring us full circle, I think you should be able to listen to Christmas music any time after Halloween. There it is.

Recently i've heard a new term out there called "Christmas Creep". This is what we're talking about at Youth on Sunday, so i'm sure i'll recycle some of my material and post it to the blog! So some interesting segways here. But, back to the issue at hand.

The Ultimate Christmas Song Playlist. Or what I like to title it...A Very Mustoe Christmas. Here's the criteria:

1. A mix of classics, newer songs, and newer remakes of classics. This can be tough, and you definately want to avoid a lot of 80's renditions of carols of old.

2. Some unconvetional songs. A nice mix of songs will include some selections with wintery themes that will surprise the listener as they're familiar with the song, but never in a festive context.

3. No repeats. You can only take so much _______________________ (fill in song here). One is enough.

4. No Manheim steamroller. Sorry. Might be cool to see them live, but not on my list baby.

5. Put some tounge in cheek selections in there. "Feliz Navidad" is actually a pretty annoying why not embrace it the way you still love that abrasive relative?

Without further adu (adieu?) here's my best of the best playlist- A Very Mustoe Christmas. The order can be debated, depending on what mood you're going for.

O Christmas Tree- Aretha Franklin
Christmas- Blues Traveler
*Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays- N*Sync.
(Say what you want. I don't care, it's a great song.)
Santa Clause Is Comin to Town- Bruce Springsteen
Let It Snow- Frank Sinatra
This Christmas- Chicago
Long December- Counting Crows
The 12 Days of Christmas- John Denver and the Muppets
O Come All Ye Faithful- Luther Vandross
All I Want for Christmas is You- Mariah Carey
Holly Jolly Christmas- Martin Sexton
Next Year- Jamie Cullum
*The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole
*This Time of the Year- Ray Charles
Winter Wonderland- Tony Bennet
*Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Chris Martin or James Taylor. It's a tossup.
*God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings- Sarah McLachlin and Barenaked Ladies
Rudolph- Jack Johnson
St. Patricks Day- John Mayer
Carol of the Bells- The choir from the Home Alone soundtrack
*=top choices

So, let the debate begin: How early do you listen to Christmas music, and what's on your playlist?


Anonymous said...

Do not listen to Christmas music until Dec. 1. I want my Thanksgiving and week after.

Matt said...

I like Christmas music. I just get tired of it after a month an a half of play. I'm for starting it all after Thanksgiving.

Adam Caldwell said...

I say you can start in March...yeah that's good.

Ryan said...

I agree about pre-thanksgiving Christmas music. There is so much variety in Christmas music now from pop to rock to jazz so that you can create a huge playlist for the holidays and not get bored with it. Plus, some Christian music is about Christmas and Jesus's birth, but not really "Christmasy."

Professor RJ Gumby said...

I start right after Thanksgiving. Christmas music is a very deep part of my holiday season. I love it and can't wait to start playing it.

My mom sang in the choir and in the church where I grew up, a tradition of Christmas Eve was her singing a "Silent Night" in German, with her playing the autoharp in a duet her friend Jayne Hunt. (I always pictured angels in heaven sounding like they did). Pretty much every year since Mom passed away in 1976, I need only hear that song or O Holy Night, another song she did, and I am pretty much hit between the eyes emotionally speaking.

OK, enough of the misty eyed stuff.

A tradition Marcy and I have is to add to our Christmas collection each year. Last year, I picked up the Brian Setzer Orchestra's "Dig that Crazy Christmas" - where else can you hear a darn fine guitar and the Grinch song together?

The best Christmas CD EVER (IMHO) is "The Bells of Dublin" by the Chieftains. Google the lyrics to the song "The Rebel Jesus" by Jackson Browne. A very thought provoking song.

Another favorite...The Blind Boys of Alabama "Go Tell it On the Mountain". Their version of "Away in a Manger" with George Clinton (of Funkadelic fame, for those who are children of the 70's like me) and Robert Randolph...Who says you can't rework the classics?

And finally..."Blue Christmas" by Elvis...

Enjoy the season...

Scott Watson

The Millers-Because we like it Original! said...

Awww, come on. You're forgetting the best song out there: Snoopys Christmas by the Royal Guardsmen?! Sheesh.