Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas: Do you hear what I hear?

Please have a listen to my very favorite version of
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, sung by James Taylor.

My second favorite version of this song is sung by Judy Garland.
Both versions have an aching melancholy that I quite enjoy.

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We actually have EIGHT versions of "Have Yourself..." in our iTunes library. In addition to JT and Judy, we have versions by: Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore, Aimee Mann (lead singer of 'Til Tuesday!), Lou Rawls, The Pretenders (!) and, the latest addition, by Michael Bublé.

This is part of what's great about Christmas music: It can be performed so many different ways. We have NINE versions of "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting ...):" Brian McKnight, Carmen McRae, Catherine Feeny, The Hampton String Quartet, Vince Guaraldi Trio, James Taylor, John Gary, Nat "King" Cole and Ray Charles. And we have TEN versions of "Silent Night" (Celtic Christmas Orchestra, Aine Minogue, Damien Rice, Enya, House of Heroes, Mairi MacInnes & William Jackson, Michael Bublé, Richard Westenburg, Sarah McLachlan, and the Choir of King's College).

Music can really set a mood, and Dan and I love Christmas music. Every Thanksgiving night when we get home from my brother's house, we play the Charlie Brown "Christmas Time Is Here" song. We have  almost 400 Christmas songs and the names of artists above give a sense of the variety. We mix and match throughout the season, depending on our mood. On Christmas morning, we listen to all choral. It sets a peaceful, calm tone, filling the house with the voices of angels and bringing some appropriate solemnity to a glorious day.

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