Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 15

Day 15: The 12 Days of Christmas by John Denver and The Muppets

I’m bringing back Muppet Mondays as part of this countdown. In 1979, John Denver and The Muppets got together to create a Christmas special. The special no longer gets played on TV and has never been released in any kind of home media format. Luckily, many families (mine included) taped a lot of stuff off of TV in the ’80s, and the special lives on courtesy of YouTube! The special opens with a rousing, Muppety version of The 12 Days of Christmas. This version is slightly different than the version found on the album, and is worth a view if you’ve never seen it.  Watching John Denver try his best not to crack up as Fozzie forgets his lines and Miss Piggy over enunciates (Fiiiveeee gooolllddd riiinngggsss BA DUM BUM BUM) is a joy.  By the way, this year, the cost of all of the gifts mentioned in the song in 2014 is over $116,000!!!!

Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 14

Day 14:  Mary Did You Know? by Pentatonix

Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene wrote Mary, Did You Know? in 1991. The first recording was done by Christian artist Michael English, who was a member of Gaither Vocal Band along with Lowry.  I first became aware of this song when my high school chorale performed an a capella version. I always thought it was a beautiful song, and it was a consistent show stopper.  It’s been over a decade since I last performed the song, but I can still remember my alto part as if it were yesterday.  I’ve heard many versions of this song over the years, but none has moved me as much as that arrangement—until I heard the wonderful version released this year by Pentatonix. Since I don’t have a recording of my chorale’s version, I give you the next best thing.

“Mary, Did You Know?”

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?..
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?..

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know

Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 13

Day 13: Santa’s Beard by The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys’ Christmas, released in 1964, is a great Christmas album.  A few of these songs get regular air play- Little Saint Nick, Frosty the Snowman, and The Man with All the Toys in particular.  There are a few other goodies on the album that you don’t hear too much. One song is Santa’s Beard. It’s a cute little original song, which depicts someone taking his little brother to meet Santa. He hopes he doesn’t pull on Santa’s beard because the child wants to believe it’s the “real” Santa. Of course the child does just that, discovers it isn’t really Santa, and is told that it’s just one of Santa’s helpers. I hope that you enjoy this upbeat tune and I also hope that your child doesn’t pull on Santa’s beard this year!

“Santa’s Beard”

I wanna meet Santa Claus, the real real Santa
I wanna meet Santa Claus, the real real Santa
I wanna see Santa Claus, the real real Santa
He wants to meet ol’ Santa Claus

I took my brother to the department store
He wanted to show Santa his Christmas list
He stood in line and he shook like a leaf
He’s only five and a half goin’ on six

He said, “Is that (that Santa) really Santa Claus, really really (the real Santa) Santa Claus?
Is that (that Santa) really Santa Claus, really really Santa? (I hope he doesn’t pull Santa’s beard)
Is that (that Santa) really Santa Claus, really really (the real Santa) Santa?”
Hope he thinks that’s Santa Claus

I picked him up and put him on Santa’s lap
And then he pulled the pillow out of his shirt
He yanked the beard right on off of his chin
And in his eyes I could see he was hurt

He said, “You’re not (not Santa) really Santa Claus, you’re really not (the real Santa) Santa Claus
You’re not (not Santa) really Santa Claus, you’re really not Santa (he shouldn’ta pulled Santa’s beard)
You’re not (not Santa) Santa Claus, you’re really not (the real Santa) Santa”
He’s just helpin’ Santa Claus

He’s just helpin’ (helpin’ Santa) Santa Claus, the real (the real Santa) real Santa
He’s helpin’ (helpin’ Santa) Santa Claus, the real (the real Santa) real Santa
He’s just helpin’ (helpin’ Santa) Santa Claus, the real (the real Santa) real Santa
He’s just helpin’ Santa Claus

Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 12

Day 12:  All I Want For Christmas is You – Michael Bublé

I know, I know. I said on Day 1 that you could only hear All I Want For Christmas is You so many times…but I think this is a perfect example of how radio stations can mix it up a little while still playing songs people want to hear.  Michael Bublé takes the Mariah Carey modern classic and puts a new spin on it by slowing it down into a smooth jam. It’s a nice change of pace. I remember it getting some play the year his Christmas album came out, but have not heard it recently. I have, on the other hand, come across Mariah Carey’s version playing at least 20 times, and –I am not exaggerating—last week it was playing simultaneously on THREE local stations. Way to bury a great song deep into the ground. Mariah actually joined Bublé on his Christmas special last year to duet on the song (of course it was the up-tempo version). Bublé’s unhurried version is a nice palate cleanser which helps to remind you how great of a song All I Want For Christmas… really is!

All I Want For Christmas is You

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about those presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
You know that all I want for Christmas
Is you…

I won’t ask for much this Christmas
I won’t even wish for snow
No, I’m just gonna keep on waiting
Underneath the mistletoe
There’s no sense in hanging stockings
There upon the fireplace
Cause Santa he won’t make me happy
With a toy on Christmas Day
I just want you here tonight
Holding on to me so tight
Girl, what can I do?
You know that all I want for Christmas
Is you…

And all the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere
And the sound of children’s
Laughter fills the air
And everyone is singing
I can hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won’t you bring me the one I really love
Won’t you please bring my baby to me…

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
This is all I’m asking for
No, I just wanna see my baby
Standing right outside my door
Oh I just want you for my own
More that you could ever know
Make my wish come true
You know that all I want for Christmas
Is you…
Is you…

Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 11

Day 11: Snow Miser and Heat Miser from The Year Without a Santa Claus

The 1974 Rankin-Bass stop motion classic The Year Without a Santa Claus contains many nice tunes, but none are quite as catchy as the Snow Miser and Heat Miser songs.

Written by Maury Laws and Jules Bass, the songs feature Dick Shawn as the Snow Miser, George S. Irving as his brother Heat Miser, and their respective minions singing the praises of cold and hot weather. Every once-in-a-while I’ll hear the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies’ version on the alternative station, but that’s about it. This song definitely deserves more airplay!

Snow Miser’s Version

Snow Miser: I’m Mister White Christmas, I’m Mister Snow.

I’m Mister Icicle; I’m Mister Ten below.

Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch,

Turns to snow in my clutch.

I’m too much.

Minions: He’s Mister White Christmas, he’s Mister Snow.

Snow Miser: That’s right!

Minions: He’s Mister Icicle; he’s Mister Ten below.

Snow Miser: Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch,

Turns to snow in my clutch.

I’m too much.

I never want to know a day that’s over 40 degrees,

I’d rather have it 30, 20, 10, 5 and let it freeze!

Minions: He’s Mister White Christmas, he’s Mister Snow.

Snow Miser: That’s right!

Minions: He’s Mister Icicle; he’s Mister Ten below.

Snow Miser: Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch,

Turns to snow in my clutch.

Too much.

All: Too much!

Heat Miser’s Version

Heat Miser: I’m Mister Green Christmas, I’m Mister Sun.

I’m Mister Heat Blister, I’m Mister 101.

They call me Heat Miser, whatever I touch

Starts to melt in my clutch.

I’m too much.

Minions: He’s Mister Green Christmas, he’s Mister Sun.

He’s Mister Heat Blister, he’s Mister 101.

Heat Miser: They call me Heat Miser, whatever I touch

Starts to melt in my clutch.

Minions: He’s too much.

Heat Miser: Thank you.

I never want to know a day that’s under 60 degrees,

I’d rather have it 80, 90, 100 degrees!

(Speech)

Oh, some like it hot, but I like it really hot!

Minions: He’s Mister Green Christmas, he’s Mister Sun.

Heat Miser: Sing it!

Minions: He’s Mister Heat Blister, he’s Mister Hundred and One.

Heat Miser: They call me Heat Miser, whatever I touch

Starts to melt in my clutch.

I’m too much.

All: Too much!

Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 10

Day 10: Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy- Bing Crosby and David Bowie

I am really surprised that this song doesn’t get more radio play. I feel like years ago, it was spun much more frequently. I haven’t heard it on the radio once this year, and can’t recall hearing it last year either. The unlikely duo of glam rocker David Bowie and classic crooner Bing Crosby joined forces to sing this duet for the 1977 TV special Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas.

The story goes that David Bowie agreed to participate in the show because his dear old mum loved Bing, but Bowie couldn’t stand Little Drummer Boy and wanted to sing something different. Writers Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan got to work writing a new song that would work as a counter melody, resulting in Peace on Earth. The two melodies compliment each other well, as do Bowie’s and Crosby’s voices. Bing passed away five weeks after the taping, making this one of his last recorded performances.

Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy

Come they told me pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
A new-born king to see pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
Our finest gifts we bring pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
Rum-pum-pum-pum, rum-pum-pum-pum

Peace on earth, can it be
Years from now, perhaps we’ll see
See the day of glory
See the day, when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

Peace on earth, can it be

Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can

I pray my wish will come true
For my child and your child too
He’ll see the day of glory
See the day when men of good will
Live in peace, live in peace again

Peace on earth, can it be
Can it be

Christmas Carol Countdown-Day 9

Day 9: Christmastime by The Smashing Pumpkins

No, it’s not a cover of the Charlie Brown Christmas song. Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins actually wrote this particular song for A Very Special Christmas, Vol 3. These albums are Christmas compilations that benefit the Special Olympics. There are many gems to be found on them and this is one of my favorites. This song captures the magic of being a little kid anxiously waiting for Christmas morning and the joy that parents have watching them. The instrumental opening is perfectly Christmassy, and the melody is quite pretty.

Christmastime by The Smashing Pumpkins

We watch the children playing
Beside the Christmas tree
Presents are wrapped up, it’s beautiful
And secretly the gifts you’ll hide
The fun awaits for you inside

Christmastime has come
There’ll be toys for everyone
‘Cause Christmastime has come for you

I remember dreaming
Wishing, hoping, praying for this day
Now I sit and watch them
The little ones I love
So excited by the way

Christmastime has come
There’ll be toys for everyone
‘Cause Christmastime has come for you

And now the word is given
It’s time to peek inside
It’s time to let the toys out
So anxious for your look of joy and delight
The waiting for just your surprise

Christmastime has come
There’ll be toys for everyone
‘Cause Christmastime has come for you

Christmastime has come
There’ll be toys for everyone
‘Cause Christmastime has come for you
For you

Christmas Carol Countdown-Day 7

Day 7: Here We Come a-Wassailing/Here We Come a-Waffling

This is a traditional carol from England that originated in the 1850s. In some versions, “wassailing” is replaced by “caroling,” which is actually only one part of wassailing.  Wassailing was the tradition of going door-to-door singing carols in exchange for a bite to eat and a cup of ale from the wassail bowl, which typically contained an apple flavored alcoholic beverage. I first remember hearing this song as a child when my older brother participated in the Philadelphia Revels Christmas shows. Here’s an old Philadelphia Daily News article from 1989 explaining a little bit of what the show entailed.

Last year, through the magic of YouTube and Google Chrome, my husband and I spent a day watching some of our favorite childhood Christmas specials. He introduced me to A Claymation Christmas Celebration, which I had never seen before. It included a funny segment in which a group of caroling dogs mistakenly thinks that the song is Here we Come a-Waffling. Comedy ensues as one of the hosts attempts to correct them, but has no idea what wassailing actually means until another group of carolers comes on the scene to set everyone straight.

Here We Come a-Wassailing

Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wand’ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Christmas Carol Countdown-Day 8

Day 8: Snow by Irving Berlin, from White Christmas

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time. There are many great songs featured in this movie, but very few of them include a Christmas theme, so White Christmas is usually the only song to get airplay. My personal favorite song from the movie is Snow. It captures the childish excitement that we all had at one time when we heard there was snow in the forecast.  As adults who have jobs to get to, pavements to shovel, and cars to dig out, we often moan and groan about impending snow.  Still, when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do, nothing beats the beauty of a freshly fallen, sparkling blanket of snow.  Sit back, relax, and let Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen remind you of everything that is awesome about snow.


Snow

Snow, it won’t be long before we’ll all be there with snow
Snow, I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow

Snow, I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow
Snow, oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow

Where it’s snowing
All winter through
That’s where I want to be
Snowball throwing
That’s what I’ll do
How I’m longing to ski
Through the

Snow, those glist’ning houses that seem to be built of snow
Snow, oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow

What is Christmas with no snow
No white Christmas with no snow
Snow

I’ll soon be there with snow
I’ll wash my hair with snow
And with a spade of snow
I’ll build a man that’s made of snow
I’d love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye
Go to sleep
And dream
Of snow, snow, snow, snow, snow

Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 6

Day 6: This Christmas I Spend With You by Robert Goulet

As often happens with my husband and me, what once started as a joke grew into a genuine appreciation for a crooner. (This has also happened with Tom Jones and Michael Buble). Like many people of my generation, I was not familiar with Robert Goulet until Will Ferrell starting spoofing him on Saturday Night Live. Once again I have the Music Choice Sounds of the Season channel to thank for stoking my interest in the actual man. This Christmas I Spend With You came on the channel last year, and I thought to myself, “Hey, that sounds like Will Ferrell doing his Robert Goulet impression.” To my surprise, it actually was THE Robert Goulet! I decided to buy Goulet’s album A Personal Christmas Collection for my husband as a stocking stuffer. Great minds think alike because that same Christmas, he got me an old Goulet album from a blowout sale at a local record shop. This Christmas I Spend with You is the first song on the album and it’s my favorite. I can’t help but picture Will Ferrell as I listen to Goulet over enunciate words. The line “So ring bells, goooo and ring ‘em! Riiiiiiing bells! Biiiig bells, little bells, jingle bells..” in particular always makes me smile. This year, the added element of expecting our little bundle of joy in time for Christmas has given me a slightly new perspective on the song, too.  This song has quickly become a Christmas classic for me.

 

This Christmas I Spend With You

Mark this holiday
Mark it well
Note how perfectly
Right it fell

Yes, it’s Christmas
But something is new
Because this Christmas I spend with you

Mark the stardust upon my sleeve
Note this feeling of Christmas Eve
Thanks to heaven the best is in view
Because this Christmas I spend with you

So ring bells
Go and ring ‘em
Ring bells
Big bells, little bells, jingle bells
Ring bells
Tell them to …

Mark this holiday
For my own
Note this Christmas I’m not alone
All my wishes at last have come true
Because this Christmas, I spend with you

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 136 other followers