Tag Archives: Christmas Carols

Christmas Carol Countdown-Day 5

Day 5: O Holy Night by *NSYNC

We’re getting serious again here on Day 5. Back in the late ‘90s, I was firmly caught up in the boy band craze, and *NSYNC was without question my boy band of choice.  In 1998 they released a Christmas album, Home for Christmas. It played non-stop in my Sony Discman that Christmas season. It’s actually a pretty good album and I still listen to it every year.  One of the things that always set *NSYNC apart from some of the other groups was their true musicality. Those boys could actually sing, and they made beautiful harmonies together. One of the finest examples is their A Capella rendition of O Holy Night. It’s probably my favorite version of this traditional song. You can really hear each voice shine in the arrangement. They performed the song live a few times as well, proving that it wasn’t just studio magic that made them sound that good.  Beautiful stuff.

O Holy Night

O holy night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
The thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O  hear the angel voices
O  night…divine
O  night when Christ was born
O holy night
O  night divine
O  holy night
O  night divine

The thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Fall on your knees
O  hear the angel voices
O  night…divine
O  night when Christ was born
O  night divine
O  night divine

O  holy night
O  night divine

O  holy night when Christ was born
Holy night when Christ was born

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Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 4

Day 4: The Season’s Upon Us– Dropkick Murphys

Today we take a turn from the sentimental and saccharine, and embrace the wacky and off-color. There has always been room for non-traditional novelty Christmas songs (Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, anyone?) but so far, this two-year-old song hasn’t been embraced by the mainstream Christmas radio stations. It does, however, get some play closer to Christmas on our local alternative music station. OK, so it has two lower level “curse words” and deals with some heavier material than your typical Christmas carol, but it’s a rollicking four minutes, it makes me laugh, and it deserves a wider audience. I’d rather chuckle every hour on the hour than get all weepy-eyed at “Christmas Shoes.” While I personally don’t have a dysfunctional family, I know plenty of people who do, and I think they would appreciate this ode to crazy families.

The Season’s Upon Us
The season’s upon us, it’s that time of year
Brandy and eggnog, there’s plenty of cheer
There’s lights on the trees and there’s wreaths to be hung
There’s mischief and mayhem and songs to be sung

There’s bells and there’s holly, the kids are gung-ho
True loves finds a kiss beneath fresh mistletoe
Some families are messed up while others are fine
If you think yours is crazy, well you should see mine

My sisters are wackjobs, I wish I had none
Their husbands are losers and so are their sons
My nephew’s a horrible, wise little twit
He once gave me a nice gift wrapped box full of sh!@

He likes to pelt carolers with icy snowballs
I’d like to take him out back and deck more than the halls
With family like this I would have to confess
I’d be better off lonely, distraught, and depressed

The season’s upon us, it’s that time of year
Brandy and eggnog, there’s plenty of cheer
There’s lights on the trees and there’s wreaths to be hung
There’s mischief and mayhem and songs to be sung
They call this Christmas where I’m from

My mom likes to cook, push our buttons, and prod
My brother just brought home another big broad
The eyes rollin’ whispers come loud from the kitchen
I’d come home more often if they’d only quit b!tchin’

Dad on the other hand’s a selfish old sod
Drinks whiskey alone with my miserable dog
Who won’t run off fetch sure he couldn’t care less
He defiled my teddy bear and left me the mess

The season’s upon us, it’s that time of year
Brandy and eggnog, there’s plenty of cheer
There’s lights on the trees and there’s wreaths to be hung
There’s mischief and mayhem and songs to be sung
They call this Christmas where I’m from

The table’s set, we raise a toast
The father, son, and the Holy Ghost
I’m so glad this day only comes once a year
You can keep your opinions, your presents, your happy new year
They call this Christmas where I’m from
They call this Christmas where I’m from

Christmas Carol Countdown-Day 3

Day 3: Some Children See Him

Written by Alfred Burt and Wihla Hutson

I was not familiar with this song until a few weeks ago. I actually heard it for the first time on the Music Choice Sounds of the Season channel on cable TV, which seems to play more of a variety of music than the local radio stations. I was immediately taken by the haunting melody and the message of the song. It embraces the innocence of children, and how they picture Jesus in their mind’s eye. Much has been made over time over what “color” Jesus really was, but in the end, it doesn’t matter; all that matters is the message of love.

The history of the Alfred Burt carols is interesting. At the request of his father, Burt inherited the tradition of composing a Christmas Carol each year for the family Christmas cards. Some Children See Him was the carol for 1951. I’ve spent some time listening to many different versions, and I think I like Andy Williams’ the best. Something about the timbre and emotion of his voice sets it apart from the other versions. As a bonus, I’m also including a version recorded by Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. He felt compelled to cover the song after he overheard his daughter practicing it for her choir.

 Some Children See Him

Some children see Him lily white,
The baby Jesus born this night.
Some children see Him lily white,
With tresses soft and fair.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
The Lord of heav’n to earth come down.
Some children see Him bronzed and brown,
With dark and heavy hair.

Some children see Him almond-eyed,
This Savior whom we kneel beside.
Some children see Him almond-eyed,
With skin of yellow hue.
Some children see Him dark as they,
Sweet Mary’s Son to whom we pray.
Some children see him dark as they,
And, ah! They love Him, too!

The children in each different place
Will see the baby Jesus’ face
Like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace,
And filled with holy light.
O lay aside each earthly thing
and with thy heart as offering,
come worship now the infant King.
‘Tis love that’s born tonight!

Christmas Carol Countdown-Day 2

Day 2: (Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag by Kay Starr
A swinging number written in 1950 by Irving Taylor, Dudley Brooks, and Hal Stanley and first popularized by Kay Starr. The Man with the Bag = Santa Claus. I’ve seen some conjecture on the internet that it is secretly a reference to a drug dealer—the Christmas version of Guns N’ Roses’ Mr. Brownstone, if you will.  Some people have wild imaginations. I’ll take the song at its face value, thank you very much.

The song gained some renewed popularity back in the 90s when it was featured on an episode of Ally McBeal, and has enjoyed a number of cover versions, but I’ve yet to hear any of them on the local radio stations. Enjoy this upbeat number, and may the man with the bag bring you everything you wish for this Christmas!


(Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag by Kay Starr
Old Mr. Kringle is soon gonna jingle
The bells that’ll tingle all your troubles away
Everybody’s waiting for the man with the bag
‘Cause Christmas is coming again
He’s got a sleigh full, it’s not gonna stay full
He’s got stuff to drop at every stop of the way
Everybody’s waiting for the man with the bag
‘Cause Christmas is coming again

He’ll be here
With the answer to the prayers that
You made through the year
You’ll get yours
If you’ve done everything you should extra special good
He’ll make this December the one you’ll remember
The best and the merriest you ever did have
Everybody’s waitin’ for the man with the bag
Christmas is here again!

Christmas Carol Countdown- Day 1

Apologies for going MIA. Shortly after I started getting into the swing of things with this little blog, I found out that I was pregnant with my first child! Needless to say, life has been a bit of a whirlwind over the past 9 months. Our little girl is due on December 15th, which has had me in the Christmas spirit for quite some time now. I’ve decided to keep myself busy in these final pre-baby days by blogging about some of my favorite Christmas songs. (If I have enough time to pre-write, I’ll have 25 entries to auto-post… but no promises!) I do plan to get back to my regularly scheduled programming…eventually…

I wanted to focus on songs that are a little off of the beaten path. While I love having Christmas music always at my fingertips this time of year via the many radio stations that broadcast 24/7 jingle jams, it seems as if they are always playing the same songs over and over and over. Sure, Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is a great tune, but there’s only so many times you can hear it in one day! So, let’s start shedding some light on those deeper cuts that don’t typically make it to the airwaves!

Day 1: Mistletoe and Holly- Frank Sinatra

The song was actually co-written by Sinatra himself, along with Doc Stanford and Hank Sanicola. It was first released as a single in 1957, but it did not chart. It was later included on Sinatra’s Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra album, which is one of my personal favorites. It’s a catchy little ditty that paints a pretty festive picture of the holiday season.

“Mistletoe And Holly”

Oh, by gosh, by golly
It’s time for mistletoe and holly
Tasty pheasants, Christmas presents
Countrysides covered with snow

Oh, by gosh, by jingle
It’s time for carols and Kris Kringle
Overeating, merry greetings
From relatives you don’t know

Then comes that big night
Giving the tree the trim
You’ll hear voices by starlight
Singing a Yuletide hymn

Oh, by gosh, by golly
It’s time for mistletoe and holly
Fancy ties and granny’s pies
And folks stealin’ a kiss or two
As they whisper, “Merry Christmas” to you