Tag Archives: music

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 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 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!