Friday, December 26, 2008

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas . . . and other Christmas music

By Lonnie Cruse

Christmas is over for most of us. Still, the holiday season lingers, usually well into January. One of our local radio station plays Christmas songs from about December 15th to the end of the year. Many of these are songs I've never even heard of, and believe me, I've been around for a lot of Christmases. But IF the word Christmas is mentioned in the song, the station plays it, and it does keep one in the holiday mood.

Recently the station played HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS, sung by Burl Ives. Haven't heard that one in a while, and boy howdy did it take me back. I also like I SAW MOMMA KISSING SANTA CLAUS. I tend to prefer the humorous songs to the serious ones. How about you?

Another of my favorites is the oldie, LET IT SNOW. Snuggling by the fire? Popping pop corn? MMMMmmm. Of course, at the end, I always wonder why the guy has to go home in the snow. Why don't they just get married so he doesn't have to leave her? Just one of life's little mysteries, I suppose.

Then there's the new and apparently very popular song GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER. Truly a highlight for me of the holiday season. Snicker.

I've got recordings from the thirties of Christmas classics either recorded with jazz musicians or sung by the then popular crooners, as well as the newer versions by Mannheim Steam Roller (love that name) or Kenny G. Ahhhh. And who can top Johnny Mathis singing Christmas songs? OR Elvis???

And while I'm on the subject of Christmas music, there is always the ever-popular NUTCRACKER. This year one of the satellite channels aired five or six different ballet versions of the popular classic. I happened to catch the one with Macaulay Culkin as the Nutcracker. Wow, he grew up fast.

I remember getting up at dawn one Christmas as a child to open my gifts. My parents got me a new record player (played 45's and 70's LP. I miss the old records, though lots of antique stores still sell them.) Mom went back to bed when the excitement died down but I stayed up listening to The Nutcracker over and over. For me the holiday isn't complete without it.

Music is a very large part of Christmas, as I'm sure you are all aware. Particularly if you recently attended a Christmas program for your children or grandchildren. And the music is invasive to your brain. Who hasn't heard the first line of THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS and spent the rest of the month trying to figure out how many lords are leaping or how many maids are milking? I confess, I try to avoid hearing that one for that very reason.

Happy Holidays to all of our readers. Hope you are still enjoying the music and the turkey left-overs.


iasa said...

I think one of my favorite Christmas songs is Gayla Peevey's I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas . Not only do I like the novelty aspect of the song, but it's not overplayed or has it been recorded by a bajillion different artists.

Lonnie Cruse said...

I confess, I haven't heard that one. I'll have to listen for it. Thanks!

Sandra Parshall said...

The song that gets into my brain and won't go away is Little Drummer Boy. Fortunately, I like it!

Laura Benedict said...

I've been hooked on Eartha Kitt's Santa, Baby this year--and then she died yesterday, which was terribly sad. What an amazing woman.

We celebrate Christmas until Epiphany, which is on January 6th. But even I couldn't bear to hear Christmas music for that long!

Lonnie Cruse said...


Oh, sad about Eartha Kit. I saw a note on Yahoo about the original singer dying but didn't take time to click into it. I thought it was Edie Somebodyorother. Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

Just catching up. Collecting Christmas music is one of my favorite things, and I am absolutely not going to tell you we have 30+ albums/cds of it. As for "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas", that was the first one I thought of when you said humorous. Radio stations in Nashville and Fayetteville have both played it, and my teenager loves it. Does a pretty good imitation, too. This year she got her hippo - an Avon bottle I had from way back. 'Course, now she 'can't' sing it anymore!