25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 25

Merry Christmas, Vixens!!!  Buon Natale to my fellow Italians!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

joy-to-the-world-lightbox

 

(Original source unknown)

Let me begin by thanking all of you for your support not only over this last month, but throughout the year.  Having the chance to do what I love is a blessing in more ways than one.  This outlet centers me and keeps me focused on what is important when the ballast of every day living threatens to take over more often than it should.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday & a Happy (& Blessed) New Year.

I will leave you with the final song of the Christmas music countdown along with a bonus song to begin 2018 as I take a break to recharge my batteries and relax for the last week of the year.

For the final Christmas song, I chose one by a singer who defines the Christmas season with his classic version of “The Christmas Song“.  With today’s pick, he sings a song celebrating the arrival of earth’s King.  In par with yesterday’s song, this tune celebrates the religious holiday as it is based on two Bible passages:  Genesis 3:17-18 and Psalm 98, 96:11-12.

nat king cole

Nat King Cole (original source unknown)

Nat King Cole:  “Joy To The World

For the new year, my hope and wish is the same every year.  Maybe one day, peace will be a reality.  Here’s to 2018!!!

kenny-loggins-richard-marx

Richard Marx (L) & Kenny Loggins (R) (original source unknown)

Richard Marx & Kenny Loggins:  “Let There Be Peace On Earth

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

peace

(original source unknown)
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25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 24

Hello, Vixens!!!  Merry Christmas Eve!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

o-holy-night-390x250

 (Original source unknown)

Today’s song dates back to 1847 and combined the words of French poet Placide Cappeau and the music of Adolphe Adam.  The more familiar singing edition came to life in 1855 courtesy of Unitarian Minister John Sullivan Dwight.

In whatever language this song is sung, the message is clear:  to rejoice over the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  No matter how many signs we see at stores that read “Jesus is the reason for the season”, it may be easy to forget that Christmas is a religious holiday for those who believe in him.  We all know how commercial this holiday has always been (even Charlie Brown commented on that in 1965) and how it is arriving earlier and earlier in stores and the media each year.  But the little Catholic school girl I used to be 100 years ago cannot choose any other song for Christmas Eve than the one which celebrates the greatest gift God gave us.

These are my top three favorite versions of this song:

aretha-franklin al-green-pic[1]Mahalia Jackson 
                                                                                             (Original sources unknown)                                        

Aretha Franklin:  “O Holy Night

Al Green:   “O Holy Night

Mahalia Jackson:  “O Holy Night

And for the sarcastic adult that I have become, I cannot resist including this irreverent version every year because it makes me laugh until I cry.

Eric Cartman:  “O Holy Night

south-park

 (Original source unknown)

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 23

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

christmas-2

(Original source unknown)

The original version of today’s song hit #1 on the charts in 1949, but the TV special based on the song was not released until 1964.  It has been recorded over a dozen times and three of them are on my list of favorites.  Both the song & the special are holiday staples for anyone who grew up with the tradition of watching it every year.

rudolph

(Original source unknown)

Gene Autry:  “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”  (1949)

Ella Fitzgerald:  “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1960)

Burl Ives:  “Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer” (1964)

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

 

 

 

 

 

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 22

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

silver-bells

(Original source unknown)

Today’s song is from 1950 and like others included in the countdown, it was featured in a movie (“The Lemon Drop Kid”).  As pretty as the melody is, the lyrics are what I like most about this song.  It paints such a descriptive picture of how the holiday looks and feels from the point of view of a city street as opposed to the coziness of home.  Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.  Perhaps that is what is meant by “the magic of the season”.

For someone who loves words as much as I do, there is no way I can listen to this tune and not marvel at how well the words not only tell the story, but show it as well.  And I am able to see it just as clearly in all four versions of this song I love the most:  swing/big band, country, soul & acoustic.

tony bennett     martina

                      Tony Bennett (R) & Martina McBride (L) (Original source unknown)

Wilson Pickett     she and him

                                   Wilson Pickett (R) and She & Him (L) (Original source unknown)

Tony Bennett & the Count Basie Orchestra:  “Silver Bells

Martina McBride:  “Silver Bells

Wilson Pickett:  “Silver Bells

She & Him:  “Silver Bells

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 21

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

durango-co-christmas

(Original source unknown)

My love for Motown is immense.  I have adored it since I was a kid, thanks to my parents.  They bought one of those K-Tel compilations which consisted of four albums of the Motor City’s greatest hits and the rest is history.

So many great songs and singers came out of that era, and to this day four of them are still on my list of favorite voices of all time:  Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, David Ruffin (lead singer of the Temptations) & Levi Stubbs (lead singer of the Four Tops.

Despite the fact that Motown gave us some of the greatest music ever made, so many of the holiday music recorded by those artists is hardly ever heard during the Christmas season.  With radio stations starting earlier and earlier every year to play holiday songs, I do not know how this era of music gets overlooked.  I listen to these four Christmas songs year round, and maybe after hearing them you will understand why.

marvin gaye     Temptations

Marvin Gaye (R) – The Temptations (L) (original sources unknown)

Stevie Wonderthe-four-tops-abdul-duke-fakir-levi-everett

Stevie Wonder (R) – The Four Tops (L) (original sources unknown)

Marvin Gaye:  “I Want To Come Home For Christmas

Stevie Wonder:  “What Christmas Means to Me

The Four Tops:  “Away In A Manger

The Temptations:  “Silent Night

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 20

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

snowmen-3

(Original source unknown)

This may be repetitive for those who follow me. but it is the truth:  I love Bruce Springsteen.  He is one of my heroes, my favorite singer/songwriter and one of the most decent people to ever come out of the music industry.  He taught me so many of life’s lessons, never tried to sugarcoat what was bad, has integrity beyond measure, is loyal and remembers his roots.

Sure he is not perfect, but from what I have seen from people in this life, he is pretty damn close.  I am thankful every day that I not only found him, but I understood him as well.  When I watched him on “Storytellers”, he said his album “Born To Run” was his invitation to his fans to come along for the ride.  Well, I accepted that offer and it has been one of the best parts of my life.

While other rock musicians are lending their music to big box stores for commercials, he continues to honor his legacy by playing his three hour plus concerts and finding new ways to bring his music to his audience.  Publishing his biography and giving us a glimpse into his mind when he was writing his songs is one example, and performing his Broadway show is another.

I saw that show tonight and, of course, the man did not disappoint.  He was his funny, charming, reflective and rocking self.  He talked about his life, his childhood, his family and his career.  In between his monologues, he played some of his music, including a song from an album he released about six years ago.  And it summed up our vicarious relationship perfectly, figuratively speaking:

“Darlin’ if you’re weary lay your head upon my chest
We’ll take what we can carry and we’ll leave the rest
Big wheels roll through the fields where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams.”

Thanks, Bossman, for the land of hope and dreams.  And for the ride.  And the music.  I will never be able to thank you enough for all of it.

bruce-merrychristmasbaby

Courtesy of Eric Meola

Bruce Springsteen:  “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Bruce Springsteen:  “Merry Christmas, Baby

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 19

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

truck-with-wreath

(Original source unknown)

For most of the countdown, I have had trouble choosing only one song each day because I feel like there are so many great versions of so many holiday classics, I just want to share as many as I can with you.  And while this song is no exception in the amount of great renditions it has, for me there is only one.  Why?  Because that one is by Ray Charles Robinson.

I fell in love with his version the first time I heard in the 1989 movie “When Harry Met Sally” and it has been one of my all time favorite Christmas songs ever since.  In my heart he made this song his own the same way he did with “America The Beautiful“.  There is a reason why he was called “The Genius”, and it is clear in every note of every song he ever played.

ray 2

(Original source unknown)

Ray Charles:  “Winter Wonderland

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!