25 Days Of Christmas Music 2021: Day 9

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the countdown.

day 9

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I cannot remember a time when The Peanuts characters were not part of my world. I had sheets with their adorable faces on them when I was a kid, along with a lunch box & various other toys & collectibles. I still have many of those cherished items today. Every one of the beautiful characters Charles M. “Sparky” Schulz gave us became part of my heart at an early age. They remain my safe place, my familiar place, my constant and my home. And I am convinced that love affair started the first time I watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” which premiered on December 9, 1965. This season would not be the same without this TV special & its exceptional music. Today’s song is my favorite from that wonderful soundtrack.

Linus

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Vince Guaraldi Trio: “Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, music by Vince Guaraldi, lyrics by Lee Mendelson).

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, happy listening!!!

Let’s Take A Moment Day 280

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Dec 21

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

There is so much to love about the movie “Elf” from Will Farrell’s portrayal of Buddy, the man-child Santa’s helper of The North Pole, the supporting cast, the fact that most of it takes place in NYC and so on. But the music is a huge part of the story as well. I love that it is a grown-up soundtrack. That was also the approach “A Charlie Brown Christmas” took with its music when it introduced children to contemporary jazz through holiday songs. Many of the tracks were written specifically for the TV special (most notably “Christmas Time Is Here”, “Skating” & “Linus & Lucy”) while it ended with a traditional carol (“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”).

Elf did not use any original tunes but it made up for it in the artists which were included in the film. It gave us powerhouses like Louis Prima (yes, “Pennies From Heaven” is not a Christmas song but it worked so well in the scene, plus how many contemporary soundtracks feature this incredibly talented man?), Stevie Wonder (“What Christmas Means To Me”), Jim Reeves (“Jingle Bells”) & The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, with today’s pick. Any movie that introduces a new generation to this woman is one everyone should see.

Our cheeks are nice and rosy and comfy cozy are we
We’re snuggled up together like two birds of a feather would be
Let’s take that road before us and sing a or two
Come on it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you
“.

Ella

Lady Ella Fitzgerald circa 1945. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ella Fitzgerald: “Sleigh Ride” (1960, written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 268

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

CB 1

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” turns 55 this year. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Another holiday show anniversary is upon us. This one turns 55 this year & remains a beloved seasonal & cultural phenomenon to this day. On December 9, 1965 “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was introduced to the world. The Peanuts taught us all the true meaning of Christmas, friendship, being part of a community and how far a little love can go. It is my absolute favorite Christmas special of all time. The characters Charles M. Schulz created had real feelings, real thoughts, real fears and real problems, making them no different than the kids watching their shows or reading their comic strip each Sunday. Showing me & kids around the world we had a place to feel safe was an invaluable gift and the reason why Schulz will always be one of my heroes.

Home is not a place for me, it is a feeling. And today’s song overwhelms me with it like no other. It is comfort defined.

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
“.

Peanuts Skating

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Vince Guaraldi Trio: “Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, music by Vince Guaraldi, lyrics by Lee Mendelson).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 6

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

charlie brown with the tree

Courtesy of Lee Mendelson Film Productions / MGN 

Today we celebrate not just one song, but several from what is arguably the best Christmas special ever made.  Last night this holiday favorite aired for the 54th year in a row and yes, I was front and center.  It leaves me all warm and cuddly inside while hitting all the points of the season:  good will towards men, non-commercialism, listening to special holiday music with people you care about, choosing to decorate (and celebrate, for that matter) in a way that makes you happy, even if that way is not the conventional approach, knowing that anything is beautiful with a little love and the core religious aspect of what Christmas is all about.  Plus it stars some of my best friends in the universe, the Peanuts.

Linus speech

Courtesy of Lee Mendelson Productions / MGN 

Based on the successful comic strip started in 1950, the animated holiday special was commissioned and sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company which obviously knew a good thing when they saw it.  It was the first TV appearance for the Peanuts characters and catapulted them and their creator from a mere phenomenon to super stardom.  Merchandise of all kinds was created and it was not just limited to toys.  Other items like cookie jars, home decor & accessories, watches, clothing, greeting cards, lunch boxes, Pez dispensers, banks, etc. were also marketed.  You name it, it is out there.  And today it is still a billion dollar industry that all began with this special from 1965.  Not to mention its incredible unforgettable grown-up soundtrack that critic Shawn M. Haney wrote ” “introduce[d] contemporary jazz to youngsters with grace, charm, and creativity.”  If this were the only Christmas album I could listen to for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly fine with that (but please don’t tell Bruce Springsteen!!!).

Peanuts Christmas

Other Peanuts TV specials followed, as did movies, including a 3-D one in 2015.  And the comic strip also continued for the next 35 years.  Sadly it came to an end in February 2000 when its glorious creator was forced to retire due to his failing health.  He died the day after the last strip was published.  His official cause of death was cancer.  Unofficially, I think it was due to a broken heart.  We all knew from the last words of that final strip how much it hurt to say goodbye to the characters he created who became our beloved friends.  His words were ones we could all identify with:

“Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy…..how can I ever forget them?”

Thanks to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, none of us ever have to.  But how do we ever thank you, Charles M. Schulz, for the gift of our dear sweet cherished Peanuts?

Peanuts Album.jpg

Christmas Is Coming” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, vocal version by choristers from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California, written by Lee Mendelson & Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Christmas Time Is Here” (1965, instrumental version by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Lee Mendelson & Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (1965, vocal by choristers from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California, based on a 1739 Christmas carol with various writers including Charles Wesley and George Whitefield).

Linus and Lucy” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

O Tannenbaum” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Vince Guaraldi in 1965).

Skating” (1965, instrumental by The Vince Guaraldi Trio, written by Ernst Anschutz in 1824).

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, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 11

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

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My tree from 2016.  Charlie Brown is with me every year.

Do you remember the 1988 book “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum?  Great sentiment about how life really never changes, just our reactions to  it.  Well, Charles M. Schulz taught me about the people I would encounter in my life:  the mean one (Lucy), the smart philosopher (Linus), the everyday, insecure person hoping to get noticed (Charlie Brown), the sloppy one (Pig Pen), the musician (Schroeder), the one who follows the beat of her own drum (Peppermint Patty), the who who is always letting his imagination run away from him (Snoopy) and the ones who always need a little extra help (Woodstock, Sally).

I must admit it took a while for me to understand these personalities represented real life, but I am so happy I grew up with these characters.   To this day they comfort my soul, make my heart happy and make me feel safe.  It does not feel like Christmas to me until I watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and hear the gang sing these two Christmas songs.

peanuts

Courtesy Charles M. Schulz

The Peanuts:  “Christmas Time Is Here

The Peanuts “Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing”

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!!!