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This is the time of year I wish I had recorded a CD of holiday songs already. The big problem with holiday albums is that if you start when you feel holiday spirit, it's too late for that holiday season. You have to record them when the sun is hot and people are in shorts and t-shirts. Who wants to sing about winter and Christmas then? Who even wants to be in a studio then?

The other problem is that since I don't call myself a Christian these days (haven't for decades now, I guess), the number of songs available to sing is kind of limited. I could sing "O Holy Night," of course, but it wouldn't be authentic for me. I guess my challenge, should I choose to accept it, is to create my own repertoire of holiday music. The fact that most of the traditional Christmas songs are such familiar and stirring tunes only adds to the challenge.

I got a start a few years ago when I was in the car with my family, shopping in December, and we saw a Meijer department store delivery truck. (They're bright red with the word "MEIJER" in huge white letters. Hard to miss.) So we started singing, to the tune of "O Tanenbaum":
O Meijer truck, o Meijer Truck
You bring us all our presents
Much hilarity ensued, because, well, my family's crazy. By the way, I finished that song, so don't feel compelled to send me any further verses.

I also wrote a slightly more serious song about 25 years ago. So that's two down. Only ten or so to go. Guess I better get to work.

Finally, I recommend to your attention this entry from Too Much Coffee Man, especially if you made a journey to your hometown for Thanksgiving (or some other reason).

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ferndalealex
Nov. 27th, 2005 06:28 pm (UTC)
Danke for the link to Too Much Coffee Man. It's oddly comforting to read someone else's nostalgia for a change.

And, in true UU fashion, sometimes we have to reach for the deeper meanings and truths in some of the songs. I am not now, nor have I ever (truly) been a Chrsitian but one of my favorite experiences was singing the carol "Emannuel" in an Episcopalian (sp?) church with several hundred people for the People Who Care About People With AIDS christmas service. Got goosebumps.

hellmutt
Nov. 27th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
I'm loving Relient K's (should that be Reliant K? not sure of my friend's accuracy) version of Twelve Days of Christmas. Pop-punk perfection. It's even clean. :D

*is working on an Xmas mix at the moment*
songdog
Nov. 28th, 2005 12:25 am (UTC)
Norah's Freezing On The Trolley, Swaller Dollar Cauliflower Allegeroo
I haven't been a Christian for decades now either...if I ever was one, simply because my parents declared me so. I'm an atheist Unitarian with a healthy respect for many of the pagan traditions.

But I've always felt that despite the harm religion in general has inflicted on the world (in my opinion), the one beautiful way religion has impacted the world is through Art. Art, Music, and Architecture. I don't need any gods or dogmas to appreciate the beauty of a mosque, of Mozart's Ave Verum, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, or the art of the ancient Aztecs.

While I am a reluctant (and secular) participant in most Christmas traditions, I love the music. (Except "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer". I hate that.) I attend Messiah sings when I can, and I also think O Holy Night is a beautiful, beautiful song. I love to sing it (and especially to hear Nat King Cole sing it :-) ), simply for its beauty. I wouldn't feel any less authentic singing that than I would singing "To Life!" from Fiddler On The Roof. To me, it's all about the music.

My sister, primroseburrows (re)wrote a terrific version of "The Christmas Song"...one lyric: "Everybody knows a reindeer has no middle toe; it helps to make him stand upright..." I need to ask her to post the entire thing before the season ends...
altivo
Nov. 28th, 2005 12:07 pm (UTC)
Here's the trick. You start writing and recording now. But the release is planned for next October. That gives you time for all the stuff it takes to get the CD out.

I know, it sounds like a drag doing editing and mixing on Christmas stuff in May, but that's the way it works. :)

There are lots of great old yule tunes that you could pick up. Traditionals like The Holly and the Ivy or In the Bleak Midwinter. They have some Christian lyrics in them, but come from an older tradition and are not heard often enough. Lovely old tunes.
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