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Musical numbers

In the previous thread, Surly Ermine asked me if I had any new favorite Christmas carols since moving to Merry Olde. There is a whole ‘nother stable of standard Christmas music here and it falls into three broad categories.

The stuff that gets the most radio play. What I think of as the crooner songs – the mid-century movie classics like White Christmas and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. I hate those songs. Always have done.

I also hate the expression “mid century” to mean something common from my childhood that is now regarded as a genuine and sought-after rarity. The antiques programs are all over it. But I digress.

Second are a small group of carols that I know well, but are sung to a completely different tune here. Away in a Manger is one of those. We don’t go to the carol service any more since they moved it to Christmas Eve, but I always found it really difficult to read those words and sing a totally different tune.

Finally there are the carols that are completely unfamiliar to me. The one that stands out is the Tudor-era Coventry Carol, which sounds a sweet little song until you realize it’s a mother singing a lullaby to quiet her baby before it gets slaughtered in Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents. Christmassy!


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: December 13, 2023, 9:16 pm

I note you don’t have the world’s best Christmas song ever listed here.
A “Christmas song” in the same way that “Die Hard” is a “Christmas movie”.

“Last Christmas” by Wham.

I am hard pressed to think of another song that will make me reach to change the channel quite as fast, even faster than “Happy Xmas (war is over)”.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: December 13, 2023, 10:14 pm

Of course, the two best Christmas songs are:
“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”
“Grandpa Got Run Over by a Beer Truck”!

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: December 13, 2023, 10:47 pm

No list of Best Christmas Songs (or Worst Christmas Songs) could possibly be complete without this Bob Rivers’ immortal classic.

Comment from Pupster
Time: December 14, 2023, 1:20 am

I’ve grown up on both versions of Away in a Manger so it was not jarring at all to me.

However this is the first I’ve learned of The Coventry Carol, and the first hit on U Tube is freaking chilling dude.


Mid-century. Heh. You and me Stoaty, shaking our canes at the sky.

Comment from RimrockR
Time: December 14, 2023, 3:24 am

I just discovered a new Christmas song called Fairytale of New York. Nothing says Xmas as singing about drunk tanks and failed dreams. Actually, it has a catchy tune and cool lyrics so it’s on my Xmas streaming list now.

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