Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Merry Christmas to All, and to All, a Good Song

So the weather has been chilly lately. You could almost say it's been feeling (and looking) a lot like Christmas, which in South Texas is not always the case. It seems this year many people are getting in the spirit, even my dad, who has been going crazy hanging lights and (gasp!) sending out Christmas cards. He has even enjoyed listening to those ever-increasing numbers of post-Thanksgiving all-Christmas music channels on the radio.

With such a wealth of Christmas music every year sometimes one can get Christmas song overload long before the actual blessed day. A couple years ago, I did a sort of bah-humbug blog about Christmas music, because I had heard too much and just wasn't in the spirit. This year, maybe I will get burned out before Christmas day, but it seems it's hitting just the right spot for some reason. I and my family have thoroughly been enjoying the cool, cloudy days and the "job" of getting those decorations out of storage and displayed for all to see. Could it have a little to do with the fact that this year I am actually off work for Christmas day? Probably so. That's a rare occurrence that will be put to best use this year. I can't imagine anything better than just being with family and listening to wonderful music. I wish the same for everyone this year.

And oh, where to start with the music? Perhaps with a (semi-) contemporary take on the "Little Drummer Boy" showcasing a couple of my favorite artists, David Bowie and Bing Crosby. A beautiful version of this song, with a different, added sentiment by the duo always got my mother in the mood every year. She loved it and thought there was no better version. I must concur. I do hope you look and listen here and enjoy as much as we always have.

Next, a most beautiful version of an old standby, "O Holy Night," by a country artist who doesn't get enough recognition, John Berry. This is just about the most resonant version of a difficult-to-perform song that I have ever heard. I have it for you here.

To get you in a reflective mood, I have a song that seems to not be played too often, though these days I can't imagine a better reflection of the prevailing mood. It is a somber one, to be sure, but with just a tinge of hope that mirrors what much of the nation, I think, is going through. It is "I Believe in Father Christmas," by Greg Palmer, here, and perhaps it will give a little meaning to what our world has been experiencing of late.

They may have "sold" Palmer a "silent night,", but when performed by the one and only Temptations, it is something you can believe in. This is my favorite version of the old classic, and it's just not Christmas to me until I hear it. When you combineTHE best version from one of THE best groups ever, you get pure magic. The harmonies are absolutely perfect. I think you'll hear what I mean here. It is impossible to listen to this song and not be moved.

To put you in a rockin' mood, I must include "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms, definitely one of my all-time favorites, here. This song is simply timeless, and I still love it as much as the first time I ever heard it. There have been many versions made of this song, but the original is still and always will be the best.

And finally, I have included what I consider to be THE most timeless Christmas song ever. It is THE best version by one of our finest artists of all time, and its sentiment is so lovely and simple, it needs no frills. It is, simply, "The Christmas Song," by the incomparable Nat King Cole, here. The words and music are timeless, and I've never heard the whole concept of Christmas expressed in a more beautiful way. It just doesn't get any better than this.

So there you are....a short list of my faves for this time of year. I hope you enjoyed these fine songs, and share some of your most treasured music memories as well. Merry Christmas to all, and may there one day be peace on Earth.

Peace on Earth....can it be?


Edith Ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edith Ann said...

I love your short list. Thanks for posting the links-could have been easier to give a listen.

Christmas music is magical and it always put me in the holiday mood.

Now, I need to track down the video of Emmitt Otter's Jug Band Christmas. There is a song in there that just makes me sob.

Edith Ann said...

'COULDN'T have been easier...'


Pilot said...

I like your choices of Christmas songs, but I'd like to toss a few into the mix if I may. "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys, for your dad and this old pirate, and how about the Boss's version of " Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town", and the beautiful version of "Little Drummer Boy" by the unlikely duo of Bing Crosby and David Bowie.....I mean, what says holidays more than Ziggy Stardust meets White Christmas?
A merry and joyous Christmas to you and yours!

Sugar Magnolia said...

Uh...Pilot, the Bowie/Bing duo was first on my list.

Yeah, I've been hearing "Little Saint Nick" more this season than before, it seems, for some reason. Dad does dig it, and anything else by the Beach Boys. My mom also LOVED LOVED LOVED anything by Brenda Lee, and so I suppose "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" is a good one too.

One I DID forget about was "The Christmas Guest" by Grandpa Jones (and nobody else). In my DJ days (long gone, but the funnest job I ever had) at Christmas time, that was by far the most requested song. You may have to cut and paste, but for those wanting to hear this, go to

Merry Christmas, all!

Pilot said...

Caught me skimming.......

Sugar Magnolia said...

'S okay, Pilot. Take a moment and just breathe and enjoy.....