bluesilverkdg: (Default)
I saw a clip on TV recently about the most annoying Christmas songs, and it got me to thinking. There really aren't any Christmas songs that I just absolutely hate, but there are a few that get on my nerves. I know it's a classic and beloved by millions, but I've never liked "White Christmas." I dunno. It's too slow, too sentimental, too..blah. I just don't like it. I'm not big on "The First Noel" either, for the the same tempo reasons. I've never been much of a fan of slow songs. Although, I do really dig the chorus when it goes into the swelling "Noooo-ellll, Noooo-ellll, Noooo-ellllllll-Noooo-elllllll" part. Oh, and "Silent Night." Yes, I know, I'll probably get flogged for that, but maybe I'm just burnt out. I DO, however, like "O Little Town Of Bethlehem", and it's kinda slow. Maybe I just haven't heard it too much.

I'm very picky about arrangements. I don't like all these jazzed up, syncopated, "let me show you how much rhythm and soul I can put into "Hark the Herald Angels Sing'" type deals. I don't want to hear anyone scatting on "O Come All Ye Faithful." Seriously. Harry Connick Jr., while cute and talented in his own special way just annoys the crap out of me with his take on Christmas. Honestly, I don't like any of The Big Stars Doing Christmas. There are far too many country or blues or jazz versions of the classics, and more seem to pop up every year. I guess I'm a traditionalist. Give me a good orchestra, like the London Philharmonic performing "Joy To the World" anyday over Whitney Houston's rendention of "Do You Hear What I Hear." And I don't care that Mariah Carey can span 17 octaves. Just sing it the way they wrote it.

So what do I like? One of my favorite Christmas songs has always been "The Little Drummer Boy." But it needs to be sung by kids, preferably little boys. (OK, yes, that does sound creepy, I realize.) I just don't want to hear Bob Segar singing about his rump-pa-pum-pum. My mom has an arrangement that is (I believe) by the Vienna Boys Choir. I cannot hear that song without tearing up, even to this day. It's on the record that she and I played every year when we were decorating the Christmas tree. Maybe it's a fond childhood memory, maybe the song really is that good, but I get a lump in my throat just thinking about that poor little drummer boy with no gift to bring.

My other favorite song? "O Holy Night", quite possibly one of the most beautiful songs ever written, in my humble but correct opinion. But again, it needs to be sung properly. It also needs to be sung by a female, I believe, but just leave it alone in its classic beauty. Whitney Houston fouled it up, too, with her "soaring vocals" and overdone manner. Maybe Whitney just oughta leave Christmas alone, come to think of it.

I also love "Carol Of the Bells" and this is one of the few songs that I'm OK when it's messed with. Transiberian Orchestra's heavy metal-esque take on it is absolutely amazing and so incredibly powerful and gorgeous. But the original version, with all those ding-dongs in it, is just as good.

I love a good orchestral version of "Angels We Have Heard On High" with a gorgeous female soprano singing it. And one Christmas song that I love a lot, you might not be familiar with. I believe it's an Old English carol called "Fum Fum Fum." I'd never heard it until about 10-12 years ago, when my mom got me a CD of Christmas carols done in a classical piano style. I'd actually like to find an arrangment of it to learn to play myself, because it has some very fast sections that I think would be a heckuva a lot of fun to play on piano. Mannheim Steamroller does a really cool arrangment of it, if you're curious.
Honestly, I like a lot of the Old English and Celtic carols..."Good King Wenceslas", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen","I Saw Three Ships" "The Holly and the Ivy", etc. Maybe I like them so much because not as many people do them, thus the ruination factor is low? (Although I do see that Sting tried his hand at "Three Ships.." At least he did apparently keep the classic instruments, so I will give him props for that.

I guess I just don't like messing with the classics and much prefer a choral or orchestral arrangment to most Christmas songs, rather than a more modern take. Does that make me a bah humbug?

So, tell me, what's your favorite Christmas/holiday/winter song? And which one (or ones) do you wish you could never hear again?
bluesilverkdg: (Default)
In all my photo posts, I totally forgot to talk about my intake this Christmas! I got gifts that would've mortified me as a kid. One year, my dad bought something like a blender for my mom as a Christmas present, and I fussed at him for buying her "mom gifts." I thought he should be getting her things like perfume and jewelry and clothes. This year, I got a slew of "mom gifts" and I love every one of them.

My haul:
A deep fryer (for making those yummy pickles.)
A touchless can opener (as seen on TV!)
A bag resealer (which is the most awesome thing since sliced bread.)
A jar opener
A new set of cookware (complete with lids, [livejournal.com profile] nonspecific !!)
Two more cookbooks for my collection
A vegetable chopper (also as seen on TV!!)
Bath towels
TV Guide Book Of Lists
Vanilla Bean Noel Lotion (Bath and Body Works)
A big tote bag for work
A potpourri infuser thingie
Some cushywarm house slippers
A set of makeup bags
Gift cards galore... Bath and Body Works, Walmart and Chili's. I've already used the B&B Works and Walmart cards, and put a big dent in the Chili's card.

A spectacular year, I must say. I can slice, dice, chop, cook and deep fry..and then seal up the bag when I'm done. And if you need any jars or cans opened, I'm your girl! We opened our gifts on Christmas Eve, so I kept asking mom "do you need anything chopped? Do you need any bags sealed up?" :-P I finally did get to chop some onions for the dressing for Christmas Day.

The bad thing about getting the deep fryer is, I have vowed to get back to my healthy eating ways. I have strayed badly, these last few months (plus I've not been jogging or walking at ALL at the park.) I have, however, learned the fine art of deep-frying, which has done little for my waistline. My yearly doctor's appointment is a week from Thursday, and I know she's gonna yell at me because I've gained weight. So, today, I made baked tilapia, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, mashed potatoes (made with nonfat yogurt instead of butter) and a spinach salad for dinner. It was good and filling, and I very much enjoyed my meal. But now I have a deep fryer and those pickles are just calllling to me! :-/ Ah well. I'll still indulge every now and then. But I don't need to continue making them four times per week.

So, anyway. That was my gift list. What did Santa bring for you this year?

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