Thursday, 15 December 2011

Favourite Christmas Songs - The Kitch Collection

Our Christmas CD collection used to be almost exclusively classical as both Rob and I have spent years singing in Church Choirs in the UK.  However, we then moved to Canada, and in close proximity to Walmart we soon found our Christmas repertoire expanding rapidly...  the Elvis Christmas Album, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers 'Once Upon a Christmas', the Beach Boys sing Christmas, you name it, we bought it!

We're now both total converts to 'Kitchmas' in all its glory and really enjoy listening to such a mixture of religious and secular music at the time of year.

So here, again in no particular order, are my favourite Kitch Christmas songs:

Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton

"It costs a lot of money to look this cheap".  It looks worryingly like she's not wearing a top in this video...

Marshmallow World - Bing Crosby

I couldn't find a nice video to this one, but this is the version of the song that I love.

Forget You Santa - Cee Lo Green and Michael Jackson

We don't have this on CD, I just stumbled across it on youtube - and loved it!  I think it's so clever when songs are 'fused' together and these are two absolute classics.

Blue Christmas - Elvis

The King sings Christmas in his own inimitable style.  Neither Rob nor I can resist singing along to this one, complete with melodramatic swoops up to all the notes!

Last Christmas - Wham!

One from my childhood, and I still love it now.  Here's George and Andrew in all their bouffant-haired glory in the original 1984 video:

Stay a Little Longer Santa - Shemekia Copeland

One of my favourite tracks from a fabulous album that we picked up in Las Vegas, a charity CD sold by 'Bath and Body Works'.  It has all kinds of obscure festive tracks, either little-known songs, or well-known songs such by different people (e.g. Rascal Flatts singing 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen!).  I love it.

So whether your Christmas is a classic one or a kitch one - I hope it's very merry for you all!  We'll be celebrating in our camper-car somewhere on South Island, New Zealand, but I'll be back on the blog in the New Year.

Favourite Christmas Songs - The Classical Collection

December is here (NB it was 'just here' when I started writing this - it's half over now!), so we are allowed to listen to Christmas music!  I say 'allowed', but this is a self-imposed rule in our household.  We both adore Christmas music and have a large selection of seasonal CDs, but if we start listening too soon (and when we start we have them on every day) we get tired of them before Christmas itself even arrives.  So December the 1st it is.

We have had several 'Desert Island Discs' discussions about our favourite Christmas music, and although the list seems to change every time I think about it, I thought it would be fun to post some of my top picks here.

Our CDs are pretty evenly split between the classical and the kitch, and it's pretty hard to compare the two, hence the separate posts.

Here, in no particular order, are my favourite 'classic' Christmas carols.  And huge thanks to whoever is responsible for posting King's College, Cambridge, contributions onto youtube - this post would not have been possible without you!

In the Bleak Midwinter - Harold Darke

A beautiful, simple version of this classic carol.  I've sung the first verse of this as a solo before now, and I like it because it's nicely in the range of my voice.

Bethlehem Down - Peter Warlock

A little-known modern carol - well, little-known to non-singers I suspect.  Hauntingly gorgeous, makes shivers run down my spine every time I hear it.

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day - John Gardner

A beautifully lively and catchy version of this classic carol.  I first sang this many years ago with a choir called 'Iscavoces', a group of singing friends from Exeter University.  It's been a favourite of mine ever since, even though I haven't sung it for over 10 years now.

Nativity Carol - John Rutter

Many people might say that this carol, indeed anything by John Rutter, should properly belong in the 'kitch' post that will follow this one, but I think Rutter has become a Christmas classic!  I can't imagine a Christmas without some Rutter carols.  I wanted some other Rutter carols (Shepherd's Pipe Carol, Angel Carol), but many are not available for 'embedding' from you tube, so I've gone with this lovely one instead.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - EH Sears

I must confess to getting a bit tired of singing some of the traditional congregational carols (Once in Royal...  yawn!) but this is one I never tire of.  The words are just so poetic.  They can be found here if you want to remind yourself of them.