Monday, November 30, 2009

From the vault: I want an unfunky Yuletide

(I've posted this almost every year since I began blogging. It's my way of kicking off the holiday season.

New to my holiday rotation last year was A Colbert Christmas, the soundtrack to Stephen Colbert's hilarious holiday special (See John Legend singing "Nutmeg."), and Winter Songs a compilation of mostly traditional holiday songs by indie female singers like Brandi Carlile.

I'm on the lookout for new classics this year. Recommendations are appreciated.)

Originally published in 2007

I like my Christmas and my carols classic.

Today, my nieces and nephew came over and we made gingerbread houses and decorated my tree while listening to holiday tunes--classic tunes. I mean real classic, like from before I was born or when I was a little Tami. I'm talking Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby and Burl Ives classic, with a smidge of Donny Hathaway. I don't want my carols funked up. I don't want to hear any multi-octave melismas, no rapping breakdown, no metal version of "Little Drummer Boy," no "Silent Night" (DJ Buck Nasty Remix). "The Nutcracker Suite," "A Rat Pack Christmas" and "Carpenters Christmas Portrait" have been in heavy rotation on my iPod this week.

Yeah, I said the Carpenters, and I'm not ashamed. Karen Carpenter has one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard and I love to hear her sing "Merry Christmas, Darling." Speaking of beautiful voices, I love David Bowie's voice on "Little Drummer Boy" below. He sounds so sweet; not his usual freaky self. This is my all-time favorite version of the song.


Reggie said...

I don't mind just a tad bit of funk in my Yuletide songs; but I do prefer Donny Hathaway and Luther Vandross and Nat King Cole to Bing Crosby and David Bowie.

Now that I've read this I'm going to have to go upstairs and dig my Christmas CDs out.

Moni said...

I like some soul in my Christmas carols. My favorite CD is A Motown Christmas (, which features songs from Stevie Wonder, the Tempations, Jackson Five, etc. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that my other favorite Christmas CDs are the ones by Boys II Men and Mariah Carey. What can I say? I'm an 80's baby!

Satsuma said...

Geez Tami,

Your Christmas blog has now become a "Christmas Classic" with me too:-) :-) Last year I read it I think, and I too love the classics.
The 1950s era choral of "The Little Drummer Boy" complete with scratchy LP background sounds toie for!! Karen Carpenter "Little Altar Boy" always makes me cry!
Nat King Cole "Chestnuts roasting...

But what I love about Christmastime is suddenly lute music is in the air, songs from Medieval times come on, and then there is "In the Bleak Midwinter" an English favorite that's amazing..lyrics by Christina Rossetti music by beloved Gustav Holst... "In the bleak midwinter, frosty winds made moan, earth stood hard as iron water like a stone..." THE BEST.

I think a classic winner this year could be AndreaBocelli's new CD. If you have it, let me know what you think. And if I hear Frosty the Snowman one more time I'm going to scream!!!

It's Tami's blog for Christmas and all through the house, not a womanist was sturring, not even a mouse, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that happiness and freedom soon would be there!

Thanks so much for being you, and being unashamed of Karen Carpenter!!! Much Love, Satsuma

Sandy said...

I was just talking to someone about how much I really enjoy Aaron Neville's voice when he SINGS, but once he starts that yodeling crap I just lose all interest.

As far as a simple, pretty vocal on an old, classic carol, I heard a version of "The Holly and the Ivy" by Erin Bode (a local artist here in St. Louis) today. It's available on iTunes.

Anonymous said...

Im with You Tami! No funky Yuletide-some things are classics!

Cindy said...

I like a bit of classic, but my favorite holiday CD is a Putamayo Holiday compilation of world music and a second favorite is a traditional Puerto Rican album...but I do have Amy Grant, Canadian Brass, etc. performing the standards.


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