Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's a Blues Christmas.

There's 15 inches of snow on the ground in Portland, I missed my first vertigo appointment due to the ENTIRE CITY BEING SHUT DOWN, we've been inside for 8 days or so, but yet it's a beautiful Christmas morning. I feel better than I have in weeks. Posting has been light to nonexistent due to dizziness--real, not metaphorical. However, in this brief burst of verticality, I'll try to post a thing or two.

I hate hate hate MOST christmas music. "Most christmas music" is a handful of warhorse canonical songs that have been sung unto death. By Sting. For this post, I'll try to acquaint you with some christmas songs that you never heard playing in Wal-Mart.

First, Lightnin' Hopkins singing a song variously named "Santa," or "Santa Claus." Quite the red suit and white beard.

Here's Freddy King, having a less-than-optimal Christmas "Everybody's singing Merry Christmas, as they watch the sky fill with reindeers. I'm smiling on the outside, but inside, I'm crying Christmas tears."

And, an actual Christmas Chestnut, except it's sung by Nat King Cole, and is about chestnuts during Christmas. I, at various times in my life, have been forced to listen to to that genre terribly terribly misnamed "easy listening." Easy for some, one can only assume. Anyhoo.... every once in awhile a song would come on that I thought was not only beautiful, but all the way to sublime. They were always sung by Nat King Cole. Here's his Christmas song, probably the only standard Christmas song (I keep repeating that phrase, would an abbreviation help?) that might, perhaps, move me to tears.

Finally, Leadbelly, the man who was released from Parchmen Farm TWICE for murder, because the warden liked his singing. A lovely, sweet Christmas song. My fave. (Of the Blues.) "Children all be so happy on a Christmas day."
There's a wealth of stunning Christmas blues not available on Youtube. Assuming the world does not yet again begin to spin to fast for comfort, I'll see if I can post some of the old great Bluesmen's songs.

And, now for something completely different: Bach - Christmas Oratorio: Cantata #1 BWV248 - Mov. 1/9. I love his choir music. Actually, I love all his music, but the choir music has a special place in my heart, and this one is even seasonal!

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