Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Fun With Numbers

No, no more math.

Instead I'm going to do the list that Terry put on her website yesterday.*

It's the 'Five favorite Christmas Songs' list.

The thing you need to know here is that I'm a Christmas guy. Right now, there's sixty-seven Santas and nineteen nutcrackers in my living room, as well as an entire set of plushies from the Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (airing Friday night on CBS, kiddies!), including not one, but TWO different Yukon Corneliuses.**

And I'm not even feeling all that Christmas-y this year. Maybe this list will help.

First off, there's no way that I can just list five. I can't even get my list down to five sub-categories. But lets start by dividing the songs up first into 'Secular' and 'Ecclesiastical.'

What can I say? I was a member of two choirs, three choruses,*** and a madrigalia when I was younger. Regardless of your views on faith, these are some of the most beautiful and profane songs, and a joy to sing, especially in close harmony. And we did some wonderful arrangements. Mostly traditional, but often with a fantastic bass line that went countrapuntal to the other three parts. Which, if you're a bass, makes up for much of the dreck we sang the rest of the year.
  • Hymns and Chants
  1. Veni Veni Immanuel
  2. Angels We Have Heard on High
  3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  4. Adeste Fidelis
  5. Silent Night
The first song is the most ancient, a Gregorian Chant from Advent, the middle three are from Christmastide, and technically shouldn't be sung in church until after Christmas. And is there anyone who doesn't know the story to the fifth?

  • Carols
  1. Good King Wenceslas
  2. Une Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle
  3. Good Christian Men, Rejoice!
  4. Gloucestershire Wassail
  5. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Carols predate the Christian church, but, like the holiday itself, the church co-opted them. These are best performed outside, in the snow. I also was a member of several bands (I played trumpet), and sometimes a few of us would take our instruments out and play a few and sing a few. Ah, memories.
  • Standards
  1. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire)
  2. Silver Bells
  3. I'll Be Home For Christmas
  4. Have Yourselves a Merry Little Christmas
  5. White Christmas
The songs your parents (okay, for a lot of you, your grandparents) played on their Hi-Fi's every year. All from the forties and fifties. These are all American classics, and will always be timeless.

  • Modern
  1. Happy Christmas (War is Over)-John Lennon
  2. Christmas Song-Jethro Tull (Hey! Santa! Pass us that bottle.)
  3. I Believe in Father Christmas-Emerson, Lake, & Palmer
  4. Run Rudolph Run-Chuck Berry
  5. Christmas Wrapping-The Waitresses
I know, I know--they're all two decades older or more. It's my list. Don't like it? Make your own list.

  • Novelty
  1. Santa Baby (preferably Eartha Kitt's version)
  2. I'm Gettin' Nothin' For Christmas-Ricky Zahnd and his Blue Jeaners
  3. I Wanna Hippopotamus for Christmas-Gayla Peevey
  4. Zat You, Santa Claus?-Louis Armstrong
  5. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth-Spike Jones and His City Slickers
Of the five, I'm guessing everyone knows either the song or the singer, with the possible exception of number three. 'I Wanna Hippopotamus" is a lively tarantella, sung by the pre-teen Peevey in her best Teresa Brewer imitation. It was released in conjunction with a campaign to get a hippo for the Oklahoma City Zoo. It worked. The song raised three grand.

That's enough for tonight. My next post on the subject will be my top five Christmas albums

*I'm not linking to her site until she gets a needle and lances that thing.


Blogger Madame X said...

Riu, Riu Chiu
was always one of my favorites.

Cool meme/tag thingie and I am DYING to know the answer to the math problem!

7:01 AM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

Have I ever mentioned that I generally hate Christmas songs? I might go to hell for it, I'm not sure.

However your list is really quite heartwarming.

My daughter is working up Hark the Herald to play at church on Christmas eve and I gotta say, she is rockin it hard. She might change my mind...

9:50 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

I had to find that one online. We used that for our 'walkoff' instrumental. Our baritone player would play the lead, and the rest of us would be the chorus. It's a beautiful song. I never knew its name.

I got my son up a little early yesterday morning and we slapped the 289+20=309, 309-2=307, 20-2=18 method into his workbook, and heard nothing from the teacher, so it must have been fine.

I honestly don't have a problem with allowing kids to use whatever method works for them to solve problems. But forcing them to find other methods when they are already comfortable with the traditional way of doing the math is simply asinine.

hick: i seem to remember you metioning it somewhere. I don't hold that against you any more than you hold the fact that Johnny Depp doesn't make my heart go all a-flutter against me.


10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like The Pogues' Fairytale of New York around this time of year. . . .

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm not lancing it! it will leave a scar!

don't make the giant zit angry. it will get revenge.

but soon i'll post something new with pretty pictures. i promise. maybe not 'til tomorrow, tho...

8:15 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I just realized that you used ECCLESIASTICAL and COUNTRAPUNTAL in the same posting and that makes you some kind of hero to me. Just wanted you to know that.

9:41 PM  

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