A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Seasonal Songs

Post 1

Bluebottle

What Seasonal Songs do you Savour?
This year there's been a huge backlash against Christmas songs.

Firstly some radio stations have declared 1944 song 'Baby It's Cold Outside' – which won the 1947 'Best Song' Oscar - to be unacceptable, with claims that lyrics that can be interpreted as promoting date rape.

Secondly the debate about the use of the word 'Faggot' in The Pogues' 1987 Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York' has reopened once again.

So to counteract that, please tell me about your favourite Christmas songs. Oh, and also say what Christmas songs really annoy you? Why are all the classic Christmas songs from the 1970s-80s? And if you want to talk about Christmas carols too, then go for it!

If we get enough comments this might lead to a h2g2 entry.

<BB<


Seasonal Songs

Post 2

SashaQ - happysad

My favourite rendition of 'Baby it's Cold Outside' was by Claire Sweeney when she was trying to sing it live for a radio show recording - she couldn't wrap her head around the dubious lyrics so kept making 'mistakes' that improved the song in my opinion smiley - loveblushsmiley - ok

'Driving Home for Christmas' was good to listen to when I was driving home for Christmas and most of the others from the 1970s-1980s are OK albeit overused, but I would say the one I find most annoying is the Slade one.

My favourite Christmas song is of course Queen's 'Thank God It's Christmas' - it is not often heard, and that is a good thing so it doesn't get overused and is a treat when it does appear smiley - ok


Seasonal Songs

Post 3

Bluebottle

With 'Baby It's Cold Outside', I do love the version and video by Sir Tom Jones and Cerys from Catatonia. The Thunderball of a singer behind 'Delilah' purrs his way through the vocals while Cerys whispers seduction in front of a big band backing. In the video it is Cerys who gets the upperhand, masquerading as a damsel in distress in order to seduce Tom Jones' smiley - devil character.

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Seasonal Songs

Post 4

Bluebottle

Is there an Atlantic divide with what songs are played at Christmas? Last year I had a discussion with Baron Grim about Christmas songs. Baron Grim said in the US popular Christmas songs tend to date from around the 1950s, while in the UK they're definitely 1970s/80s – as if shopping centres bought their 'Play this each Christmas' CD in 1994 and never replaced it.

I'd say in the UK the popular ones are:
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'White Christmas' (Bing Crosby: 1944)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Happy Xmas (War is Over)' (John Lennon: 1972)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Merry Xmas Everybody' (Slade: 1973)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday' (Wizzard: 1973)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Lonely This Christmas' (Mud, 1974)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Step Into Christmas' (Elton John, 1974)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'I Believe in Father Christmas' (Greg Lake, 1975)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'A Spaceman Came Travelling' (Chris de Burgh, 1975)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Wonderful Christmastime' (Paul McCartney, 1979)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord' (Boney M, 1981)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy' (Bing Crosby & David Bowie, 1982)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Stop the Cavalry' (Jona Lewie, 1982)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Walking in the Air' (Peter Auty/Aled Jones, 1982)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (Band Aid: 1984, 1986, 2004)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Last Christmas' (Wham!: 1984)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'The Power of Love' (Frankie Goes to Hollywood: 1984)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Thank God It's Christmas' (Queen, 1984)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Merry Christmas Everyone' (Shakin' Stevens: 1985)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'The Fairytale of New York' (The Pogues: 1987)smiley - yikes
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' (Mel & Kim: 1987)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Mistletoe and Wine' (Cliff Richard: 1988)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Saviour's Day' (Cliff Richard: 1990)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'All I Want for Christmas is You' (Mariah Carey: 1994)
smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote'Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)' (The Darkness, 2003)

(They no longer play former festive favourite song 'Another Rock and Roll Christmas' (1984) by convicted paedophile Gary Glitter for obvious reasons…)

Do you agree with their being a decade divide across the Atlantic, and if you are from neither the US or the UK, what songs are played where you are?

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Seasonal Songs

Post 5

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

Show-tune Christmas songs:

"Have yourself a merry little Christmas" [from the film "meet me in Saint Louis"]
"
"That's what I want for Christmas" [from the musical "Pickwick"]

"We need a little Christmas" [from the musical "Mame"]

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" [from the musical "Here's love"]

"Winter was warm" [from the TV animated special in which Mr. Magoo plays Scrooge]

"The Grinch who stole Christmas" [The whole thing!]

"I'm dreaming of white Christmas" itself was from the film "Holiday Inn"



I will also make a separate list of my favorite recordings of classical Christmas songs and anthems


Seasonal Songs

Post 6

Baron Grim

Here's the XKCD comic I based my previous comment on, that and personal experience. The alt-text for this comic states, "An 'American Tradition' is anything that happened to a baby boomer twice."


http://xkcd.com/988/


Seasonal Songs

Post 7

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

Here are some classical Christmas pieces that predate baby Boomers by quite a wide margin, though the performances are relatively recent:

past three o'clock
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3eloZqewkA

still, still, still
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpRq4i-XMmk

All my heart this night rejoices
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvh2FN0jG00

Blessed be that Maid Marie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UL2sLE8uks

Personent hodie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flMk4InL7zE

Bach: Wacvhet auf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz0FmmNrTck


Seasonal Songs

Post 8

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

Three more selections, and then I will rest.

I love brass ensembles at Christmas time. I have some happy memories of Salvation Army ensembles playing Christmas music on street corners ori n shopping malls smiley - smiley


Empire Brass: Bach Christmas oratorio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k07SrET9hpI

Canadian Brass "God rest ye merry gentlemen"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_Ht-av5Q8Y

Guttler Brass ensemble "In dulci jubilo"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaFpwO8T6z0



Seasonal Songs

Post 9

Orcus

Not really one for seasonal songs and the debate a la

>>Secondly the debate about the use of the word 'Faggot' in The Pogues' 1987 Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York' has reopened once again. <<

So they're not worried about him calling her a slut then smiley - huh

Maybe they are, this debate has passed me by. Can't really be doing with all the faux outrage that seems everywhere these days.

This song used to be my one and only 'look forward to' christmassy song, but even this has got boring these days personally.


Seasonal Songs

Post 10

Bluebottle

Well, according to website http://www.prsformusic.com/press/2012/fairytale-of-new-york-most-popular-christmas-song it is the most-played Christmas song in the UK. Not sure when the list was compiled, as an alternate list – presumably from 2014 – has 'Do They Know It's Christmas' (2014) in the top spot with 'Fairy Tale of New York' second: http://rockmyworld.com/the-50-most-played-christmas-songs-in-the-uk/
'White Christmas' doesn't make either top twenty. Inexplicably they seem to think 'Stay Another Day' is a Christmas song, when it clearly isn'tsmiley - huh

<BB<


Seasonal Songs

Post 11

Bluebottle

Oh, but no – it is perfectly acceptable (or at least no-one has raised objections that have reached the media I've seen) to call a woman a 'slut' in 'Fairytale of New York'. However, the line 'Say what's in this drink?' in 'Baby, it's Cold Outside' is clearly unacceptable. After all, it comes immediately after the female character asks for 'half a drink more'.

So in the song the woman asks for a drink, is given a drink, and asks what it is. Maybe she is a smiley - redwine connoisseur? Maybe she likes the taste of the smiley - stiffdrink and would like to make it at home? There are lots of possibilities. However apparently one interpretation is that she has been given rohypnol and is about to be rapedsmiley - erm This means the song must be banned.

Seriously, who thinks that? It's a 1940s song – it was written two decades before the discovery of rohypnol - that isn't what the song is about!

People when hearing a song can choose to interpret the song they want, not what the writer intended. 'Honi soit qui mal y pense'

<BB<


Seasonal Songs

Post 12

Baron Grim

In the contemporary context for "Oh Baby, It's Cold Outside", the simple truth is that sometimes "No" meant "Maybe" or even "Yes, please". She is flirting in an era when it was taboo to openly signal that a female was... "DTF" as the kids now say.

One of the biggest weaknesses of the liberal left is our tendency to go WAY overboard on political correctness to the point it becomes suppression and censorship.


Seasonal Songs

Post 13

Orcus

I wonder if that line in Fairytale of New York 'You're a cheap slut on junk' iirc - being delivered by the dulcet tones of Shane MacGowan is probably too difficult for most people to work out smiley - biggrin

I did hear a whiff of the 'It's Cold outside' controversy on the radio the other day. Pfft - I thought.


Seasonal Songs

Post 14

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

I'm quite fnd of pearl Bailey's rendiion of "Baby, it's cold outside
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeGXHKzdZwg


Seasonal Songs

Post 15

Baron Grim

I believe the folks who watch Fox News are having a hay day with it. It fit's their narrative that liberals and secularists have a "War on Christmas"™ and this in particular is an example Political Correctness Run Amok™. OK, they're not far off on that last part, but they are making a bigger deal out of it than anyone. There's also all the memes being spread on Boofcake. I saw one yesterday that said "Merry Christmas", featuring the Peanuts™ kids singing "It's Cold Outside" with Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer playing in the foreground. and the caption stated something like "How to offend everyone at once." smiley - facepalm


Seasonal Songs

Post 16

Bluebottle

A while ago Icy did a very enjoyable quiz about the best-selling songs in the UK, which inspired me to get a book called 'The Million Sellers' (2012) which listed all 123 songs that had sold over a million copies in the UK in the 60 years since the chart began. Some of these were Christmas songs, and they are:
2. Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid (1984)
11. Mary's Boy Child/O My Lord by Boney M (1978)
18. Last Christmas by Wham! (1984)
65. Mary's Boy Child by Harry Belafonte (1957)
68. Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid 20 (2004)
116. White Christmas by Bing Crosby (1942)

I was quite surprised by how low-down the list 'White Christmas' is, considering how it is supposed to be smiley - earth best-selling song.

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Seasonal Songs

Post 17

Orcus

Sheet music innit. smiley - winkeye


Seasonal Songs

Post 18

Orcus

(as in it was in the sheet music era and counting that- it probably still is the best selling)


Seasonal Songs

Post 19

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

I'll stay with Pearl Bailey's "Baby, it's cold outside." I've never thought that Christmas was in any way contrived to offend anybody. Except maybe Herod's fan club, which hopefully no longer exists. smiley - biggrin

So many of the Christmas songs I enjoy are soothing and melodical, as if they were lullabyes to calm young children. Granted, no one enjoys having to shovel snow, but I get the sense that Christmas tradition treats the snow as a friend. One-horse open sleighs, sleigh rides, winter wonderlands, and all that. People who don't want to go out in the snow can warm themselves by the fireplaces and be perfectly fine.

If it's Christmas Eve and you can't get to the family mansion for the big get-together because of heavy snow, you can still get in touch (telephone, texting, Skype, Internet, etc.). Maybe you're sitting in a crowded airport waiting for the runways to be cleared of snow. That can be a memorable experience you can tell your grandchildren about.

I plan to take in some Winter solstice activities on Dec. 21
http://www.thebostoncalendar.com/events?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search=Solstice

If all of those fall through, my Plan B is to hike in Hancock Woods near the West Roxbury/Brookline border.
http://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/hancock-woods--2


Seasonal Songs

Post 20

Bluebottle

smiley - yikesCan you imagine there being enough snow in one place that you need an actual shovel to shift it!smiley - wow

I didn't know if 'White Christmas' didn't do well on initial release in the UK because 1942 is right in the middle of the Second World War, with rationing and conscription in full flow.smiley - huh Even Vera Lynn – who has the record for being the first person to have a top-ten record aged over 100 – is famous in the war years for singing on radio rather than releasing records.

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