Friday, December 08, 2006

Fa-la-la-la-la, la Friday Five

1. A favorite "secular" Christmas song.
James Taylor's version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is nice. And Chuck Berry's "Run Run Rudolph" always makes me smile.

2. Christmas song that chokes you up (maybe even in spite of yourself--the cheesier the better): That would have to be "Mary, Did You Know?" Our youth choir sang it at our Christmas concert last year, and I think we were all boo-hooing by the time they'd finished. "The Child that you delivered/Will soon deliver you." No, it's not Donne, but it gets me every time.
My favorites choke me up, too: "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing", and hearing a boy soprano open "Once in Royal David's City".

3. Christmas song that makes you want to stuff your ears with chestnuts roasted on an open fire: I did a postdoc fellowship in a large pediatric hospital. Secular Christmas music assaulted us over the hospital PA system for four solid weeks. Since disabling the loudspeaker in our department was strictly forbidden, we taped several inches of foam rubber over it, which helped a bit. But we still could not completely escape the Carpenters' version of "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays." From Atlantic to Pacific, gee, the traffic is terrific...Nearly twenty years later, it still makes me cringe.

4. The Twelve Days of Christmas: is there *any* redeeming value to that song? Discuss. Hmm. If it were appropriately normed, perhaps it might have some utility as a verbal learning test.

5. A favorite Christmas album. Bruce Cockburn's Christmas is my very favorite. Second place would be a tie: the Chieftains' The Bells of Dublin and, although some of the arrangements seem a bit dated now, Joan Baez's Noel.

Later: I just went and read the lyrics of "Christmas Shoes", because I had never heard of it. Oh, ick.


Iris said...

I like Karen Carpenter's voice - in small doses.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Great list!

And that about the speak was so funny!

chartreuseova said...

I smiled too just reading "Run, Run Rudoph".

The "Christmas Shoes" is even worse when you hear it...the lyrics alone can't fully express the ickiness.

Songbird said...

So you would advise keeping away from Christmas Shoes?

DogBlogger said...

It's just cruel to play "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays" in a pediatric hospital, where chances are it's being heard by kids who are going to be stuck in the hospital for the holidays.

Not to mention driving the staff bonkers, of course! (I like the foam rubber solution.)

zorra said...

Not to mention being continually hammered with some anonymous, insipid version of "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"--in Southern California. That was the other reason we ran for the foam rubber.

Deb said...

You need acoustifoam (the stuff they use to deaden sound in recording studios) -- works like a charm.

Ummmmm... not that *I* was the one who bought it and taped it up or anything... oh no....

Quotidian Grace said...

Isn't Christmas Shoes just about the worst? I'd never heard of it before this Friday Five, either.

Singing Owl said...

You never heard Christmas Shoes??
How did you escape?

revabi said...

Oh tear the loudspeaker down. I know what you mean from the days of being a Chaplain.

Good post and play.

I'm with singingowl though how could you have missed Christmas shoes, their everywhere.