Christmas Music

There is a Lutheran  tradition that you really shouldn’t sing Christmas music in church until Advent is over.  I love the mournfulness of Advent carols. They often are in minor keys. I find them calming.  Husband and I have many treasured Christmas recordings that we listen to every year.  I listen to the Holiday stream on MPR at work through the day. I find I am becoming increasingly fussy about what Christmas  music I can tolerate. Gene Autry and Rudoph is definitely a no go.

What Christmas music do you like? What do you loathe? What Christmas earworms have you had this week?

68 thoughts on “Christmas Music”

  1. Rise and Hum Along Baboons!

    Yesterday I was in LaCrosse, WI at the allergist. This appointment is an all day proposition which also did not allow me to participate in the the TB yesterday. However, the trip did expose me to hideous Christmas music just in time for today’s discussion.

    I was in the ladies room at the restaurant where we ate, when the speaker blasted a carol which was obviously sung (and recorded?) to a karaoke track. It was appalling. I can’t remember the song, all I remember is how wooden and obvious it was. Who chose that mess for the Christmas mix? Someone at the restaurant should ask for its money back. So there is my “loathing” answer.

    I love a few, as well:

    *My neighbor’s sister, a professional harpist, made a CD 30 years ago of Christmas tunes, which never gets old.
    *The Roches Christmas.
    *And my tasteless, funny, lifelong love: John Denver and the Muppets

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Linda, the “Pothole Gardener” you posted yesterday made my day! My urge to contribute to civic welfare is to carry clippers with me and remove tree limbs from obscuring traffic signs. I have seen several people run through stop signs that are scarcely visible because of tree limbs.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Well I was in Peru YA got an Alexa. If I ask her for classical Christmas music she says “playing soulful Christmas music”. And then proceeds to play pretty much the same thing you hear on almost every radio station that plays Christmas music. I like the old stuff, more vintage. On Thursday I went to see Cantus downtown and they did the Bieber Ave Maria as their encore. Tears to my eyes.

    0T. Nonny’s plane has landed. I’m in the airport waiting for her.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. In my seemingly never ending quest to find horrific movies, I found one last night called Santa versus the Devil. Spanish production, badly dubbed. There was a horrible part in the beginning in which children from different countries sang traditional songs. Very badly done and extremely racist. The Mexican kids sang La Cucaracha.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I guess I wouldn’t say I go out of my way to find them. But when I see them, sometimes I just can’t stay away. This is what happened last night. I was scrolling through the free holiday movies on cable and saw Santa and the Devil and just had to give it a shot.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. The little girl next door was Molly D. One Christmas my daughter announced that she and her friend would perform a recital of Christmas tunes. My daughter played flute while Molly D pounded the keys of our out-of-tune piano. We smiled through a performance of Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night and We Three Kings. Someone ventured the observation that the songs sounded similar. “Oh,” my daughter said cheerfully, “the tune is always the same. Heart and Soul is the only tune Molly D can play.” Best Christmas concert ever.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Ah, don’t get me started! I love tons of Christmas music, favorite perhaps being the Christmas Revels,, whose “productions echo English theatrical precedents of the 16th century and earlier”. I like most traditional carols, love the haunting Appalachian ones like Lullay… (Coventry Carol), and quite a lot of French and Spanish carols… like Rio Rio Chio:

    (I first heard it back in the day on TLGMS.)

    This week I’ve been listening to A Ceremony of Carols (Benj. Britten), Joan Baez’s Noel, and Amahl and the Night Visitors, and I caught Cantus’ concert on the radio.

    The ones I loathe are when some group jazzes up a Christmas song or carol to the point of being nearly unrecognizable.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We have a new Worship and Music Director at church. She is working very hard and bringing some nice changes to our services. She had never heard of the King’s College Lessons and Carols service before, and was responsible for planning the one we do every year. I helped her get it planned. My only complaint about her is that she is heavily into “praise” music-the sort of Christian music in which it isn’t clear if the words are about Jesus or one’s boyfriend. Husband calls it “music for White people”. She is learning that it doesn’t go over real well in our church. It was hard for her to grasp the contemplative nature of the Lessons and Carols service, but she finally got it and we managed to get it worked out and have a lovely service planned for Dec. 22.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I’d venture that I might have the most idiosyncratic assortment of Christmas music. There was a time when we played a lot of Wyndham Hill and Celtic Christmas collections. We still have that music but haven’t played it for years.
    I had a tradition for a while of each holiday season seeking out an unusual Christmas album. Most of the strictly traditional stuff I’ve heard enough to last me a lifetime. Some of those unusual—some might say oddball—collections are still my favorites and in my holiday rotation. Included are: Leon Redbone, David Grisman, Cafe Accordian Orchestra, an ad hoc Nashville group calling itself the Gypsy Hombres, Butch Thompson, Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, the McGarrigle Family, and John Pizzarelli.

    I tend not to do Pandora or radio playlists because the stuff I especially like never gets played and the stuff that does get played is too frequently to me: meh!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Husband made similar purchases. Booker T and the mg’s Christmas, Christmas greetings from Phil Specter, A Tecano Country Christmas, The Temptations Christmas Card, and Christmas with the Platters are just some he has.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Most Pandora lists I do not care for. However, there are several that work for me. If I want old time country (50s-60s) it calls for the “Dolly Parton radio” thread; Americana: Iris deMent. If I want to annoy Sherilee, “Ed Sheehan.”

      Liked by 2 people

  8. All sorts– Sam Robson’s Christmas tunes top my list. I also love many jazz arrangements of classics. One of my all-time instrumental faves is the Percy Faith Orchestra doing the “standards” wayyyyy back. Grew up listening to that every Christmas season. One of the tunes inspired me to take up the French horn for several years.

    I’ve gotten deep into appreciating a capella music and many groups (other than Sam Robson–who’s a one-man chorus!) do fantastic arrangements of some tunes. YouTube is one of my gulity pleasures but often turns into a terrible time-suck. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll play some Robson right now! 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

  9. In the spirit of ecumenism, Husband is playing his cello this evening at the LDS church for their Christmas program. . He will play Once in Royal David’s City and Hark,the Herald Angels Sing, accompanied by our worship and music director.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I don’t listen to a lot of Christmas music, and what I listen to depends entirely on my mood at that moment. There are certain Christmas songs I’d be happy to never hear again. Little Drummer Boy immediately springs to mind, but there are others.

    Like Bill, and I suspect a fair amount of others on the trail, my taste in Christmas music is pretty eclectic, from the ridiculous to the sublime. I recently discovered Ambre McClean, and I love her stuff. Very talented young woman. Here’s an example:


  11. Here’s an arrangement of a beautiful Christmas(?) song that is one of the rare a capella performances that I think is better than Sam Robson’s. The choir voices sound perfectly matched and the chops on a few of them . . . wow!. Strap yourself in for a sonic ride.


    Liked by 4 people

    1. They are fabulous, Chris. How do you know about them?

      I read about them—they work for Disney and do this on the side. They all look so invested in the music—maybe it is a relief not to sing “It’s a Small World”…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I stumbled across them on YouTube while checking Sam Robson videos. Often, on the right side of the YouTube page, there are suggested videos–some are appropriate and quite good, like the one I posted. Others are just algorithm-related “advertising” suggestions.



  12. I have two albums that I really like to listen to at this time of year. The first one is by the Roches and the other is by SheDaisy


  13. Any Christmas music aired in our house will be accompanied by coughing, snorting, and blowing of my nose. I have my second cold in since Thanksgiving.


    1. Oh no. I feel like I’m coming down with something, too, but am not willing to succumb just yet. If I’m not at VS’s party tonight, it’ll be because I have tossed in the towel. I hate to miss it, I’m curious to see if the chess set that Bill received last year will be regifted.


  14. Hi-

    I have survived my crazy two weeks! Pretty much coasting now. Unless I get called for jury duty in the next two weeks and actually have to serve, I’m on the downhill slide for the rest of 2019.

    I have said before how much I detest Christmas music and I suspected most of that came from the concerts I have had to endure at the college for the last 20 years. Well, I am pleased to say this years concert was very very good!
    New director last year has bought new energy and music themes into the concert and “let go” some of the old stale songs that needed to go.

    A new audio team makes it sound 100% better than it has in years and his preshow music was Brian Setzer’s Christmas and it was familiar yet new and different.
    Before you object to the jazzification of the traditional carols, plenty of the concert is traditional. Including Mark, (the man who plays Santa Claus later) singing a really REALLY wonderful version of ‘O Holy Night’ that will give you goosebumps and make your eyes swell up. He’s really good.
    Third half is when Santa (Mark) comes onstage and there is the traditional sing along and then Santa sings a solo of “Let there be peace” to end the show.
    It was all really really nice and I didn’t have to go sit in my office and be grumpy or be angry all week.
    I came home and drank just to celebrate surviving the week; not because I wanted to kill some people.

    It’s all good!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh- there was also a saxophone duet of ‘Baby it’s cold outside’ that was very well done and very funny. Santa said they were very progressive.

    There’s also this favorite:


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