Saturday, December 24, 2016


Overheard at Lem's:
William said...
As an adult I've always liked the Pogues, Fairytale of New York..... Gene Autry's version of Rudolph is the first Christmas song I can remember hearing, and as such it holds a special place....... Bing Crosby's White Christmas is the quintessential Christmas Song. That was the song the soldiers listened to during WWII. It was the background music for a lot of poignant Christmas celebrations. It's got echoes and nostalgia, and that's the biggest part of a successful Christmas song. 
December 16, 2016 at 12:56 PM

The song isn't so much a Christmas song as a song set at Christmas. Shane MacGowan sings a duet with Kirsty MacColl. She was the daughter of Ewan MacColl, an English folksinger who wrote "Dirty Old Town," which was another Pogues classic.

I was just now reading about Kirsty MacColl's horrific death at her Wiki page. She was diving with her sons in Mexico. When they surfaced, an errant power boat bore down on them. She saved her son by pushing him out of the way by mere inches. She was hit directly and killed. That in turn reminded me of a childhood story. My mother's elderly grandfather and his wife were crossing a railroad trestle bridge when they were caught mid-river by a train. He pushed his wife off the bridge at the last minute but he was hit and thrown high into the air. She survived. He did not. 


chickelit said...

William wrote: Bing Crosby's White Christmas is the quintessential Christmas Song. That was the song the soldiers listened to during WWII.

Yes, that and "I'll be home for Christmas...if only in my dreams..." Many, many soldiers could not come home during those years. There were only letters to read and to write.

ndspinelli said...

My uncles who fought in the Pacific and Europe said Christmas was a particularly tough day.

William said...

His last gesture was a noble one, and thus his life was not in vain. That puts him ahead of most people.......The four best selling male singers of the 20th century were Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley. Al Jolson is drifting into obscurity. It doesn't help that he performed in blackface. So far as I know, he never recorded any Christmas favorites. Bing Crosby's crooning style is now out of date. He sounds old fashioned, but that quality adds resonance White Christmas. No living person has heard "sleigh bells in the snow". An old fashioned voice can deliver that line with a more authentic sense of loss.....,Frank Sinatra has some songs that are on the Christmas playlist, and they're terrific. I give Sinatra and his clear diction the nod with most songs, but Crosby's schmaltz blurs the edges like a fresh snow fall on harsh ground......I'm sure Elvis recorded some Christmas songs, but I never hear them played. His image doesn't meld with Christmas. Las Vegas is no place to string Xmas lights.

MamaM said...

We had an Elvis Christmas album, but I didn't enjoy or play it much-his voice and approach made the songs sound too maudlin, too specifically Elvis. It was this one:


My favorite for years was the Ray Conniff Singer's version of Joy to the World (1965) which came out when I was eleven and up for something that sounded like fun and liveliness in the midst of buttoned up tradition.

MamaM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MamaM said...

I'll take back some of what I said about Elvis after hearing his version of "Here Come's Santa Claus" which sounds like he might have had too much punch with the cookies, yet manages convey the spirit of the moment.