So, last year I included this song, which I first heard in the movie Love, Actually (which I love, actually), and which I enjoy listening to, which I love, actually (see what I did there?), when I’m bopping around in the car on my way through traffic, singing at the top of my lungs. It’s fun.
My husband will have none of it, though. The song makes his ears bleed. In fact, all songs by Mariah Carey do. Fair enough.
This is for him.
And, since I’m posting it on the blog, also for you. Enjoy.
It’s the middle of the night on Christmas Eve in a month that’s been unnaturally busy and hectic for my family. I’ve just finished wrapping gifts. The house is quiet around me.
It’s the centennial anniversary of a spontaneous trench truce, and some reports say that this song was sung and shared between British and German soldiers as they paused from slaughtering each other in World War I. It’s pretty.
I have another parody for you to help get through today’s hectic silliness if you are, like me, handling last-minute stuff. You might have seen it already, but it’s always worth another couple of minutes out of your day. So get yourself a cup of Earl Gray, hot, and click on this video.
The first time I heard this song was in a movie, and I assumed it was a song written for the movie. It was a movie I really, really enjoyed (and highly recommend), and the scene where the song appears is crazy-charming and filled with warm fuzzies. I loved it.
Fast forward a year or so, and I hear this song on the radio. It’s being sung by someone whose music I don’t generally listen to. But I still love the song, and I like her version, too. I know this song annoys a lot of people — and I know this is in part because of who’s singing it — but I think it’s really fun in a way that lots of older carols just aren’t anymore. Maybe in a few years I’ll be tired of this one, too.
Just a spoiler alert: if you haven’t seen the movie Love Actually but are planning to, watching this scene is going to spoil some of the ending for you. Bear that in mind before clicking play, if you care about that sort of thing.
Dear readers, I apologize. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know that I’ve been without a lot of reliable computer access for most of this week because of some home renovations we have going on. Oh, and it was finals week. Great timing, but that’s another story.
Anyway, I haven’t been able to post to my blog the last several days, which meant my 12 Days series got interrupted. Never fear, though; I’ll make it all up by Monday.
A few years ago, I heard this song on the radio and absolutely fell in love with it. It was played — and still is — on Houston’s Official Christmas Music Station, which is proof that their station’s programming director has at least some taste and a few brain cells to rub together. When I first heard it, I recognized the voices immediately as being the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah MacLachlan (two musical acts I rather like, especially the first), and it’s a clever blending of two very cool songs: “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” (which always reminds me pleasantly of Charles Dickens for some inexplicable reason) and “We Three Kings” (a song I loved when I was a kid).
When today’s song came out in the 1980s, I was nonplussed. I was a fan of the band who sang it, but I didn’t love them as much as I loved Duran Duran. And this song was…okay. But it has persisted. And in very recent years, several covers of it have been recorded which just are not very good. They’re faithful enough to the original not to be clever or interesting in themselves, and they don’t have the unabashed panache and chutzpah of the original, either. But these milquetoast covers have accomplished one surprising thing: they’ve made the original better by comparison.
So today I bring you “Last Christmas” by Wham! Even though I grew up watching MTV in the 80’s, somehow I’d missed this little cinematic gem, and I just saw it for the first time last week. It celebrates everything you’d expect from an 80’s-era pop music video: ambiguous storyline, big hair and bigger shoulder pads, extravagant socializing, late-night ennui, melodrama. Good times, good times. Enjoy.
Yes, it’s that time of year again. “Houston’s Official Christmas Music Station” — which has been broadcasting Christmas and winter-themed songs since the Friday night before Thanksgiving — has once more conformed to the belief that they must play the same dozen tired crap songs over and over again, with only an occasional good one thrown into the mix.
Thank goodness for my iPod.
Since this series on my blog was such a hit last year (click here to see the first post and then follow the “next post” links to see the rest), I’m doing it again! And while I’ll be sharing a lot of different stuff with you this time around, I’m going to kick things off with what is still one of my all-time favorites, “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses. Perhaps there will come a time when my life isn’t insanely busy, and then I won’t be able to relate to this song as well or enjoy it as much, but honestly, I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen.
I have always loved Christmas music. In fact, it was my very favorite type of music when I was a kid, and I still have “Houston’s official Christmas music” radio station set to play in my car from right before Thanksgiving when the caroling begins. I know a lot of people find a 24/7 Christmas music station irritating and go on about this at great length every year, but holiday songs generally just put me in a good mood. It’s my favorite time of year.
That said, not all Christmas songs are created equal. One of the reasons the radio onslaught annoys so many people is because, frankly, our local station neglects a lot of the best carols out there and chooses instead to play the same godawful renditions of the same tired songs every few hours.
They can do better. But I’m pretty sure they won’t.
So as an antidote to Christmas Music That Sucks, I’m offering you my own playlist: 12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful. This is not nearly an exhaustive list, but these are just a few of my favorites that can be found playing from my iPod in my car more frequently than the commercial radio fare. The songs I’ll be featuring are apparently just too wonderful to be played on the radio — or played there anymore, it seems. My first pick falls into this latter category, since I was introduced to this song on the radio years ago, when a local rock/pop station played it in with their regular mainstream rock/pop rotation.
Remember The Waitresses? Remember “Christmas Wrapping”? It’s a great song, though I couldn’t find an “official” video for it on YouTube that seemed like the real deal. If you find one, I’d love to know! This one is cute, though.
Who can resist a far-too-busy woman who gets her Christmas miracle? I can relate, especially now, when I’m neck-deep in grading finals.