Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fun Music Facts Series Vol. 4 - Christmas Edition!

1.   Jingle Bells was actually written for the Thanksgiving holiday, under the title "One Horse Open Sleigh" in 1857.  [Fun Fact:  We saw the original published edition of "One Horse Open Sleigh" at the JP Morgan Library in New York City -- "One Horse Open Sleigh" was written by James Lord Pierpont, uncle of banker and financier John Pierpont Morgan. Very cool sighting, I must say!]

2. Silent Night was written by Father Joseph Mohr (lyrics) and the music by Franz Gruber.  It was first performed in Oberndorf, Austria on December 24, 1818 with a guitar accompaniment instead of the traditionally used organ.

3.  The most recorded Christmas song is White Christmas, according to wikipedia....with over 500 versions recorded in many languages.  Bing Crosby's version is the best-selling single of all time.

4.  O Come, O Come Emmanuel (my favorite Advent/Christmas song) was originally a 15th century French processional hymn, with Latin antiphons from the 8th century. 

5.  Mary's Boy Child was first recorded by Harry Belafonte in 1956, but probably the most well-known and liked version is by Boney M, recorded in 1978.   A co-worker of mine, L, told me last year that her mother, while sick with cancer, would listen to the Boney M Christmas album over and over back in the 1980s and Mary's Boy Child was her very favorite song....and now L thinks of her mother every time she hears it.

... and if anyone needs a suggestion for holiday music to listen to, try Loreena McKennitt's To Drive the Cold Winter Away celtic-inspired album.  The songs are beautifully arranged and simply performed, perfect to have playing in the background while decorating, having a drink or while on the computer (as I am right now).

What is your favorite Christmas song?


  1. Great choices of Christmas music

    I love "O Holy Night" by Luciano Pavarotti.


  2. Fascinating how they are from such a variety of times - from the 8th century connections to the 1970s - yet still the magical Christmas spirit links them together.

    I just adore Santa Baby even though it is completely irreverent - but honestly any song which puts a Tiffany ring in the lyrics along with a Mercedes vintage convertible has got to be good! And my all time lump in the throat Christmas tune would have to be the beautiful Messiah. Do you guys do that too? A big start to the Christmas season in Australia is a performance of this gorgeous classic in late November. Virginia xx

  3. I love Frank Sinatra's Christmas song and The Nutcracker for it's tinkling delicacy, it makes me feel like a little girl again.

  4. I love Christmas music, everything from Bing Crosby to Dean Martin and Michael Buble.

    I recently heard White Wine in the Sun performed by Tim Minchin and really love the lyrics. Google it and see what you think.

  5. Christmas morning at RRC Bing Crosby's version of White Christmas is blaring and my grown kids groan.
    Love Dean Martin too.
    Just yesterday I heard songs from Michael Buble's Christmas album on the radio and think I may just have to run out and purchase.

  6. Helen - I love that version of O Holy glorious!

    Virginia - oh yes, there's a fabulous choir that puts on Handel's Messiah every year here, I wanted to go this year but unfortunately it was on the same night as Hubs' Christmas Party! Next year we are going!

    Tabs - I love the Nutcracker music too, so many great pieces of music from that ballet.

    Hostess - I am going to google it, thx for the recommendation!

    Annie - oh I love White Christmas and all those great oldies. Did you see Michael Buble's Christmas Special?