This is a continuing activity that Sugar and I are doing for our own amusement. Every so often one of us posts a theme, and we both come up with three or more songs that we feel fit the theme. There are no other rules, and the objective is to have fun and maybe have another song to add to our DiNOPods.
Sugar seems to have gone on vacation for a while, so I’ll go ahead and post my Yuletide version of the Carousel.
It’s that time of year. Snowmen. Reindeer. A portly bearded demigod of presents and elves. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. A partridge in a pear tree. And music. Seasonal, glorious music that would probably get very annoying if we had to listen to it all year. Once a year? Yes, please.
I’m going to make this my daily prompt Trio response, because I already had one element here (a song, or five, that I love). On to the other two elements. The bookcases that stand beside my home office desk contain the remnants of a once-proud CD collection that had over 1,500 discs in jewel cases spanning almost 20 years of collecting, valued at around $15,000 but having many discs that are out of print and therefore practically irreplaceable. Because it was so unwieldy to move around, the collection resided in a house that had become empty. One day thieves broke in and stole a significant chunk of the CDs, with the ones that they didn’t take left cracked and strewn across the floor. While many of the discs were in carrying cases moving around with us, it was still sobering to have something built up over many years broken by miscreants. In the end, the CDs are material things, and most of the music has been digitally replaced. However I still miss sifting through the jewel cases, leafing through the liner notes, and popping the silver discs into a player. There’s a visceral emotion that’s linked to that activity that evokes nostalgia and memories, and an iPod Classic can’t emulate that even if it can hold the music of all 1,500 compact discs with a lot of room to spare. I had four out of the five songs on this Music Carousel listing on CDs that were part of that collection. (The Pentatonix track is too recent.)
Thanks for reading my little story. On to the music!
Robert Downey Jr. – River
Yes, it’s not fair. Tony Stark not only is a multibillionaire and a super hero, he can also sing. Downey tweaked this Joni Mitchell classic and made it his own. I probably like it better than the original because I’m a guy. A guy who’d like to be Iron Man once in a while. Hey, it’s Christmas, I can ask for anything.
Pentatonix and Tori Kelly – Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Be Happy
The aca-winners of the aca-petition “The Sing Off” have been a guilty aca-pleasure for me since they aca-kicked ass on that show. (Ok, I’ll drop the Pitch Perfect silliness.) The five kids of Penta are fun performers, and they put a lot of pizzazz into their reworkings. Here they fuse the traditional Winter Wonderland carol with Bobby McFerrin’s classic acapella hit Don’t Worry Be Happy. It’s aca-wonderful!
Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé – All I Want for Christmas is You
There’s been a lot of backlash vs Mariah’s “new classic” Christmas standard. I don’t get it, and I don’t get tired of it. Add in a little Bublé and it becomes even better! It’s fast, it’s fun and they look like they’re having a blast performing it. You can’t ask for much more from a holiday tune.
Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti – Stille Nacht / Astro del Ciel / Silent Night
I had to get a traditional carol in here, and I’ll go old school with The Three Tenors performing Silent Night in three languages. I always thought that we were amazingly fortunate to have these three gentlemen decide to sing together, do it so often after they began collaborating, and particularly in the wake of the passing of the musical titan that was Pavarotti in 2007. Nothing captures the grandeur of Gruber’s composition like these three Hall of Fame tenors.
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
It’s become kind of corny, but since they made a 2014 version I thought I’d end this post with the original. This supergroup had massive star power drawn from the British Invasion of the 80s. Simon Le Bon, Boy George, George Michael, Tony Hadley, Sting, Phil Collins, Paul Young, it was amazing who’s who of pop stars. (I will admit, Bono’s “well tonight thank God it’s them instead of youuuuu” wailed lyric has always been full-on cheesy.) Bob Geldof’s pioneering project directly led to the USA for Africa supergroup that followed, led by Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Bruce Springsteen and Quincy Jones. The 80s were an amazing time for music.
Happy holidays everyone!