In Which We Wax Poetic About Obscure Christmas Music

(…an amusing note before I begin…when I was typing in “blogger,” I typed “blooger” instead. Isn’t that funny?! Oh, it’s not? Nevermind.)

As I am working in the kitchen today, I have my CD player to keep me company. Today’s choice is Peter, Paul, and Mary’s A Holiday Celebration. I know, I know. But, like many of you, given my age, and the age of my parents, I grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkel, Peter, Paul, and Mary and John Denver and all the rest.

And truth be told, I still really enjoy this album. I brought it to college with me and got my roommate hooked on it. And now my kids are learning to love it. This afternoon Ben found our copy of Tomie DePaola’s The Friendly Beasts and asked me to sing it with him. After I sang a little for him, I asked him if he’d like to hear it on a CD. So he sat at the table and paged through the story as Peter, Paul, and Mary sang the song. And then he asked to hear it again.

This is a live concert recording that the group did with the New York Choral Society and a full orchestra. The album has “The Friendly Beasts” and many other less well-known carols, like “The Cherry Tree Carol,” “A Soalin’,”and “I Wonder as I Wander.” It also has a rousing version of “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” and a song called “The Magi” that will make your hair stand on end, or if you happen to be driving, your foot will somehow become a bit heavier.

Sadly, I turn in my official “child of a flower child” (grand-flower-child? Flowergrandchild?) card when I skip #12…yup. Every P,P&M concert must end with “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and I usually push my friendly “skip” button…sorry.

Part of the reason why I love this album is that it’s been in my life so long. When I hear it I see visions of my Dad rolling his eyes at the loud Christmas music that inevitably descended on the house on the day after Thanksgiving. I hear my friend Michelle belting out “HOW SHALL I SEND THEE?!!”. And I can see my college roommate Michaelanne doing her best “Mary” cigarette voice, singing “I Wonder As I Wander.”

Plus, it’s just darn fun.

Other obscure albums that help us celebrate the holidays are Ray Charles’ The Spirit of Christmas, Michael Card’s The Promise, and A Very Special Christmas.

What are your favorite obscure Christmas music selections?

6 Responses to “In Which We Wax Poetic About Obscure Christmas Music”

  1. Josh and Dana

    Squirrel Nut Zippers Christmas album! Also, my family ALWAYS listened to Evie…of course, she’s only available on LP. I still have a VERY detailed sound clip of her singing “Come on ring those bells!” lodged in my memory.

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  2. Joy

    Hmmm…old memories. Connie Francis, especially “Ave Maria”, Anne Murray, and, of course, Evie. Our church sang “Come on ring those bells” every Christmas for decades, I think.

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  3. Kelly

    Carpenters, anyone?”Greeting cards have all been sent…the Christmas rush is through…but I still have one wish to make…a special wish for you….Merry Christmas, DARLING….”Ha ha ha ha ha ha

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  4. Erin McKevitt

    While I’m still getting over the fact that you SKIP “Blowing in the Wind,” I would like to share with you A Judd’s Christmas. Yes, they are decked out in white fur and sitting in a sleigh on the cover. I blame my mother.

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  5. ReformedMommy

    George Huff – Go Tell It On the Mountain is always a favorite. And out here is seems like you can’t drive a mile without hearing the truly disturbing “Melkeleke Maka” ….

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  6. Melanie

    Love the Carpenters. My mom always played Barbara Mandrell’s Christmas and Sandi Patti. Have any of you heard of the Handel’s Young Messiah? Love it!!! The oldies but goodies are (hands down) better than all the newbies out there (well, except for Behold the Lamb).

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