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.
What are your favorite obscure Christmas music selections?