Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Friday, December 24, 2010:
Hey, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And I say that in the good old-fashioned way – not like most of the Christmas songs you hear
nowadays, where they’re sung so rhythm and bluesy you can barely make out the
classic original. Listen to Christine Aguilera do a carol and it’s like you’re
freestyle snowboarding up and down octave mountain. Astounding voice but that
just ain’t exactly the real Noel sound. Heck, country and western singers also
go freestyle crazy this time of year, even when singing, “Cowboy Christmas.” At
the same time, it gets no better, traditionally speaking, than when Martina
McBride works her amazing, “Away in the Manger” and other holiday standards.
I’ll even allow for aural experimentation when the amazing Racal Flats dish out
their live carols. See YouTube and hear Rascals’ best videos. And, yes, quite
possibly the greatest Christmas song masters of all were C&W’s Gene Autry
and Burl Ives.
For R&B Christmas perfection, take in Nat King Coles, “The Christmas Song.”
Greatest modern version of traditional song: Celtic Woman, “O, Holy Night.” Check it on YouTube.
For another piece of Christmas music candy, listen to Haley Westenra, beginning with “Mary Did You Know,” then follow her utterly angelic
voice to other carols, especially crossover classic “Pie Jesu.” Yes, she’s that
I have to admit my personal favorite all-time Christmas songs are not the stuff of Dickens and Company. To hear one, go to YouTube, type in
“Pretenders 2,000” and listen to Chrissie sing “2,000 Miles.” For a “2,000
Mile” double treat, type in K.T. Turnstall and enjoy her wonderful version
live. For a John Lennon devotee like myself, I purposely wait all year to play the
neo-classic, “Happy Christmas –War Is Over.”
Spookiest version of classic: Sinead O’ Connor “Silent Night.” Like hearing a lit stick of dynamite singing sweetly.
Top Christmas sound of all eternity is Pachelbel’s Canon, though not written for the holidays alone. For the most amazing holiday version,
YouTube “George Winston Canon” and marvel at his piano “variations,” part of
his “December” ultra-epic CD/album. It gets no more subtle and spiritual and emotional
than Christmas sounds played by this Windham Hill Records legend.