Tag: christmas songs

Ring-a-ling-a-ling etc…

Today we go to that perennial favorite “Sleigh Ride”. During his alto saxophone years Frere Mussel can remember the horror of playing this brisk number in five sharps. It never got easier. EVER. The composer, Leroy Anderson, had the original…

The Good the Bad the Ugly

Here we have, what is probably, the worst offending Carol for cheese-grater-to-face syndrome. The Little Drummer Boy. The song, originally titled “Carol of the Drum”, was written in 1941 by pianist Katherine K. Davis based on a traditional Czech carol….

Day 23: The Little Drummer Boy

If you can endure 2 minutes of toe-curlingly lame dialogue leading up to a horrifying arrangement of one of the worst Christmas songs ever written, then you deserve to witness this historic intersection of Venn diagrams. Ladies and gents, it’s…

Day 13: Walking In The Air

While Miss Mussel may be all ga-ga for Charlie Brown, over in Jolly Old her contemporaries are crazy for The Snowman. It’s been a huge hit since the special was first broadcast in 1982 and everyone knows the song. Walking…

Day 11: Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Brownest. – Linus Of…

Day 10: In The Bleak Midwinter

Today’s Advent treat was nearly a bit of Kenny and Dolly but seeing as we’ve had snow two days in a row here at OM Headquarters, it seemed the perfect time to get all dramatic about it and offer In…

Day 9: Winter Wonderland

Theory peeps – HELP! What is going on with the harmony at the beginning of this song? Has Pat Boone gone all atonal? Polytonal? Did the engraver just miss an accidental in the parts? Gah! Winter Wonderland was written in…

Day 8: The Three Drovers

We’re off to Oz today for The Three Drovers, a carol written in 1948 by John Wheeler and William G. James. Since there were no suitable videos about, Miss Mussel dove and took a stab at making one herself. Drovers…

Day 7: Sussex Carol

We’ve been to King’s College Cambridge quite a lot in this calendar, so today, we go 125 miles west across the Midlands to Worcester Cathedral in…uh…Worcester — also known as the place the unpronounceable sauce comes from. The church was…

Day 6: Jesus Christ The Apple Tree

1. The tree of life my soul hath seen, Laden with fruit and always green: The trees of nature fruitless be Compared with Christ the apple tree. 2. His beauty doth all things excel: By faith I know, but ne’er…

Day 5: Jingle Bells

Barbra Streisand with the most intense version of Jingle Bells these ears have ever heard combined with a ridiculous amount of Christmas lights = CHRISTMAS MANIA!!!!! Jingle Bells is one of the most flexible Christmas tunes and its incarnations are…

Day 4: White Christmas

The story goes that Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas in 1940, poolside at the Builtmore hotel in Phoenix AZ. He often stayed up all night writing — he told his secretary, “Grab your pen and take down this song. I…

Day 3: Petit Papa Noel

The third installment this year’s Advent Odyssey comes from La France (obvs). Petit Papa Noel is linked inextricably with Tino Rossi in the way that Je Ne Regrette Rien belongs to Edith Piaf. Rossi himself was, in his day, quite…

Day 2: All I Want For Christmas Is You

Day 1 was all about restraint and tradition. On Day 2, Miss Mussel is kicking off her boots and enjoying the holiday season with a side of go-go dancers. All I Want For Christmas Is You seems just the sort…

2009 Advent Calendars

The annual OM calendar is back in full force. It seems it was so successful last year that now all the other cool kids are doing one. A great bivalve once said that a man who is tired of carols…

Day 1: Once In Royal David’s City

Once In Royal David’s City has been the opening carol of the Nine Lessons And Carols Service at King’s College, Cambridge for 90 years, and, since here at the OM we adore men and boys choirs, the annual OM Aural…

Aural Advent Calendar: Day 24

Not much to say today other than do what the song says and have a good one. [The deets for those that are dying to know: Judy Garland – Meet Me In St Louis 1944 – third most recorded Christmas…

Aural Advent Calendar: Day 23

The penultimate installment of this year’s Advent Odyssey comes from La France (obvs) and is the song Petit Papa Noel. Papa does have his own Facebook page but details about the song are not to be found anywhere on the interwebs, making it far and away the most mysterious installment in our Advent journey.

Aural Advent Calendar: Day 21

What is Christmas without superfluous strings swells, and key-change via meat cleaver? B to the O to the RING. To all those musicians who have slogged their way through the inevitable Christmas pop concerts: this year Miss Mussel feels your…