The Blessing of Christmas Music

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.  I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas music! I love the pop music on the radio as well as the carols and hymns that are sung at church.

For our advent services, we use a caroling songbook that was put together last year.  Part of the songs are sacred Christmas songs and others are Christmas fun.  On the sacred list are tunes like, “Silent Night,” “Still, Still, Still,” and “What Child is This?” On the fun list are “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Silver Bells.”

This photo is of our tree with the musical ornaments and a Singing Santa in front.  He lights up, signs, and his hat flaps up and down.  Even in the silliest things, it is about the music.

I have some favorite songs that the local radio station plays throughout the Christmas season and some others as well.  I like these songs sung or performed by particular people.  They are:

  • “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as sung by Andy Williams.  This is my all-time favorite and I crank it up every time and sing along with it.
  • “Happy Holidays” also sung by Andy Williams. I loved him as a child and still do.  His voice is Christmas to me.
  • “Do They Know It’s Christmas” By Band-Aid.  This was originally recorded and released in 1984.  Although a sad song, it reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas and that we are called to help one another.  This year, it was re-recorded to raise money for Ebola.  I just love that!
  • “Celebrate Me Home” by Kenny Loggins.  It is all about making it home for Christmas with your loved ones.
  • “A Baby Changes Everything” by Faith Hill.  A baby born on Christmas changed everything. Babies born every day also change everything.  Our baby certainly did for us.
  • “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Josh Groban.  This one gives me chills, especially the version that is interspersed with servicemen and women talking to their families.  Again, home is the place to be, at least in my opinion.
  • “O Holy Night” as sung by my mother at church.  She has a lovely voice and her rendition gives me chills every time. Looking forward to this year Mom!
  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as sung by Ian.  He has learned about the Rudolph story this year and loves it. And he has made up his own version of a female purple-nosed reindeer.  Love his creativity.
  • “Tennessee Christmas” by Amy Grant.  Since I am from Tennessee, the words mean a lot.
  • “White Christmas” from the movie as sung by Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera Ellen.  I love this entire movie and all of the songs in it.  And, I sing with each and every one of them.
  • “My Grown-Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant.  The words are just right for my current wish list.  Gifts are more than material things.
  • “Santa Clause is Coming To Town” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  This is a fun version recorded at a concert.
  • “Last Christmas” by Wham.  I really like George Michael’s voice on this song.
  • “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney.  This is another fun song.
  • “The Hallelujah Chorus” as performed by a choir with a full orchestra.  I have performed this song twice and loved singing it both times.
  • “Winter Wonderland” by Eurythmics.  I like Annie Lennox’s voice on this version.
  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2.  This is one of my favorite groups and is a great version.

What are your favorite Christmas songs?  I would love to hear about them and what you like about them.

I wonder if I will be singing along with these songs?  Yes!  I most certainly will!

Remembering Andy Williams

Rest in Peace Andy Williams.

On Tuesday evening at the age of 84, one of my all-time favorite singers passed away.  He had a year-long battle with cancer.  Andy Williams, you will be greatly missed!!!

When I was a little girl, I used to love listening to his records.  Yes, real vinyl records.  I don’t remember exactly the age that I was introduced to his talent, but for as long as I can remember, I have liked him very much.

One day many moons ago, my mother and I (and maybe some other family – I don’t quite remember) went to a store.  We saw a display of an Andy Williams album.  I ran up to it and wanted to hug the album cover and I said, very loudly, Andy Wullwums.   He was my FAVORITE!!

His smooth voice is as great now as it was back then.  I still love to hear him sing.  It is sad to know that his time here on earth is finished.  But I am glad that he is no longer suffering and in pain from his cancer.

A few minutes before writing this posting, I listened to his version of “Moon River” from his television show.  It was an amazing rendition and gave me goosebumps.  Still as great a singer as I remember.

The words to that song are:

  • Moon River, wider than a mile
  • I’m crossing you in style some day
  • Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
  • Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way
  • Two drifters, off to see the world
  • There’s such a lot of world to see
  • We’re after the same rainbow’s end, waitin’ ’round the bend
  • My huckleberry friend, moon river, and me.

Can’t you just hear him singing?  Great lyrics and I must say, Andy Williams recorded my favorite version!!

I love that he introduced the world to the Osmond family and Donny and Marie!  They were also favorites of mine growing up.  And, he had many other talented people on his show over the years — including Dinah Shore, Perry Como and the Bee Gees.

Did you know that he had 27 top 40 singles and a career that spanned 50 years?  I found that information in a Boston Globe article about him.  Isn’t that amazing?!  What a talent.

Christmas to me doesn’t begin until I heard his version of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  It is such a great song and always makes me happy!

No matter what mood I am in, if I hear his version of the song, I sing along at the top of my lungs and smile.  The happiness lasts for a while too!!  That song will be bittersweet this year.

To the family and friends of Andy Williams, you are in my thoughts and prayers.  And, to you other fans, we lost a great talent but were honored to enjoy his music for all of those years.