Got The Fever

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bringing Out The Childhood Christmas

I guess it’s always nice to try to reach out farther and find the eclectic, rare or hidden. But sometimes it is nice to bring out the classics into their rightful place at the right time.

Perhaps it is true that you can never go home, but maybe we can, in a way, go home once in a while – even if it’s only in our hearts.

Must Be Santa Claus
This evokes a picture of three kids sitting on a couch, Mom standing over them, Dad sawing the bottom of a too tall tree and Mitch Miller belting out in the background. Sometimes so loud it was even in the foreground.

Be that as it may, Mitch always brings back sweet memories of warm cider, bright bulbs, hand made decorations from kindergarten, the scent of evergreen potpourri and stringing yards of cranberries and popcorn.

For some reason this song has kept itself bobbing in my mind for the last three or four days. Maybe because a little girl in pigtails keeps singing it with such enthusiasm is the reason. Or, maybe because she’s been singing it over and over and over again is the real reason.

Who very soon will come our way
Santa very soon will come our way

Eight little reindeer pull his sleigh
Santa's little reindeer pull his sleigh

Reindeer sleigh, come our way
HO HO HO, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that's red
Special night, beard that's white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Santa Clause

I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Leave it to Dean to bring it all together with such class.

A very cool lounge classic for the pigtail girl, and the Dad as well, to sing along to. Even the two older brothers sometimes slip up and have it rolling out under their breath before they realize it and then try to catch it back.

Great music, like great literature or great beauty, knows no particular time period or generation.

I can't remember a worse December
Just watch those icicles form
What do I care if icicles form?
I've got my love to keep me warm

Off with my overcoat
Off with my glove
I need no overcoat
I'm burning with love

Mitch Miller: Must Be Santa Claus
Dean Martin: I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Cheerier Christmas Post

From the reactions I received online and from those I talk to, it seems the reaction to my last post might be that I’m not in the ‘spirit’. And when I read it myself I had to agree. However, I don’t mean it that way. Really!

I’m simply trying to highlight the tracks that are not being played. I certainly feel that the last tracks aren’t going to be heard on the radio (or anywhere else) no matter the station. Let’s do another two that are going to be scarce.

Frosty The Snowman
You’ll probably hear this song but I don’t recall hearing the best version of all – that of the fantastic Ronettes! Two reasons I love this and must have it as a staple every December:
1) Phil Spector – say no more
2) The way she sings the word ‘Frosty’ is straight outa Brooklyn. Listen carefully for that unmistakable accent. Sort of tough sounding and it cracks me up every year on every listen. Even my kids try to get the accent right.

The Winter Song
Yea, I featured this one last year also, but once more, I never hear this. Allow me to repost from my Angel entry last year:

Punky Meadows as a band member is one of the few trivia facts that come to mind when I think of the band Angel. Part of the LA based troupe that included The Runaways. All things considered (timing, the continually evolving state of music and the then current breed of musicians), Angel was one of the right bands at the right time. They were at once theatrical, glam, metal and ostentatious – always dressed in all white. They were ‘hard’ rock and roll that was easily digestible and if not mega-successful, they at least were what we once called a ‘cult band’.

However, conversely to their image, on this track they managed to create a magical triumph of beauty, enlisting the exquisite madrigal vocals of Seraphim and Cherubim. Intoxicating with its restrained swirl of organ, twelve string guitar and exultant bass, it has been perfectly coalesced and tempered just as the introduction of velvet wraiths join in glorious abandon.

Just as I am often entranced by this track, I am just as often perplexed as to why we do not hear this on the radio at this time of year, especially given the subject matter. But, you know my many opinions on the
state of radio by now.

By the fireplace, there's a smile on every face.
The ice begins to cling, listen to the children sing.
Looking outside, the city lights all come alive.
People running all around, they fill the streets with a happy sound.

There's a feeling in the air, feel the spirit everywhere.
Winter winds on heaven and earth.
Hear the Angels join the choir, let them take the music higher.
Through winter days on heaven and earth.

The Ronettes: Frosty The Snowman
Angel: The Winter Song

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa Clause

Know how it is when you have one of those … months? Life seems to get in the way and you just have those lazy, hazy, crazy days and nights. That’s been me.

No writing automaton thoughts. Not even curious to see what’s out there that’s been written by anyone else. I’ve just been mentally arid. That’s also been me.

But, here comes that feeling again.

Musically speaking, if I hear yet another hollow version of Here Comes Santa Claus, Blue Christmas or Do You Hear What I Hear on the 24/7 radio stations, I’m gonna cut someone!

Santa Clause, Santa Claus
I mentioned last year that this is the tune that I deliberately play first during this coming season, year after year after year. And it just seems to get better with each listen. Louie doesn’t want something superfluous, he just wants lost love. Even without a bow.

Santa Claus, Santa Claus
I’m in misery I’m in misery
If you wanna make me happy
Bring my baby back to me

Santa Claus, Santa Claus
When you come this year
Forget that hydromatic kiddie-car
I just want my baby here

Even Santa Gets The Blues
Though I know the name, Marty Stuart is a new artist for me. I admit I don’t know much at all about the man, but after opening this present last week I plan on getting to know more about him. Spoken from the view of the jolly old elf himself, sometimes even St. Nick gets mellow and blase.

What I wouldn’t give for one silent night!
Just me and Mama Claus by the warm firelight.
But Christmas time is coming
Just so much to do
Even Santa Gets The Blues

Well I know every single chimney like the back of my hand.
People leave me milk and cookies,
I just think that’s grand.
As the story goes I’m a dearly loved man.
But the reason for the season,
Some folks just don’t understand!

So it’s back to the workshop, and make more toys.
Can’t wait to give them to all the girls and boys.
Im hooking up my sleigh, go ahead and spread the news,
But sometimes, even Santa Clause gets the blues.

Louis Jordan: Santa Claus, Santa Claus
Marty Stuart: Even Santa Gets The Blues