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Friday, December 08, 2017

#18 - Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me!)


Now you may have already noticed that the last few days, I've been counting down my list of my favourite Christmas tunes.  25 of them to be exact.  And here's the list so far...

25.  Here We Come A-wassailing Medley
24.  Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
23.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
22.  Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
21.   Merry Christmas Everyone
20.  Step Into Christmas
19.  Same Old Lang Syne

Quite the list so far, huh?  You probably have noticed that the last few songs have been more modern and non-traditional.  Well, for
song #18, I'm going back to tradition and I will be posting a song that has been heard in many different versions, sung in many different languages, and has been a holiday mainstay for almost two hundred years - making this technically the oldest song on my countdown.

How's that for tradition?

And I suppose in the spirit of tradition, we may as well go with a song that has one of the biggest icons of Christmas Day as the subject.

No, it's not Santa.

It's the Christmas tree!  At #18, I have chosen to spotlight "O Christmas Tree".  And, yes, I'll explain why out of the thousands of interpretations of this Christmas carol, I've decided to revisit the version seen in "A Claymation Christmas Celebration".

But first, I have to admit that I always loved Christmas trees.  In fact, I'm planning on FINALLY setting my own up this weekend (I know, late starter, but this year hasn't exactly gone to plan).

However, I do have a photo of my tree from a couple of years ago.  Have a look!

Not a bad tree, I have to admit.  Of course, part of the reason why I adore Christmas trees is the tradition and the years of stories that the tree can tell.  My tree has a variety of ornaments - some that are even older than I am.  And every one has its own story as to how it got there.  The toy train ornament that was my very first one as a baby.  The Cat in the Hat ornament that I got with the purchase of a meal at "Burger King".  The ornament that was made with an actual goose egg.  The ornaments that I sold during one of the school fundraisers.  Every ornament tells a story, and those stories make the Christmas tree even more special.

I can only imagine the stories and traditions that have passed from generation to generation since "O Christmas Tree" was first heard in 1824.  Of course, back then, no English version was around.  It originated in Germany and was called "O Tannenbaum" (Tannenbaum being German for fir tree). 

Now, the reason why I settled on the Claymation version of this tune is simple.  Again, I'm all about Christmas traditions be it ones that existed for centuries or starting up new ones.  Since "A Claymation Christmas Celebration" is one of my favourite TV specials, I have to watch it at least once a year.

But the way that the special depicts "O Christmas Tree" is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.  It starts with a boy and girl looking at their tree, thinking of all the wonders inside.  The camera pans in on a gingerbread house, where we learn that holiday treats have their own Christmas celebrations around a tree of their own.  We also see that the elves and workers in Santa's workshop have their own tree, and then we see Santa and Mrs. Claus on the night of the twenty-fifth relaxing after a long night out before going back to the boy and girl.  The whole segment is done beautifully, and the song arrangement is very lovely.  I hope that after you see this clip, you'll agree with me too.

Stay tuned for song #17 tomorrow.  It's a song that you either love or you hate.  But for me, I absolutely love it - especially after getting one memorable Christmas gift when I was seven.

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