And so I couldn’t let the holidays go by without a few Christmas songs. So a little blues, a little Medieval folk and since we’re not quite done with them, the Beatles.
Steeleye Span were a British folk-rock (with Medieval flavor) band of the early ’70’s. An offshoot of a similar band named Fairport Convention, in 1973, they had a hit with a beautiful traditional carol called “Gaudete.” It is one of the few hit songs that was not only a capella but also entirely sung in Latin. I love this song and can listen to it any time of the year. (A few scratches in this one but it was the best version I could find).
And now for something completely different. I originally thought that “Merry Christmas Baby” was a Chuck Berry song. Turns out it goes back to the ’40’s and has been covered by just about everybody. And even though he’s permanently left the building, I’m partial to Elvis’ version. Nice and bluesy. I’m pretty sure that’s the great James Burton on guitar. (“Dig it James. Dig it!”). Thank you, thank you very much.
“Happy XMAS (War is Over)” is a song (with the Harlem Community Choir) that John and Yoko released in 1971. In typical Lennon fashion, he decided to combine Christmas wishes with anti-war protest. Lennon had by now moved to New York City and gotten involved (sometimes over his head) in protests of all sorts. So much so that the United States government under the Nixon regime tried to silence and then ultimately deport him. There is a documentary about it that you can rent on YouTube. But save that for after the holidays.
And to all races, religions, and creeds I wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanzaa, belated Happy Hanukkah and merry Winter Solstice.
Next post, after Christmas: Tribute to a fallen bluesman.