And So This is Christmas 2020

Every year for the past couple of years I’ve posted some favorite Christmas songs. Somehow in this turbulent year, I think we can say that the Grinch (COVID) “hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! It came! Somehow or other, it came just the same!” Here’s a few tunes to drink a hot toddy by.Β 

When I’ve done this post previously, several people – usually from Old Blighty – have wondered why I never featured Greg Lake’s “I Believe In Father Christmas.” Simple reason. I’d never heard of it. What the Brits call Father Christmas we refer to as Santa Claus. So, to my knowledge, it was never a hit over here. But in the spirit of Christmas and given that London appears to be entirely shut down, here’s Greg Lake:

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“Gaudete” (Rejoice) by Steeleye Span may be my favorite Christmas song ever. Something about the feel of it and the outstanding a capella rendition:

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For some reason that put me in a somewhat spiritual mood. I’m not even sure if this next one is a Christmas song per se. Certainly should be. Those of you with long memories will recognize “Nunc dimittis” as the theme music from the long-ago Alec Guinness version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.Β We’ll do this as a tribute to one of my favorite authors, John Le Carre who recently passed away.

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Bette Midler has a nice Christmas album called Cool Yule. Her version of ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ has a haunting feel to it:

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And to round it off, let’s go with John Lennon and “Happy XMAS (War Is Over.)” Merry Christmas, John. And to you too, Yoko.

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29 thoughts on “And So This is Christmas 2020

  1. Ah, good ol’ Charlie Brown. That whole album is laden with Christmas memories. And neat call on Steeleye Span. Have a great Christmas!

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    1. I think I’ve done ‘Gaudete’ every year. Put in on Facebook too. Yes, have a good XMAS as well. Next post probably just in time to wipe out this dismal year.

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  2. Nice selection, Jim. Except for “Happy Xmas,” I don’t think I had heard any of these songs before.

    How about that a capella tune – man, that’s what I call singing – almost as good as The Temptations I just posted… πŸ™‚

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. I’d considered an all a capella post. We saw an a capella band in a local park a few years back and I bought their CD. Have to track that down. Will check our your site. Merry Christmas to you as well.

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    1. I almost went with “Linus and Lucy” but I kinda felt in this quasi-spiritual mood. I was raised a Catholic (quite lapsed these days, thank you) but always enjoyed the music. Not that Peanuts is spiritual but well, you get the idea.

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  3. Will be watching ‘Tinker Tailor ..’ over the holidays. George Smiley is a great character and Alec brought him to life. Been listening to Lakes song for years. Later Doc. Stay sober.

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        1. Le Carre was a great writer. I’ve seen the Oldman one too. That guy’s a chameleon, eh? I’ve been following his career for a long time. First saw him in a movie called ‘Prick Up Your Ears.’ Solid actor.
          I take it you’ve seen ‘Smiley’s People’ too. Only the Brits could make such a nasty, dry series.

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        2. I remember ‘Ears’ it was good. love Guinness and his subtle style. Born to play George. Yeah the Brits are all over this stuff. \Perfect Spy’ would be right up your alley.

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        3. I’ll check that out. Spy stuff was big when I was a kid – Bond, Matt Helm. UNCLE, Wild Wild West, I Spy. I loved all that shit. Then Le Carre came along and made it sound like a real job not just some ‘romancing the ladies’ crap. But boy, did I want to be Bond.

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        4. We just got older. How about “Flint” and later more English with Caines Palmer.
          (Have my “Spotify” on. Spencer Davis doing a real good version of ‘Georgia. Wonder how big of an influence Ray was on Winwood. I’d guess huge.

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        5. Our Man Flint – Coburn, sure. I also gave up wanting to be a spy when a friend said, They catch you, they torture you. I can’t even deal wth a hangnail.
          As to Winwood, that was the rap on him – that he sounded like Ray Charles. Although nobody really sang like Ray.

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        6. Oddly I wasn’t even lookng for that recordng. No idea it exsted. I was only tryng to find out whatever happened to Bubba. And then I stumbled on that. Ray really treated his guys like shit. Underpaid them, didn’t always pay for their expenses. One time his private plane’s wing clipped something on takeoff. He got on another plane. His guys had to watch while they taped up the wing and took off in the damaged plane. Great artist, not a great guy. Women loved him though. Go figure .

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