Ol’ school

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When I was learning how to play piano, I want to learn songs that others could enjoy. This included many Christmas songs. I wanted that image of people gathering around while he played a fun tune and singing along.

That’s what today’s song reminds me of. It was one of the first Dog’s I learned how to play because the key and Melody were very simple.

Jolly old Saint Nicholas

Since I do not hear this often…I’m going to enclose the song here. Maybe one of you will learn it and have new memories to share

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Saint Nicholas

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Today is the feast of st. Nicholas…the inspiration for Santa Claus.  Saint Nicholas was known for giving gifts is not only the patron saints of kids but also of brewers!

So in honor of the red suite white bearded guy…today’s song is:

Santa Claus is coming to town

My favorite version of this song is Bruce Springsteen’s Rock ‘n’ roll version. It just gives you that upbeat feeling that you get when something exciting is about to happen. I absolutely love it. Also, the cartoon named after this song is in the same animation as “Rudolph the red nose reindeer”, a Christmas classic.

I wish I had more to say…as Saint Nicholas history is extremely interesting. But when you have a child, Blogs get short.

5 Golden…nope, not this time

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Not a song about the 12 days of Christmas. Not yet. Actually. I didn’t include that song because there will be a series of blogs for the 12 days of christmas. Anyways…

I decided to stick with my theme right now of traditional church hymns. Usually these are my favorite christmas songs because they have unique harmonies and can involve soloists or choirs singing amazing renditions.

#5 The First Noel

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Now if anyone has played those games where you try guessing obscure names of Christmas Carols–Noel is a symnomn for Christmas.

I always like this song because it starts with the shepherds in the fields. It’s just a different perspective then starting in the manager. It’s the gradual movement of angels announcing the birth to coming to the Child.

Advent comes like this…small, soft yet is a big deal.

Number 4–there’s never enough room

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So originally i set up before blogging what songs I would look into for the 25 days of Christmas music. For today I had written “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” A song that gets a lot of bad rap for being about men remembering Christ is there to protect them. But as I was searching for the photo image of the previous song–it got me thinking. I didnt have Handle’s “Messiah” which includes songs like the Hallelujah Chorus” and probably my favorite classical piece “For Unto Us a Child is Born.”

I don’t think i’m going to get into much — for it is a great work of music and people have written research papers on the music i’m sure of it.  However, I decided to do a simple search and found this: 5 Things you Didn’t know About Handel’s Messiah

It’s a great article. I originally thought this was mostly about Jesus’ birth and more of a christmas collection. But I now also remember always singing the song at Easter in our Methodist church which explains why I was always confused about the flaslh mobs of the piece in shoppings malls. Also– standing while the Hallelujah chorus may be questioned.

While I love posting images of the songs and interpretations of the msuic, I thought I would leave this one with a video. Trust me–you want to watch this one:

3/25 Christmas Songs

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Welcome to the First Sunday of Advent!–finally. This year, all of advent is in December. Typically the last sunday in november starts the new church calendar and the advent season, but 2017 decided it needed to be different one last time.

So in honor of advent starting– I decided to pick a song that most reminded me of the sunday’s first them: HOPE. Yep-thank you church sunday school but I remember how each advent sunday had a theme–from the songs to the bible verses and so on.

#3 – O Come O Come Emmanuel.

Advent is about preparing yourself for the birth of Christmas. Now-I dont want to get into a historical poli-religious argument about the time of year and how no snow would be on the ground and what not. I get that–honestly I do. But the song still can hold meaning even if it portrays a winter image. And a song can still bring emotional and a sense of waiting and wonderment while we wait for the Christ child.

The phrase ” o Come or Come Emmanuel” appears to also have literary significance and used to help those focus in on the coming Christmas season (see this site .) I thought how it is similar to Hebrew poetry and stressing phrases or parallels by repeating “O….”

The only thing I have to say about this one is I HATE when this one gets mondernized. It’s an old hymn. Probably the oldest Christmas hymn. And I think it should be solidfied as such. Adding electronics and pop star singing is just frusrtating. There’s a very where its just a simple female voice with a guitar. I like that. Or trans-siberian orchestra with no vocals and just guitar. It’s all good that way to me.

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Here’s the first verse. Enjoy yourselves!

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
9th-Century Latin hymn

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

2/25 Christmas Songs 2017

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So let us move on to a more tradition Christmas tune. This is probably one of my favorite religious christmas songs. It is sung in many languages and actually fairly easy to learn in Latin.

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#2 – O Come All Ye Faithful! ( ironically I have this album–mostly because a couple songs on it were amazing. )

Anyways — according to wiki this song has a real story. Many composers have been attributed to this song- the most famous being the “musician King’ of Portugal John IV.  John Francis Wade wrote the hymn down in Latin as well. The song has several verses, sometimes too many to sing in church and in fact some verses are saved for different parts of the advent/christmas and even ephiphany season. So versitile really!

I think my favorite version of this song is from Charli brown’s Christmas Story.  Yep-you guessed it! It’s the final song that the whole gang sings at the end of Linus’ telling of “What Christmas is All About.” In case you haven’t figured–I’m a sucker for children choirs singing simple songs. Maybe it just adds that little amount of joy with youthful voices singing so clear.

So for your enjoyment, I give you from wikipedia the lyrics …Latin and English included:

LATIN:

Adeste fideles læti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte
Regem angelorum:
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine
Gestant puellæ viscera
Deum verum, genitum non factum.
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Cantet nunc io, chorus angelorum;
Cantet nunc aula cælestium,
Gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo,
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

ENGLISH

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the King of Angels:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

God of God, light of light,
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God, begotten, not created:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above!
Glory to God, glory in the highest:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

25 Songs of Christmas

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This year for Christmas… Instead of following the advent calendar, I thought I would provide some fun and exciting way to enjoy my favorite time of year. It is that time of year that I break out all the musical talent my body can muster. I enjoy singing, playing the piano or even my other musical instruments to run through what feels like the entire Christmas song catalog

christmas-music

So for the next 25 days, I thought I would provide insight into some of my favorite Christmas songs. There will be religious songs, those of pop culture and who knows–maybe even a Hanukkah or two. And I can honestly say I didn’t start playing Christmas music this year until just a couple days ago… And it made it That much more special. Feel free to join in with any fun facts or memories if any of your favorite songs come up.

Song #1 : Promises To Keep

Now–i am starting with a song that doesn’t have much history. It is on the trans-siberian orchestra album and I think it is lovely when sung by the children and not solo (a youtube searched showed me this.)

So here are the lyrics (per this site ). I picked this song first because I felt it was a good place to start for Christmas songs. Simple. At the beginning. And personally while this can coincide with religious meanings…it doesn’t have to. Christmastime can be about peace, about giving, about kindness. About joy. And I do think Christmas spirit has a suty to keep promises of these alive.

This year we really need this. Let’s help keep christmas promises alive!

“Promises To Keep”

Christmas time
On a cold December morning
All is calm
And the world is still asleep
Christmas lights
That have been caught without warning
Gently glitter on
Stars to wish upon
All the world is at peace

Christmas time and the year will soon be leaving
Cloaked in time till it’s just a memory
Christmas stays if we don’t forget its meaning
Days go quickly by
Years they multiply
And we go searching for thee

And the dream is still alive
From that first December morning
And it always will survive
As long as we can see
That the dreams we find in life
Are the dreams we tend to seek
And Christmas has its promises to keep

Christmas time
And the moments just beginning
From last night
When we’d wished upon a star

If our kindness
This day is just pretending
If we pretend long enough
Never giving up
It just might be who we are