Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Song of the Week: “Baby Fat” by Redtenbacher’s Funkestra

Time to get funky and dance toRedtenbacher’s Funkestra‘s “Baby Fat”.

Song of the Week: “Forever Don’t Last” by Jazmine Sullivan

For the post-Valentine’s Day Song of the Week, Philadelphia’s Jazmine Sullivan provides the plaintive and soulful vocals for “Forever Don’t Last.”

Song of the Week: “Pedestrian At Best” by Courtney Barnett

Australian indie rocker Courtney Barnett‘s new single “Pedestrian At Best” is filled with witty wordplay and punk rock rage.  Her first full-length album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is due out on March 23.

Retropost: Let it Snow x 3

With another foot of snow falling on Boston today, I thought I’d dig up this old post from 2008 about winter songs.  Sometimes you need to sing to keep from crying.


 

You may not believe it, but I spend inordinate amounts of time surfing the web. One day idly paging through Wikipedia’s list of Number-one hits, I discovered that the song “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow” performed by Vaughn Monroe was the number one song in the USA for five weeks in 1946. This surprised me for two reasons. One, I never thought of this little ditty we sing at Christmas time as hit record material. Two, the song charted in the weeks from January 26 to February 23, well after the Christmas season was over.

Listen to Vaugh Monroe perform “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!”

Of course, if you look at the lyrics for “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” as written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne you’ll realize that the song has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. It is merely a love song set in wintertime. I’ve long wondered why so many songs we sing at Christmas time have nothing to do with Christmas at all. “Sleigh Ride,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Marshmallow World,” and perhaps the most ubiquitous “Christmas” carol of all “Jingle Bells.” It’s become a cliche to add the notes of the “Jingle Bells” chorus to the end of a recording of any Christmas song, but there’s nary a mention of Christmas in the lyrics. Couldn’t one enjoy a vigorous sleigh ride through the country in January, February, or even March?

That many popular Christmas songs of the 20th century were written by Jewish songwriters may play a part in the emphasis of winter imagery over baby Jesus and Santa Claus. But I think that at one time people liked to sing songs about the winter. If you think about it, the way these winter songs have been typecast as Christmas carols would be kind of like only playing Gershwin’s “Summertime” on the 4th of July with patriotic songs like “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.”

So I’ve come up with an idea. Now that we are a week past Groundhog’s Day*, why don’t we have a national celebration of wintertime by singing and playing these old classics. It could be an annual tradition every year from February 9-15 to acknowledge that whether the groundhog saw his shadow or not that we can make the best of what remains of winter in a joyous carnival of singing.

Who’s with me?

Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

* Note: I also have a great carol for Groundhog’s Day.

Song of the Week: “Flashlight” by Bonobo

Bonobo, the alias of British electronic musician Simon Green, makes a return appearance to Song of the Week with “Flashlight.”

So, so soothing.

 

Previously: Song of the Week: “Cirrus” by Bonobo

Song of the Week: “Caribou” by Tanya Tagaq

“Caribou” is a cover of a Pixies song by Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq.  It’s a perfect match of song to interpreter, but it’s also not representative of Tagaq’s greater work.  So make sure to check out her new album Animism as well.

 

Related posts: Ten Favorite Songs of 2008

Song of the Week: “Circles” by Kate Tempest

London hip-hop and spoken word artists Kate Tempest provides this week’s track “Circles.”

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,263 other followers

%d bloggers like this: