So far this Advent season, we’ve had medieval, Renaissance, Victorian, and modern carols. In order to remain evenhanded and supportive of the cause of variety in Christmas music, we clearly need a song from that other great era in Christmas carols: the middle of the 20th century.
The 1940s and 1950s brought us a whole slew of catchy tunes, including “Run Run Rudolph” and “Christmas Time’s a-Comin'”. You can hear Peggy Lee singing little bits of a whole bunch of them if you click on her name. I think Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald are about as good as you can get for this era, though Frank Sinatra did the most famous recording of my favorite song of this group, “The Christmas Waltz.” I think this song was kind of obscure the first time I suggested it, but now Kristin Chenoweth and Michael W. Smith have recorded it, so I think I have to suggest something else if I’m to have any hope of offering you something new. However, if you haven’t heard Nancy Wilson singing “The Christmas Waltz,” you should listen to it. Very stylish.
Still, you might want something different, so let me offer you “Warm December,” by Bob Russell, sung by Julie London. It doesn’t have much in the way of lyrics:
Warm when the cold breezes blow
My arms so lovin’, a kind of oven
to melt the sleet and snow
this heart that glows like an ember
longs to be loved just by you
if it could be so, then you’d keep me so warm in December too.
London doesn’t have that much in the way of a voice, either, but apparently she had extremely attractive album covers, and she has a sweetly sultry rendition of this that I enjoyed.
I think you could enjoy this as a sing-along in the car or something, and of course if you have one of those drum sets hanging around the house, and a clarinet and a sax and an electric guitar, you’ll be all set.
Chanthaboune could probably make a small fortune singing these things at Christmas parties.
I woke up at 4:00 this morning in a state of horror at all the things I haven’t gotten done yet, plus the realization that I have a more demanding teaching schedule next term (7:30 classes, and one a week in the Next County for the first half of the semester) and haven’t kept up on my Christmas shopping or baking.
Things always look worse at 4:00 a.m. In fact, the only time they look worse than 4:00 a.m. is at 3:00 a.m., which explains a lot of the stress of getting up to feed infants. By now, at my normal time to get up, I’m not in a state of complete horror any more. I imagine that I just need to sit down with my calendar and do a bit of planning. What’s more, it’s still three weeks till the end of the year, so I can also get back in the habit of going to the gym regularly and start 2010 off right.
This touching faith in the elasticity of time and my power over it naturally reminds us all of relativity, which reminds me that the we are starting up the online book club again. It has been on hiatus for a while, but is now revived as SPOB, the Science and Philosophy Online Bookclub.
We’re going to read Why Does E=MC2 (and why should we care?) and chat about it over there, and at Twitter and Facebook and so forth. I’ll probably talk about it here, too. We may discuss it while strolling around the cemetery, too, when members come to town, but if so I’ll try to make sure we post about it someplace.
I hope you’ll join us.