Thursday, December 21, 2006

"A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices ..." ~ O Holy Night, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure, 1847

Once again the Norwich Bulletin has presented us with its annual list of best-loved and most-disliked Christmas songs in an article entitled, "Timeless classics top local song lists in Eastern Connecticut" by Bulletin reporter Amy Lawson.

It was no surprise to me that "O Holy Night!" topped the list once again this year because - seriously - how you can top a Christmas song like that? The words were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure who was a wine-seller by trade. Cappeau was asked by his parish priest to write a Christmas poem and after doing so, he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams, a composer and graduate of the Paris conservatoire, to put his poem to music. In 1855, Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight translated the hauntingly beautiful song into English and there you have it - instant holiday favorite.

Like "Blue Christmas" (subject of a previous post), "O Holy Night!" has been recorded by a veritable cornucopia of talent ranging from Jose Feliciano, Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Josh Groban (my personal favorite), NSYNC, Kelly Clarkson, Martina McBride, Luciano Pavarotti, Avril Lavigne, Il Divo, 98 Degrees, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and too many others to name. The song was also sung by lead character Eric Cartman on a Christmas-themed episode of "South Park". Not exactly one of MY top choices but apparently popular enough to receive air-play on some radio stations. Ewww ...

Also mentioned in Ms. Lawson's article was that the treacly sweet Christmas song, "Christmas Shoes", is considered one of the least liked songs in Eastern Connecticut among those having a preference for Christmas music. Faithful readers of this blog will remember that I did a post on that particular song (December 2nd) and in checking over my stats, it's interesting to see that queries for that song almost match the amount of queries I have for Rachel Lutzker (WFSB traffic-gal extraordinaire). Imagine that - there must be some people out there that like the song - apparently they just don't live in Eastern Connecticut!

As for the number one disliked song mentioned in the article, "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" I don't think it's any worse than "Dominick the Donkey", which was surprisingly not mentioned at all - awwww! Here's my thought - maybe the reindeer that ran over Grandma could go into exile with Dominick and they could live happily ever after somewhere out of earshot!

"... But as for me and Grandpa, we believe!"

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