Friday, November 30, 2007

The Modification of a Meme (or Two!)

Quite some time back ("quite some time back" meaning November 12th!) I was tagged by Connie of Brain Foggles for the "Eight Things About Me" meme and more recently (November 25th) I was tagged by Jamie of Duward Discussion for the "Seven Things About Me" meme. Somehow I doubt that there are fifteen things about me that any of you are truly interested in learning or that I haven't already posted before so I thought I'd do a slight twist on the memes and post my fifteen favorite Christmas songs.

To make this more interesting, I'm going to post a video of Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve in Sarajevo" so that you have something to listen to while you read. This piece of music takes "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Carol of the Bells" and combines them with traditional classic music and a heavy metal rock style. I think you'll like it - I know I do!

Got the music playing? Okay, good! On with the combined meme then!

My Fifteen Favorite Songs of the Christmas Season
(not necessarily in order!)
  1. "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" - written by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley founder of the Methodist Church, in 1739. Originally sung to a different tune completely, it was changed over 100 years later by English musician William H. Cummings who adapted music from a Cantata written by Felix Mendelssohn to fit the lyrics.
  2. "We Three Kings of Orient Are" - an American Christmas carol written by the Reverend John Henry Hopkins in 1857 for a Christmas pageant at the General Theological Seminary in New York City.
  3. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" - it is believed that this particular carol was sung to the gentry by town watchmen who earned additional money during the Christmas season and is reputed to be one of the oldest English carols dating back to the 15th century by an unknown author.
  4. "Ave Maria" - composed in about 1825 by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) when he was twenty-eight years old and filled with devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. First published in 1826 as Op 52 No 6 it was written for voice and piano.
  5. "O Come O Come Emmanuel" - originally written in Latin text in the 12th century, the author of the words and composer of the music are unknown but the melody is believed to be French in origin.
  6. "Carol of the Bells" - original folk music from the Ukraine, the lyrics and words were added by Peter Wilhousky to celebrate the festive season and its traditions such as the pealing of church bells at Christmas and the singing of carols.
  7. "Good King Wenceslas" - the words were written by John Mason Neale and published in 1853 while the music originates in Finland 300 years earlier. Good King Wenceslas, the king of Bohemia in the 10th century, was a Catholic who was martyred following his assassination by his brother Boleslaw and his supporters, He became known as St. Stephen, the Patron Saint of the Czech Republic, and his feast day was celebrated on the 26th of December which is why this song is sung as a Christmas carol.
  8. "White Christmas" - written by Irving Berlin in 1942 and originally featured in the movie Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby, this song struck a very poignant chord with those fighting in World War II and their family members waiting back home for them.
  9. "O Holy Night" - the words and lyrics were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure, a humble wine seller, in 1847 while the music was composed by his friend and brilliant composer Adolphe Charles Adams. Best sung by Josh Groban or Celine Dion!
  10. "Angels From the Realms of Glory" - written by James Montgomery in 1816 as a celebration of the good news the angels brought to the shepherds of Christ's birth.
  11. "The Hallelujah Chorus" - written in 1741 as part of George Frederic Handel's "Messiah", it was first performed in Dublin in 1742 and was given the city's greatest ovation ever. When it was performed in London several weeks later, the King was so moved by "The Hallelujah Chorus" that he rose to his feet - a custom that has prevailed ever since.
  12. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" - originally recorded by Bing Crosby in October of 1943, this song touched a tender place in the hearts of both American soldiers and civilians who were then in the depths of World War II. The song earned Crosby his fifth gold record while it became the most requested song at Christmas U.S.O. shows in both Europe and the Pacific.
  13. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" - words and music written by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne in 1962 became another big hit for Bing Crosby in November of 1963.
  14. "Christmas Wrapping" - sung by The Waitresses, a post-punk new-wave band that existed during the early to mid 1980s when I was a lot younger! Not your traditional Christmas song but kind of fun with a slightly sarcastic sense of humor! Never heard it? Check it out here!
  15. "This Gift" - okay, I saved the sappiest for last and you may all mock me unmercifully but this song by 98 Degrees has been one of my very favorites from the first time I heard it. I'm an incurable romantic in spite of all and what can I say? I'd like nothing more than to share Christmas with someone special. Boy-band or not, these guys could harmonize and this song just brings out every last bit of mush the Christmas season can wring out of me.

Whew! Hopefully Queen Mimi will allow me a special dispensation for having done a combined meme and not throw me in the dungeon for violating the original rules of a meme. If not, I may be testing out the acoustics of the dungeon with some of my favorite holiday tunes while the Queen wonders what all that caterwauling is!

How about you, gentle readers, any favorite songs of the season? I'm not going to tag anyone with this modified meme but about you leave a comment? Pretty please?


  1. Here's the thing about not being raised with religion.

    When I was a kid I used to get frustrated with geography. The thing that used to really bother me was searching for places that everyone else seemed to be able to find with no problem. This is why I always keep maps now.

    What has this got to do with your post today? This...when I was a kid it used to really tick me off that I could never find Orientar on the world map!

    I'm serious! When you're a kid the song sounds like the three kings are in some place called Orientar! And it's no fun getting laughed at when you ask in class what country it is.

  2. G'day from Australia,

    I came here from Misty Dawn's blog. What a lovely post and so relevant to us all, irrespective of age or geography!

  3. I have my favorite Xmas song all set up to play for you over and over at work......

    Dominic the Donkey!!!!

  4. Travis - You know, I used to wonder the same thing myself but never went so far as to search a map. I just figured it was somewhere in China or other oriental land! Of course, the version that seems to stick in my head is "We Three Kings of Orient are, tried to smoke an explosive cigar ..." Sad, just sad!

    David - Welcome and come on back any ole' time! I love to have visitors from other countries!

    Jen - Uhm ... what is it that Matt also says in instances like this? ... Hmm, I think you know!

    Sarge - Thank you very much!

  5. Great post as always. One of my favorite Christmas songs didnt make your list..."Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." When I hear Judy Garland begin that song, it just brings out the goosebumps.

  6. I love all of these songs...I actually love most Christmas songs...although I'm afraid I will accidently use MattMan's lyrics one day....yikes!

    this reminded me of a couple songs I haven't heard yet this yeat...thanks.

  7. Love all your songs. Mine is Poopy Doodle Puppy's Christmas Party! Don't Ask! :)

  8. Hi, I just stopped by to add your blog to my feedreader. Really!

    My blog (Untwisted Vortex) isn't nearly as pretty as yours, but really, what do you expect from an old fart like me?

    (I'm only 47 by the way.) :-)

  9. Dagnabit! I forgot to check the little box at the bottom!

  10. Well that was a surprise. It's taken me the longest time [12 years] to adjust to 'holiday songs' rather than Christmas Carols.
    Best wishes

  11. Anonymous1:55 PM EST

    Not sure about the last two (LOL!)... but here's my favorite 1980's Christmas Song....

    XTC - Thanks for Christmas (The Three Wisemen)

  12. The Phil Spector made version of 'White Christmas' is a favourite of mine.

  13. Anonymous4:11 PM EST

    love your list!! I absolutely love the Ave Maria any time of year. My grandmother used to sing that to me.

  14. I must say your taste in Christmas Carols run about the same as mine. I've always been partial to "Hark The Herald Angels Sing", "O Silent Night", and "I'll Be Home For Christmas". Did you know that "Silent Night" was written for a guitar because the church organ was broken? I think it's that song - unless I'm confused...yet again! Dang Alzheimers - ha ha ha!

  15. well, as I posted the other day, my fav is Grandma got run over by a reindeer

  16. Love the list. I'd definitely have "Go Tell it on the Mountain" on my list.

  17. O Holy Night has always been a favorite of mine. My church has a traditional liturgical dance at the Christmas eve service every year, and for 10+ years I was up there dancing. Always to that song. They turn the lights off in the church, and everyone lights a candle, and then we're dancing holding candles.. it was an amazing thing, and I miss doing it.

    That being said, my other favorite holiday song is "Blue Christmas", as sung by a comedian doing an impression of Porky Pig. Cracks me up every time. "I'll have a ebdy-ebdy-ebdy-eblue.. Christmas..."

    And as for the Hallelujah Chorus, that's an Easter song for me. Another church tradition, we sing it every year on Easter Sunday. I've sung it so often I know it by heart. Such a beautiful song..

  18. SEE --- THIS is what I'm talking about!
    Anyone can list their favorite Christmas songs, but YOU add that extra touch, whether it's history or how it affects you, and make it inherently INTERESTING.
    You ARE a wonderful writer, my friend!


  19. Awesome Meme! And Christmas Wrapping made your list - one of my favs but I never knew the name! Thanks for adding that one :)

    You are one creative blogger. I think you got that title once too, didn't you?

    Brain Foggles

  20. i love transyberian orchestra, not so much 98 degrees. thanks for posting this, im going to find their cd and play it.


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