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Posts Tagged ‘barra macneils’

25 Greatest Christmas Songs Countdown: #4 Carol of the Bells

December 22, 2011 3 comments

Like “O Holy Night”, the “Carol of the Bells” is one that I’m still searching for the perfect version of. Only I’m more confident that it exists.

All I want is a full-length choral rendition of the song, with whatever orchestral accompaniment is necessary to make the thing sound right. It’s out there somewhere. The version that’s on the Home Alone soundtrack is excellent; the only problem with it is that it’s short. I also liked the one at the end of the West Wing episode where Josh goes nuts. And I should mention the Barra MacNeils version too: it’s very good, and I like it a lot and am glad to have it, but it’s a different style from what I’m looking for. But too often you get these little one-buttocked instrumental versions, like on the Barenaked Ladies Christmas album, and it’s just don’t even bother.

(What I don’t want is that Mannheim Steamroller/Trans-Siberian Express kind of treatment. I have no time for that stuff at all; it’s the only kind of Christmas music I bar completely.)

But I’ll find it eventually. Someone’s done it. It’s out there. Throw cares away and find your own favourite version of the “Carol of the Bells“.

#25: Sleigh Ride
#24: Huron Carol
#23: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!/Count Your Blessings/We Wish You a Merry Christmas
#22: The Twelve Days of Christmas
#21: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
#20: Fuck Christmas
#19: Jingle Bell Rock
#18: What’s This? & Making Christmas
#17: Oi! To the World
#16: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
#15: Blue Christmas
#14: Christmas in Hollis
#13: We Need a Little Christmas
#12: Marshmallow World
#11: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
#10: Step Into Christmas
#9: Jingle Bells
#8: Christmas Comes But Once a Year (Christmas in Carrick)
#7: Christmas Wrapping
#6: Silver Bells
#5: O Holy Night

25 Greatest Christmas Songs Countdown #8 Christmas Comes But Once a Year (Christmas in Carrick)

December 18, 2011 7 comments

At some point somebody recommended to me that I pick up the Barra MacNeils’ Christmas album. (The Barra MacNeils, if you haven’t heard of them, are a Cape Breton family who does Celtic music.) I did so. And it’s excellent; one of the best Christmas albums I have. They’ve done a second Christmas album since then, and it’s good too, but nowhere near as good as the first. The standout tracks are “Christmas in Killarney,” “Carol of the Bells,” and this one.

Which I looked up online, to see if I could come to some kind of insight from seeing the lyrics in front of me. I couldn’t, but I did notice one thing. Every place I see the lyrics, there’s one line that’s different. Here are the different takes on it that I found:

“Who cares if we work tomorrow? Now’s the time to spread good cheer,”
“All cares are put for tomorrow, now’s the time to spread good cheer,”
“Who cares if we’re poor tomorrow? Now’s the time to spread good cheer,”

None of which are what the Barra MacNeils sing. They get right to what I suppose is the point:

“Who cares if there’s no tomorrow? Now’s the time to spread good cheer,
Pass the punch around the table; Christmas comes but once a year,”

Greet some strangers as you pass in honour of the Barra MacNeils and “Christmas Comes But Once a Year (Christmas in Carrick)“.

#25: Sleigh Ride
#24: Huron Carol
#23: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!/Count Your Blessings/We Wish You a Merry Christmas
#22: The Twelve Days of Christmas
#21: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
#20: Fuck Christmas
#19: Jingle Bell Rock
#18: What’s This? & Making Christmas
#17: Oi! To the World
#16: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
#15: Blue Christmas
#14: Christmas in Hollis
#13: We Need a Little Christmas
#12: Marshmallow World
#11: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
#10: Step Into Christmas
#9: Jingle Bells