Thursday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2017

Carol of the Bells” is a popular Americanized version of a Ukrainian Christmas carol. It is a choral work by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych as “Shchedryk and translated, or rather, adapted to English by Peter J Wilhousky who wrote and Americanized the lyrics. Leontovych’s composition was in turn, set to the words of an ancient Ukrainian carol performed during the celebration of the New Year.

The song is recognized by a four-note ostinato motif (see image to the right). It is a holiday favorite throughout the English-speaking world, having been arranged hundreds of times for different genres, styles of singing and settings. For example, it was been covered by artists and groups of many genres: classical, jazz, rock, and pop. It has also been featured in films, television shows, and parodies.

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Wednesday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2017

Christmas candles 84Silver Bells” is a classic Christmas song, composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.

“Silver Bells” was first performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the motion picture The Lemon Drop Kid, filmed in July–August 1950 and released in March 1951.[1] The first recorded version was by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards, released by Decca Records in October 1950.[2] After the Crosby and Richards recording became popular, Hope and Maxwell were called back in late 1950 to refilm a more elaborate production of the song.

“Silver Bells” started out as the questionable “Tinkle Bells.” Said Evans, “We never thought that tinkle had a double meaning until Jay went home and his [first] wife said, ‘Are you out of your mind? Do you know what the word tinkle is?'” The word is child’s slang for urination.

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Breaking: Mueller Subpoenas Trump Deutsche Bank Records

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller zeroed in on President Donald Trump’s business dealings with Deutsche Bank AG as his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in U.S. elections widens.

Mueller issued a subpoena to Germany’s largest lender several weeks ago, forcing the bank to submit documents on its relationship with Trump and his family, according to a person briefed on the matter, who asked not to be identified because the action has not been announced.

“Deutsche Bank always cooperates with investigating authorities in all countries,” the lender said in a statement to Bloomberg Tuesday, declining to provide additional information.

Deutsche Bank for months has rebuffed calls by Democratic lawmakers to provide more transparency over the roughly $300 million Trump owed to the bank for his real estate dealings prior to becoming president. Representative Maxine Waters of California and other Democrats have asked whether the bank’s loans to Trump, made years before he ran for president, were in any way connected to Russia. The bank previously rejected those demands, saying sharing client data would be illegal unless it received a formal request to do so. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Calls and emails to the White House weren’t immediately returned. Handelsblatt reported the subpoena earlier on Tuesday.

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Tuesday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2017

Christmas candles 84Sleigh Ride” is a popular light orchestral piece composed by Leroy Anderson. The composer had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946; he finished the work in February 1948. Lyrics, about a person who would like to ride in a sleigh on a winter’s day with another person, were written by Mitchell Parish in 1950. The orchestral version was first recorded in 1949 by Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra. The song was a hit record on RCA Victor Red Seal 49-0515 (45 rpm) / 10-1484 (78 rpm), and has become the equivalent of a signature song for the orchestra. The 45 rpm version was originally issued on red vinyl. This original mono version has never been available on CD, although the later 1959 re-recording is available in stereo. The orchestra has also recorded the song with John Williams, their conductor from 1979 to 1995, and Keith Lockhart, their current conductor.

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Monday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2017

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is a popular Christmas song written in 1963 by Edward Pola and George Wyle. It was recorded and released that year by pop singer Andy Williams for his first Christmas album, The Andy Williams Christmas Album. However, the song was not released as a promotional single by Williams’ record label (Columbia Records) that year, as they instead opted to promote his cover of “White Christmas” as the official promo single from the album.

The song is a celebration and description of activities associated with the Christmas season, focusing primarily on get-togethers between friends and families. Among the activities included in the song is the telling of “scary ghost stories,” a Victorian Christmas tradition that has mostly fallen into disuse,[2][3] but survives in the seasonal popularity of numerous adaptations of Charles DickensA Christmas Carol. Other activities mentioned include hosting parties, spontaneous visits from friends, universal social gaiety, spending time with loved ones, sledding for children, kissing under the mistletoe, roasting marshmallows, sharing stories about previous Christmases, and singing Christmas carols in inclement weather.

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Sunday Praise & Worship | Christmas Jams 2017

Christmas Candles18“What Child Is This?” is a Christmas carol whose lyrics were written by William Chatterton Dix, in 1865. At the time of composing the carol, Dix worked as an insurance company manager and had been struck by a severe illness. While recovering, he underwent a spiritual renewal that led him to write several hymns, including lyrics to this carol that was subsequently set to the tune of “Greensleeves“, a traditional English folk song. Although it was written in England, the carol is more popular in the United States than in its country of origin today.

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Saturday Open Thread | Christmas Jams 2017

beautiful-christmas-candles-5Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree is a Christmas song written by Johnny Marks and recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958 on Decca9-30776.

Although Decca released it in both 1958 and again in 1959, it did not sell well until Lee became a popular star in 1960; that Christmas season, it hit #14 on the Billboard pop chart and turned into a perennial holiday favorite. It continued to sell well during the holiday season, hitting #5 on the Christmas chart as late as 1984. Brenda Lee’s recording still receives a great deal of airplay. Despite the song’s title, its instrumentation also fits the Country genre which Brenda Lee more fully embraced as her career evolved. Despite her mature-sounding voice, she recorded this song when she was only 14 years old. The recording featured Hank Garland’s ringing guitar.

For decades, Brenda Lee’s recording was the only notable version of the song. Radio stations ranging from Top 40 to Adult Contemporary to Country Music to Oldies to even Adult Standards played this version.

Posted in Christmas Songs, Current Events, News, Open Thread, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 67 Comments