cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 24... Christmas Eve!

Pentatonix again, because I can't quit listening to them this year, and their version of Silent Night is so incredibly peaceful.

Here's is the album version, which I love because it really brings out Avi Kaplan's buttery-smooth bass voice, which I can listen to all day.

And here is the official video, a live version, also very beautiful. Slight changes in a few harmonies, and you get to see who sings what (including Kevin Olusola, who usually does the beatboxing--it's nice to hear him sing).

I love the reverence they show in the live version, but I like the "perfection" of the studio version. Which do you like most?

Merry Christmas Eve!
cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 23 (golly, Christmas is nearly upon us!)... another by Pentatonix, That's Christmas to Me, the title track from their new Christmas album, which I have been playing on repeat in the car all season. It's truly a beautiful album, highly recommend it if you're looking for new takes on old standards or new songs like this one.

cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Something a wee bit different... I'm a big fan of blues music, so have some Christmas blues, from the US, Freddie King, circa 1950s...

cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 21 (how can it already be day 21??)... Ireland!

The Wexford Carol dates back to the 12th century!
cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
I have long loved music from the 1940s, and ever since I first heard "In the Mood" when I was about 7 (so it predates my current fascination with Captain America--I can hear you thinking!!!), Glenn Miller vaulted to the top of my favorite bandleader of that era. So I went digging for any Christmas music from him from the actual era, which turned out to be surprisingly easy and difficult at the same time. Easy because there are a lot of recordings of original Christmas broadcasts from the early 1940s, but no individual tracks, and most of them are in the 30+ minutes category. This one is one of the shorter ones, at 14 minutes, but it's original to the era and has that sound that the modern iteration of the Glenn Miller Orchestra doesn't really capture because modern recording methods are just too... clean and shiny, I guess? I'm weird but I like the tinny, gigantic-radio-in-the-corner-of-the-living-room sound of recordings from the 1940s and the vocals have a very unique intonation and blend that you just can't find these days. So, give it a listen as long as you want and transport yourself to the 1940s...

(A couple of other good programs are here and here. Also, if you want to watch a terrific but will rip out your heart and stomp on it until it's nothing but a pile of unrecognizable molecules on the floor heartwrenching movie for the holidays is Jimmy Stewart's The Glenn Miller Story. I sob at the end of that one and still get a lump in my throat when I hear Little Brown Jug. *sigh*)
cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 19... a Byzantium Orthodox chant. The chanter is Nader Hajjar, who is Lebanese Greek Orthodox living in Ottawa, Canada.

cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 18... classic A Charlie Brown Christmas special music!

cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 17 - The Piano Guys... simply beautiful.

cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Tradycyjne Polskie Kolędy... a traditional Polish carol:

cairistiona: (Happy Aragorn)
Day 15... back to the US, and a very special flash mob! I found this one thanks to [ profile] mikononyte who had it posted on her LJ last week.

I love flash mobs, and last week while Christmas shopping at our local mall, I stopped for lunch at the food court. While I was waiting on my sushi, a local high school choir did a flash mob version of Carol of the Bells. I'm sure I had the sappiest grin ever on my face. :D
cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 13 finds us in Germany...

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Day 12 and now to Mumbai! The song is actually a modern American Christmas song, but I love how it's been embraced by other cultures. The video is a bit shaky but the sound comes through just fine.

Just a note about the song: it was written by David Meece (his version here if you're interested) when he was only 14 years old (although I think it wasn't copyrighted until he was 19). When I was 14, I think I was mooning over cute boys, not penning stirring, soon-to-be-beloved Christmas songs. :/
cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 11...

(I realize I keep forgetting to put the day on these posts!)

Back to the US, to an a capella group based in Minnesota called Home Free and their rendition of "Angels We Have Heard on High", which is one of my favorite Christmas hymns:

cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Now to Russia...

Info from the youtube page:

1 - Kaliadka / Калядки - Moscow Chamber Choir

Holy Russia Celebrates the Festival of Christmas in the cathedrals, monasteries and sacred places in Moscow, the Golden Ging and New Jerusalem.
(Part 11 of 15)

Music - folk song
Director - Georges Gachot

Christmas Night Mass at the Epiphany Cathedral with His Holiness the Patriarch Alexi II. Orthodox Christmas is on 7th of January.
cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 9, now to Africa! "Betelehemu" is a Nigerian Christmas carol, here sung by the African Children's Choir:

cairistiona: (Happy Aragorn)
Day 8...

Zipping around to the other side of the world... here's an Aussie country singer!

It sounds pretty much like American country/western music, which apparently is gigantically popular down under (a personal thank you from me, Australia, for giving us Keith Urban), but the lyrics are definitely all Aussie.

And because I really couldn't decide which to post, here's another Aussie Christmas song that made me giggle insanely: Six White Boomers. Apparently Santa has to ditch the reindeer when he gets to Australia!

cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Day 7... how about Greece!

From the youtube summary:

In Greek Orthodox tradition, carols are sung on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), New Year's Eve (Dec. 31) and on Eve of Epiphany (Jan. 5). The lyrics for these days are different. Groups of children go from house to house in their neighbourhood singing the carols. The Singing is accompanied by the playing of triangles. Householders hear them through and reward the children with a small amount of money or with seasonal sweets. The lyrics shown below are the "standard" ones sung in cities, although there are several regional variations, which are typically longer and make use of local dialects.

The lyrics of the Christmas Carol follow.


Good evening to you noblemen
And if it is your wish
In praise here at your mansion,
Of Jesus' birth I'll sing.

Jesus Christ was born today
in town of Bethlehem
The skies above rejoicing
All nature satisfied.

T'was in a cave that he was born
And in a manger laid
The king of all the skies above
And maker of all things.

Angelic hosts are singing
All glory be to God
And holy be to shepherds
And to their faithfulness.

From Persia are arriving
Three magi with their gifts
The brightest star has led them there
No hour have they delayed.




Καλήν εσπέραν άρχοντες,
Κι αν εί- κι αν είναι ορισμός σας
Χριστού την θεία γέννηση
Να πω- να πω στ' αρχοντικό σας,

Χριστός γεννάται σήμερον
Εν Βη- εν Βηθλεέμ τη πόλη,
Οι ουρανοί αγάλλονται,
Χαίρε- χαίρετ' η φύσις όλη,

Εν τω σπηλαίω τίκτεται,
Εν φά- εν φάτνη των αλόγων,
Ο βασιλεύς των ουρανών
Και ποι- και ποιητής των όλων.

Πλήθος αγγέλων ψάλλουσι
το Δόξα εν Υψίστοις
και τούτο άξιον εστί
η των ποιμένων πίστις.

Εκ της Περσίας έρχονται
τρεις μάγοι με τα δώρα
άστρο λαμπρό τους οδηγεί
χωρίς να λείψει ώρα.

cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
I wanted this year to include music from a wide range of cultures, so yesterday after some googling, I found a Romanian Christmas carol, sung simply by some theology students in a home. I like how this one shows that music need not be slick and produced and professional in order to be really beautiful:

cairistiona: (Happy Aragorn)
Day 5...

As someone who may or may not be unable to *not* dance any time I'm out shopping and this song comes on in the store, this one is turning into my must-see, favorite Christmas music vid...


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