Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmasongs: Snow Day!

Nashville was turned into an absolute winter wonderland yesterday as we were blessed with a good 4-5 inches of snow. It was the good kind too! Instead of the usual wet/rainy mix or the insignificant dusting, we got hours and hours of the pure, powdery precipitation and it covered everything. It was beautiful to watch and it made everything look straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. I completely understand how nonsensical it is for crystallized ice particles to be so mesmerizing, but it’s hard to deny the magic of a snow day. Especially one before Christmas. While eating lunch after church, Amanda convinced me not to go into work. So we went home and lit a fire, opened the windows and snuggled on the couch to watch the Rankin/Bass Rudolph special. Needless to say, it was one of those perfect days that gets mentally filed away to be revisited throughout the years.

“Let It Snow” – A Fine Frenzy: So many people have covered this song that it’s hard to really pick a definitive version. Lena Horne and Dean Martin are probably my personal picks for the classic angle and Rosie Thomas and A Fine Frenzy are probably my favorites for a modern take on it. I really dig the relaxed, already at home under a blanket feel of A Fine Frenzy’s version. The story goes that this song was ironically written as a mental escape during a super hot summer day in California.

"Let It Snow" - A Fine Frenzy

“Winter Weather” – Squirrel Nut Zippers: Squirrel Nut Zippers were one of the bands who spearheaded the brief swing band craze in the 90’s, but they are really much too talented to be pigeonholed as just that. They released Christmas Caravan in 1998 and their cover of “Winter Weather” is one of my favorite tracks from the album. It was originally written by Ted Shapiro in the 1940’s and The Squirrel Nut Zippers uphold the sound and spirit of the Tin Pan Alley standard really well. Sweet and nostalgic, this song is perfect for a snow day.

"Winter Weather" - Squirrel Nut Zippers

“Winter Wonderland” – Reverend Horton Heat: This instrumental rockabilly version of “Winter Wonderland” is off of one of my favorite Christmas albums, Reverend Horton Heat’s We Three Kings. A simple drum kit, stand up bass, boogie piano and The Reverend’s fiery guitar skills make this song fun, festive and tailor made for Christmas parties. If this song doesn’t get your toes tapping and take you to new levels of holiday cheer, I’m not sure what else could.

"Winter Wonderland" - Reverend Horton Heat

“White Christmas” – The Drifters: I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve been around a real good snow before Christmas, so naturally this song is just a little bit cooler to me now. I’m picking this version because we’re planning on seeing Home Alone tonight at our movie theater and it’s hard to hear this song without thinking of the movie. Plus, you gotta love the spastic "Jingle Bells" thing they do at the end.

"White Christmas" - The Drifters

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