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Man, the other guys have really been slacking off this week, huh? And here I am on Christmas Day posting a blog! Not gonna lie, right this second that I am typing it is “Christmas Eve EVE” and I am preparing this in advance. So all the great gift stories will come next time!

Christmas music is the bomb. In listening rotationally to the three radio stations in Charlotte that are currently playing only Christmas music, I got to thinking about the different categories of Christmas songs. Basically, you have three divisions: A) traditional Christmas carols, B) mid-1900s Christmas/winter songs, and C) modern, newly written and recorded Christmas love songs. After some research, I learned that the earliest published Christmas carol that is still sung regularly today is “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” (published in 1833, although the author is unknown and it was apparently sung for many decades before it was published).

Anyway, category A is my beverage of choice. “O Holy Night”, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”, “The First Noel” – these are the real deal right here. Songs about Jesus’ birth and the events thereof; exuberant proclamations of the arrival of the Savior! Yeah!

Don’t get me wrong, I love category B as well. “White Christmas”, “Sleigh Ride”, “Winter Wonderland” – these are warm, feel-good classics that bring pictures of stockings and snow and fireplaces to mind. I especially love the composition of most of these songs – unexpected chords (esp. the major II and minor IV), beautiful harmonies, multiple key changes – wonderful ingredients to make a great song survive for a long period of time.

Category C is where I feel the inconsistencies lie. Songs like “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, “Last Christmas” (*pukes*) and “All I Want For Christmas Is You” aren’t really giving off the Christmas spirit. And even though I do enjoy the Eagles’ “Please Come Home For Christmas”, I still don’t feel very Christmas-y when I’m singing along…

I guess what I’m trying to say is: Christmas is obviously becoming more and more commercialized all the time, and reminders of the real reason of the season are harder to come by each year [uber props to Linus’ monologue in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” though], and I think a very convenient way to get people thinking about Jesus’ birth is by singing those great old songs that everyone pretty much knows already! So it kinda disappoints me that this year I have seen a noticeable change in the ratio of category A songs to category B/C songs on the radio stations this year. Tons of airplay for the tunes about parties and trees and snow, but limited space for the message of peace, rejoicing, heavenly hosts, Christ the King.

Well, enough with the melancholy. Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born! I hope you all are able to spend time with loved ones and maybe get/give some cool stuff. Looking at my family’s tree and the gifts underneath, I feel very blessed to be able to celebrate in such capacity. Oh! And a huge thank you to everyone who came out to Tremont in Charlotte on Sunday and made it an awesome time. We had a blast, and were very excited to feature a fun Christmas segment during the show (with some pretty sick décor).

And, not to brag, but I would say I clean up pretty well for the holidays…
yeahh

iTunes has a free “Holiday Sampler” album that has some pretty great stuff on it. And even if you don’t like it – hey, it’s free! So check that out. HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS! Here are some more Christmas recordings that I love (2x bonus as my gift to you!) Go get ‘em. – Josiah

Three Six Songs to Buy on iTunes This Week:
1. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Copeland
2. “I Celebrate The Day” by Relient K
3. “Star to Follow” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
4. “The First Noel” by David Archuleta
5. “O Holy Night” by Celtic Woman
6. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by House of Heroes

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9 Comments

  1. I wrote a blog with a similar message just a couple days ago. And while I’m a bit of a scrooge (I hate all three categories of Christmas music), I definitely think you’re right. ^_^

  2. I agree. I wrote a poem about it the other day actually.

    Those chords are great! I love hearing them. I couldn’t pick out what kind of chord it was but they added an interesting one to ‘O Holy Night’ at my church last week.
    Key changes are fun, unless you’re the one playing them.

  3. O Holy Night is my BFF when it comes to Christmas carols! fo sho.

    Rachel where can I read your blog?

    – Josiah

  4. You can read my blog by either clicking on my name to the left or pasting http://rachelogisys.blogspot.com in your browser- either way’ll take you to the same place. 🙂

  5. Josiah-I love the rolling chords and the dynamics. What is your favorite arrangement of the song?

    Rachel- I saw you mentioned Alex and Brett Harris in one of your posts. I live their book and blog!

  6. “Do Hard Things?” I helped lead a book study on that one last summer- it’s fabulous. 🙂 Feel free to leave comments; you don’t have to have an account. 🙂

  7. One of my personal favorites is O Holy Night, by the Fold! And that House of Heroes song is one of my new faves. It’s pretty great :]

  8. Well I really just love any traditional arrangement of the song. Usually when modern artists try to jazz up a classic carol they make it unlistenable (except for Trans Siberian, of course).

    BUT i believe Barlow Girl has a very cool version that is true to the original melody/chords. Looks like I need to check out The Fold’s version too though!

    Josiah

  9. I don’t think it’s possible for TSO to mess up a song! Josh Groban also has an amazing version.


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