Working on any new songs for the holidays?

I love singing Christmas songs - carols in particular (including a number of the really beautiful French ones). Although I haven’t been “practicing” anything specific, I have found myself frequently singing bits and pieces of “In The Bleak Midwinter” lately. It’s one of my all-time top 5 favorites.
 
That may be the craziest holiday music-related story I've ever heard!!!! Amazing!!! Everybody starts somewhere, but I think in the end, Shane lived as close to his image as anyone could, which might not have been for the best. "Doomed drunken poet" isn't often compatible with "long, happy life" but I'm glad we had him as long as we did.

I suppose it's about time that I make an on-topic post to a thread I started :ROFLMAO: so I'll note here what I noted in the Events forum that Cynthia Lin will be leading a holiday jam at the Ukulele Club of Hawaii in Kaneohe on December 5. I know that it's likely that nobody here will be able to attend in person, but these meetings are traditionally posted the following Saturday on YT, so stay tuned!

The UCH has already posted Cynthia's holiday songbook, so you might want to check it out -- I have, and it's a very eclectic collection (All I Want For Christmas Is You, Blue Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, Silver Bells, Silent Night, Rudolph, etc etc), arranged as nicely as you please in classic Cynthia Lin fashion. Good stuff if you're so inclined.
Just got back from Oahu visiting family for the last month and usually attend the Kanilea get together. The November session was cancelled. It's usually a fun session. A bit hard to hear sometimes with the mall noise. Lina Girl usually gets things started, she's a hoot. Joe Souza also leads the group in singing the last song, Hawaii Aloha. Joe and his wife Kristin own Kanilea. Joe has a wonderful singing voice, really nice guy. I attended one last year with Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel.
I've been working on a medley for a holiday jazz concert I participate in every year as a percussionist. We call it Cool Yule. The organizers have me play a short finger style medley. We also have a classically trained guitarist perform a medley. Right now I'm leaning towards reharmonizing Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel, Go Tell It On The Mountain and In The Bleak Mid Winter.
 
Our band is doing our annual “Christmas coffee house” on December 15th at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis Maryland. Always lots of fun, and well attended. Here is our set list, including many from our holiday CD “Peace”.4CC874CB-4F80-44D8-AADE-4DAF24571C5A.jpeg87577793-1819-4151-9FA3-A3F3ED09EE63.jpeg
 
I've been working on a medley for a holiday jazz concert I participate in every year as a percussionist. We call it Cool Yule. The organizers have me play a short finger style medley. We also have a classically trained guitarist perform a medley. Right now I'm leaning towards reharmonizing Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel, Go Tell It On The Mountain and In The Bleak Mid Winter.
Where and when is that event?

In the Bleak Midwinter is a lovely piece
 
Don’t hate me, but I’m learning Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody. ,

No hate here, Doc! We need more Slade on uke! And glam in general, honestly.

I hate that this amazing Top of the Pops performance (mimed of course but AWESOME nonetheless) has a blank thumbnail on the embed, but you know what? It has a blank thumbnail on the official Slade YT channel too, so please click away! I promise that it's for real!

 
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Don’t hate me, but I’m learning Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody. And also a carol or two in chord melody versions,
Slade is awesome, don’t let anyone tell you they’re not.
 
Seems i may be in the minority, but I enjoy Christmas tunes, particularly more traditional ones over “pop.”

I’m currently working on a finger style arrangement of “Oh Holy Night.”
 
Seems i may be in the minority, but I enjoy Christmas tunes, particularly more traditional ones over “pop.”

I’m currently working on a finger style arrangement of “Oh Holy Night.”

I don't think you are. I'm afraid that I may have inadvertently tilted things in that direction when I said that I don't do Christmas.

In full context, or any other holidays, either. My wife's the same. No anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's Day, etc. We celebrate every day, and buy what we want when we want. It works for us!

So it's not even anti-Christmas per se. I've even watched a couple of Hallmark Christmas movies this year because I like the people in 'em. I'm going to start a Christmas movies thread soon if someone doesn't beat me to it, because I like some. It's all good.

On one hand, I'm really glad to have drawn out some folks who are at least meh on Christmas but dig some of the music, but traditions are traditions for a reason, because most people like 'em most of the time.

On the other, I hope that I haven't chased anyone away who unambiguously adores Christmas. One of my absolute pinnacle players, our own @Brittni Paiva is celebrating Christmas all year long! Her merch shop includes some fantastic Christmas uke-themed stuff, and because it's Brittni, the festive designs are on black LOL but they're super festive. If you don't know about these, you definitely need to check 'em out!


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(And I'm not kidding. She does Christmas all year long!)

I've also been carrying around one of my all-time favorite holiday artifacts, a 5-song vinyl EP included with the December 1983 issue of Boston Rock magazine called, appropriately enough, A Boston Rock Christmas, featuring 4 covers and an original from some of the heavyweights of the Boston punk and postpunk scene at the time. There's a crazy number of styles, from extreme hardcore to 8-bit lo-fi, but here are two of my favorites. This cover of Do You Hear What I Hear by Native Tongue starts with a towering postpunk riff that Echo and The Bunnymen or Depeche Mode would have killed for, and transitions to a spacey, funked-out reggae skank the likes of which I've never heard before or since.



Then "Sonny Columbus & His Del Fuegos" (normally known as The Del Fuegos) turn in a shambolic, well-lubricated rock and roll original that would have done Buster Poindexter or The Stray Cats proud, called That Punchbowl Full of Joy.




My only point being that there are as many flavors of Christmas as there are flavors of ukulele AND flavors of people. It's a time of heightened...something, depending on who you are.

Me, with my knotted tangle of mental illnesses, it's the solstice and the turn toward more light even in the dead of winter that's so magical, but everybody's magic is different.

That's why me, a holiday no-thank-you-sayer still thought it was worthwhile to bring up the topic at all. I don't build my life around "no" anything. I build it around "Yes", and there's plenty to say yes to every day. :) And if there are unique things that you're saying Yes to right now because of the season, then let's hear it!


Edit: And without any prompting from me whatsoever, just as I was posting this, your friend and mine @jtsteam was posting the newest Season of the Ukulele, with the theme, December Will Be Magic Again! As he writes, "It's December again! How did that happen? Must be some kind of sorcery. I suppose Kate Bush did warn us." (Hey, we need more Kate Bush on ukulele too!) Anyway, it looks like another great session of the Seasons starting tomorrow, and I couldn't be more delighted that Magic is the theme!

 
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I don't think you are. I'm afraid that I may have inadvertently tilted things in that direction when I said that I don't do Christmas.

In full context, or any other holidays, either. My wife's the same. No anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's Day, etc. We celebrate every day, and buy what we want when we want. It works for us!

So it's not even anti-Christmas per se. I've even watched a couple of Hallmark Christmas movies this year because I like the people in 'em. I'm going to start a Christmas movies thread soon if someone doesn't beat me to it, because I like some. It's all good.

On one hand, I'm really glad to have drawn out some folks who are at least meh on Christmas but dig some of the music, but traditions are traditions for a reason, because most people like 'em most of the time.

On the other, I hope that I haven't chased anyone away who unambiguously adores Christmas. One of my absolute pinnacle players, our own @Brittni Paiva is celebrating Christmas all year long! Her merch shop includes some fantastic uke-themed stuff, and because it's Brittni, the festive designs are on black LOL but they're super festive. If you don't know about these, you definitely need to check 'em out!


View attachment 162185

I've also been carrying around one of my all-time favorite holiday artifacts, a 5-song vinyl EP included with the December 1983 issue of Boston Rock magazine called, appropriately enough, A Boston Rock Christmas, featuring 4 covers and an original from some of the heavyweights of the Boston punk and postpunk scene at the time. There's a crazy number of styles, from extreme hardcore to 8-bit lo-fi, but here are two of my favorites. This cover of Do You Hear What I Hear by Native Tongue starts with a towering postpunk riff that Echo and The Bunnymen or Depeche Mode would have killed for, and transitions to a spacey, funked-out reggae skank the likes of which I've never heard before or since.



Then "Sonny Columbus & His Del Fuegos" (normally known as The Del Fuegos) turn in a shambolic, well-lubricated rock and roll original that would have done Buster Poindexter proud, called That Punchbowl Full of Joy.




My only point being that there are as many flavors of Christmas as there are flavors of ukulele AND flavors of people. It's a time of heightened...something, depending on who you are. Me, with my knotted tangle of mental illnesses, it's the solstice and the turn toward more light even in the dead of winter that's so magical, but everybody's magic is different. That's why me, a holiday no-thank-you-sayer still thought it was worthwhile to bring up the topic at all. I don't build my life around "no" anything. I build it around "Yes", and there's plenty to say yes to every day. :) And if there are unique things that you're saying Yes to right now because of the season, then let's hear it!


Edit: And without any prompting from me whatsoever, just as I was posting this, your friend and mine @jtsteam was posting the newest Season of the Ukulele, with the theme, December Will Be Magic Again! As he writes, "It's December again! How did that happen? Must be some kind of sorcery. I suppose Kate Bush did warn us." (Hey, we need more Kate Bush on ukulele too!) Anyway, it looks like another great session of the Seasons starting tomorrow, and I couldn't be more delighted that Magic is the theme!


No worries, I didn’t take what you said negatively or anything!

And yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie 😁
 
Here are a few to supplement song circle repertoire:

** Christmas in Killarney - Redmond, Cavanaugh, Weldon



** Christmas in the Valley - Wayne Rostad



** Mêle Kalikimaka - Robert Anderson



** Here We Come a Wassailing - Traditional





** If We Make it Through December - Merle Haggard





** Christmas in Prison- John Prine

 
Jingle Bells
Very much open to suggestions
 
Heard a beautiful version of John Lennon's Happy Xmas on the radio today. Jake Shimabukuro and Yo-Yo Ma:



John didn't often aim for "pretty", but he did with this song, and nailed it. Yo-Yo and Jake elevate it to something considerably more than merely "pretty" though -- beautiful, ethereal...maybe you've got a better word, but WOW! Thanks!
 
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