Monday, December 13, 2010

Five popular Christmas songs de-mystified

Elk ACEO...Relative of Rudolph?

It’s everywhere.  You go into the grocery store, Holiday music.  You are shopping at department stores, riding in elevators, listening to the radio, or just at the office and songs of the season are playing softly in the background.  Sometimes though, do you wonder where they came from, and what the heck some of them are even about?  I mean have you ever actually seen a partridge anywhere?

Well, a little research reveals a lot of interesting facts about the Holiday tunes that are just about everywhere right now.  From the religious to just plain fun, they span the gamut.  So just for giggles I have gathered some useless information that just may come in handy during a game of Trivial pursuit or at one of your Holiday parties.

“The twelve days of Christmas.”  Well, it just so happens that there really are twelve days of Christmas!  I’ll bet you didn’t know that. They are the festive days beginning on Dec. 25th and ending on Jan. 5 (twelfth night) right before epiphany day on Jan. 6.  There also seems to be a whole lot of discussion and speculating about what exactly is the meaning of all those strange sounding gifts one’s true love gives. Some think it is a coded message created by persecuted Catholics to teach catechism, but most likely it was just a simple learning memory game for children.  Along the lines of Simple Simon, you must repeat all of the things or you lose and must pay the consequences. 

“Silent Night.”  This beautiful song started its life as a simple poem written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr and put to music by Franz Gruber. Since the organ in the local church was broken, a guitar stood in as substitute.  There are all sorts of dramatic stories about why the organ was on the blink but there is no way to substantiate any of them.  It just seems to me to be a perfect example of necessity being the mother of all invention.”

“Good King Wenceslas”  C’mon now, you really didn’t know who this dude was did you?  Well, it seems he was good…and a king…and a saint.  Wenceslas is a Czechoslovakian saint and the song is basically about his good deeds, which I am sure are numerous since he was sainted.

“Jingle Bell Rock” You know, you cannot go anywhere without hearing this song.  You might even catch yourself singing it in the shower. Joe Beal and Jim Boothe co-wrote the song and Bobby Helms recorded it way back in 1957. To date there have been more than 60 artists that have released versions of this song, now that’s popularity!

“Rudolph the red nosed reindeer” I’ll bet you didn’t know that Montgomery Ward Department store (no longer in business) published Rudolph the red nosed reindeer as a Christmas booklet in 1939. Names were tossed around and Rudolph was chosen.  It sure sounds better than the other choices of Rollo or Reginald don’t you think? Can you imagine Reginald the red nosed reindeer? It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? Gene Autry, the cowboy singer, recorded it as a song in 1948 and the rest is history.   After all this time Rudolph’s nose is still in business and glowing every year at Christmas. 

Well, that’s all for now, folks, this is kind of fun so maybe more will come soon! 



Gail said...

Very interesting facts I did not know...thanks!

Carol Blackburn said...

Wonderfully informative the elk!

Lee said...

Gorgeous elk!
Thank you for the Christmas Carol break down :D
I did have Gene on a red 45 singing to me every Christmas.

art2cee2 said...

OMG Lee, I had those colored records too. I was just thinking about that the other day. I think we had the chipmunk song on one of these and away in a manger ;-)

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