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Thread: The Origins of Nostalgia (Christmas Music)

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    The Origins of Nostalgia (Christmas Music)

    Exactly when did I become such a sentimental fool? Funny, I don't remember having a nostalgiac bone in my body as a young man. Yet it had to have happened at some point, though I don't know when. Lemme explain - I was working the front desk on Friday when the secretary turns on the all Christmas radio station (does anyone else have one of these or is sw Michigan the only region subjected to this?) Bing Crosby starts singing "It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Xmas" and my coworkers catch me humming along to the tune, I sheepishly stop. Ten minutes later they catch me singing "Merry Christmas" along with Johnny Mathis. I tell 'em if they don't like it then they should change the station, so they promptly change it to some station playing modern music. THIS station then plays a modern 'Christmas' song (I don't know who the artist was) - but, quite frankly it sucked. It evoked no feelings of sentimentality or nostalgia (or even had a repeatable melody for that matter). I guess they just don't make decent Christmas music anymore.
    I certainly didn't think Bing Crosby was 'cool' by any stretch when I was a kid but the first time I can recall associating any strong feeling with a Christmas song was when I heard "I'll Be Home for Christmas" while living overseas when I was 21. Seems like that was an artificially induced situation, though, so I don't think I can count that one.

    So is it just me, or did they just stop writing good Christmas songs about 35 years ago? And how old were you when you first felt nostalgia stirring? I find it hard to believe that Bruce Springsteen's version of 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' or Paul McCartneys 'Simply Having a Wonderfult Christmas Time" will be regarded in the same league with Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby or Johnny Mathis' Christmas music.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I was thinking the same thing last Saturday as I put up the tree in my living room while listening to Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Johnny Mathis Christmas CDs. It seems these old staples stayed with me from being a tyke, to a lad, to a lurching awkward preteen, to cynical high school/college student, to now. I don't think there is nothing good out now, even new adaptations to old classics. I'll stick with these old crooners who voices are fantastic and have stood the test of time.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    . . . when the secretary turns on the all Christmas radio station (does anyone else have one of these or is sw Michigan the only region subjected to this?) . . .
    KVIL in Dallas becomes an all Christmas music station from Halloween through January 1st. It's the standard for offices, waiting rooms, department stores, and elevators this time of year.
    JOE ILIFF
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    I was thinking the same thing last Saturday as I put up the tree in my living room while listening to Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Johnny Mathis Christmas CDs. It seems these old staples stayed with me from being a tyke, to a lad, to a lurching awkward preteen, to cynical high school/college student, to now. I don't think there is nothing good out now
    Zman, I'm disappointed - you were doing so well with the descriptive adjectives: lurching, cynical...you should add a one-word term describing your current state
    Quote Originally posted by zmanPlan
    , even new adaptations to old classics. I'll stick with these old crooners who voices are fantastic and have stood the test of time.
    Yes, I believe there was a Golden Age of Christmas music and it seems to have been during the 40's and 50's. I really do think that there are virtually no future 'classics' being recorded today. One of the reasons I suspect is that music in terms of general form has gotten away from ballads and let's face it ballads are the meat and potatoes of Christmas classics.
    Maybe I'm wrong about the whole thing and the only reason more recent Christmas songs arent regarded as classics is simply because they haven't been around enough time for multiple generations to associate fond recollections with them....but I doubt it, the themes and tone of recent Christmas songs don't seem to have any air or intent at sentimentality about them.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Zman, I'm disappointed - you were doing so well with the descriptive adjectives: lurching, cynical...you should add a one-word term describing your current state.
    Scared? Hungover? Hoarse? Ready for supper? Tarred? Feathered? Deep Fried? Sexy? Shaky?

    P.S. I think there are a couple radio stations outta the Mile High City that have been playng Christmas tunes for a while now.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    i've always been a fan of the "oldies" esp. around christmas time. at AccuHolidays.com you can listen to christmas music through your computer. they have a couple of themed stations, one of which is "Traditional" with songs by Bing, Frankie, Dean-o, Nat King Coloe, and other great artists. www.accuradio.com/holidays/
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I usually listen to the oldies since that's what I grew up with and I don't think anyone has done it better since Bing and the others. But I have some newer favorites, too: one CD with some of the Weather Channel X-mas music (really!) and of course Jingle Cats (Meow, meow, meow...).

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    Jingle Cats (Meow, meow, meow...).
    Gosh, I'm, glad you mentioned that classic. It's nearly as delightful as the version of Jingles Bells with the barking dogs! I could listen to it again and again and again and again! Say, if you happen to know where I can find either songwriter please let me know. I've been meaning to thank both of them in person for some time now.


    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian
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    My wife listens to enough x-mas music for the both of us. My personal favorites:
    Grandma got run over by a reindeer, Twas the night before x-mas, by Jeff Foxworthy, and the 12 pains of x-mas.

    Yeah, I'm real sentimental ain't I

    Oh, lets not forget the Chipmunks!!
    Last edited by noottamevas; 12 Dec 2005 at 12:58 PM.

  10. #10

    Two words:

    Mannheim Steamroller
    Je suis Charlie

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    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Gosh, I'm, glad you mentioned that classic. It's nearly as delightful as the version of Jingles Bells with the barking dogs! I could listen to it again and again and again and again! Say, if you happen to know where I can find either songwriter please let me know. I've been meaning to thank both of them in person for some time now.


    The Jingle Cats only do classic holiday selections. Unfortunately, they don't happen to have the best voices out there....

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    Mannheim Steamroller
    Ah yes, Mannheim Steamroller: the exception that proves the rule! Did you realize that they released their blockbuster debut Christmas album in 1984? That's over 20 years ago - they may be one of the very few acts of recent vintage that has produced enduring favorites that will be remembered beyond their own generation. I also understand that Harry Connick Jr. has recorded a few Christmas tunes that might prove to have some timeless appeal. Time will tell.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian
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    I have the ipod/bose hookup in the office and have been listening to Christmas tunes since last week. I agree with the above sentiments.

    The Ray Coniff Singers are seriously underrated.

    Here's one modern classic IMO--the Dave Matthews "Christmas Song" off of "Remember Two Things"

    Oh and though it is un-pc, Montgomery Gentry's version of "Merry Christmas From the Family" is a country classic.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Don't forget, Bob and Doug McKenzie's 12 Days of Christmas.

    Day 1: A Beer
    Day 2: 2 turtlenecks
    Day 3: 3 French Toasts
    Day 4: 4 pounds of Back Bacon
    Day 5: 5 Golden Touques
    Day 6: 6 Pack of Tuborg? [The of Danish Kings...] (I think)
    Day 7: 7 packs of smokes
    and then I think they skip up to Day 12 and the song falls apart.
    Bob forgets to ask for Donuts.

    It's a classic, Hosers. Take a listen.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Don't forget, Bob and Doug McKenzie's 12 Days of Christmas.

    Day 1: A Beer
    Day 2: 2 turtlenecks
    Day 3: 3 French Toasts
    Day 4: 4 pounds of Back Bacon
    Day 5: 5 Golden Touques
    Day 6: 6 Pack of Tuborg? [The of Danish Kings...] (I think)
    Day 7: 7 packs of smokes
    and then I think they skip up to Day 12 and the song falls apart.
    Bob forgets to ask for Donuts.

    It's a classic, Hosers. Take a listen.
    8 comic books
    http://www.execulink.com/~bobnet/hoser/12days.html

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    Thank you, I was wondering about Day 8, but I didn't take a stab at it. I suppose I could've checked the actual song on my iPod though, but I didn't.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    This is a bit off the subject but do you guys in North America get the song "greensleeves" played during Christmas time?

    I cant seem to understand why it is a "christmas song"

    In Oz we have some fantastic Aussie christmas songs- special renditions of Jingles Bells.....

    Dashing thru the bush
    in a rusty holden ute
    kicking up the dust
    eski in the boot
    kelpie by my side
    singing christmas songs
    it's christmas time and i am in
    my singlet, shorts and thongs...

    Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
    christmas in australia on a scorching summer day, hey!
    Jingle bells, jingle bells
    ingle bells, jingle bells
    christmas time is beaut oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty holden ute

    Who needs the classics when you have songs like this!

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    Cyburbian Planner Hottie's avatar
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    senti-Mental

    I cry every time I hear Little Drummer Boy. And I mean EVERY time, even when I'm singing it to myself alone in the car.

    So when I watched the movie with my 3 year old son for the first time this year I just broke down with racking sobs. He really didn't know what was wrong with me - and I don't either.

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    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Me? I’m partial to:

    ”We three kings of Orient are,
    Smoking on a rubber cigar.
    It was loaded,
    It exploded.”

    And the ever popular “Grandma got run over by a reindeer.”

    Brings tears to my eyes.

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    Cyburbian Planner Hottie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by natski
    This is a bit off the subject but do you guys in North America get the song "greensleeves" played during Christmas time?

    I cant seem to understand why it is a "christmas song"
    There is an X-mas song sung to the Greensleeves tune.

    "This, this, is Christ the King"
    I don't remember anymore of it.

    Oh no, now I remember - "What child is this?"

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    This, this is Christ the King;
    Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
    Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
    The Babe, the Son of Mary.

    I'll be going home for Christmas, where my parents' parish is named "Christ the King." There's a 100% chance that that song will be sung at some point during the mass.

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    Cyburbian Planner Hottie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    So is it just me, or did they just stop writing good Christmas songs about 35 years ago? .
    Please don't forget the timeless "Last Christmas" by Wham!

    Last Christmas I gave you my Heart
    The very next day, you gave it away
    This year, to save me from tears
    I'll give it to someone special

    repeat ad nauseum

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    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    This, this is Christ the King;
    Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
    Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
    The Babe, the Son of Mary.

    I'll be going home for Christmas, where my parents' parish is named "Christ the King." There's a 100% chance that that song will be sung at some point during the mass.

    Oh ok- so it isnt the actually original words? Cause i was understood the song to be about someone losing a girl or something- weird

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    ^-- Odds are the hymn came first and Greensleeves ripped off the melody.

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    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    ^-- Odds are the hymn came first and Greensleeves ripped off the melody.
    Considering Greensleeves was written By King Henry the 8th...........

    Thats why i am confused, as the song is played at my church (catholic) at christmas time.

    Maybe someone ripped off the Kings tune?

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