The one with a little bit of festive cheer

For the more observant amongst you, you may have noticed in the blog roll on the front page of this site a blog called “My Hell is Other People”. It was written by a character (in both senses of the word) known simply as TheHRD and he fell on his blogging sword in March of this year. If you work in and around people (which will be most of you) I recommend a read through as there’s some great/entertaining/bilious stuff there. It was the first blog I ever read regularly.

On December 15th of last year TheHRD wrote a post called “Christmas isn’t Christmas” in which he shared a Christmas tradition from his family and invited readers of the blog to do the same. There are some fabulous contributions and I can recall even now being sat at my desk in work genuinely moved by some of the comments.

My comment involved some of the rituals that form my Christmas one of which includes the drive from Tring (my home) to Swansea (my parent’s home and my proper home) usually on December 23rd or 24th, usually with a hangover and always looking forward to Christmas with my family (by the 27th I am usually more than looking forward to the journey back as, let’s face it, are my family). As I receive my toll change after the Severn Bridge a playlist gets started in the car which given it’s 64 miles from the bridge to home, lasts almost exactly the length of the remainder of the journey.

It’s a mixture of Christmas tunes from the sublime to the ridiculous and I happened to look at it the other night which brings us to this post and my homage to TheHRD, Christmas and Christmas music.

My favourite track on the whole list is a version of “Oh Holy Night” featured in the short-lived TV show “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”. Given it was written by now Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin and was the next thing he wrote following the West Wing there was huge expectation which the show didn’t live up to but the Christmas episode is something special. Through the plot it becomes clear a group of musicians from New Orleans are in LA trying to find work given the Katrina devastation still effecting the city and the producers of the show decide to give them work by making them a significant feature of the show.

During the performance (with a backdrop of photos of New Orleans and snow made from coconut!) there is a moment where one of the producers declares his feelings for the Network President (she is very cute!) and I confess here and now that the whole thing got to me in the nicest way.It shows people more as I wish they would be supportive, emotional, brave, bold and going all out to get the person they want. Out of context it may not mean much but hell it’s my blog and I liked it 😉

So linked below is the music only version (the version in context of the show is on YouTube if you are inclined to look for it) and if anyone feels like it please feel free to share any favourite Christmas tunes and any stories that go with them…



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3 responses to “The one with a little bit of festive cheer

  1. I remember that post…..

    Two Christmas albums : Otis Gibbs, “Once I Dreamed of Christmas” and The Boy Least Likely to, “Christmas Special”. The former contains a song “Crap for Christmas” with the imortal line, “there’s a big fat man in a bright red suit, he’s stinking of urine and beer, there ain’t no way I’m sitting on that man’s lap, ain’t nobody getting crap this year”. But I’d p[articularly poin people to the songs, “Color wheel” and “1913 Massacre”.

    The latter has the poptastic song, “Happy Christmas Baby” with the chorus, “I still believe in Santa Claus, even if no-one else does” and not to forget the Wham inspired, “George and Andrew”.

    Both well worth a (legal) download. Have a great Christmas.

  2. Girls Aloud – Sound of the Underground. This was the Christmas number one in 2002 and our daughter Keira was born New Year’s Eve that year.

    Joe Strummer passed away a few days before Keira was born, on December 22 2002. As many know he was and remains an inspiration to me. White Man in Hammersmith Palais is one of the best songs written by one of the best bands to ever stalk this earth. This song was played at Strummer’s funeral, and it will be played at mine.

    Top blogging this year Rob – Happy Christmas to you

  3. Lilly

    My favourite Christmas/music story is about my favourite carol: Bethlehem Down

    Peter Warlock, the composer, was a total piss artist and a very interesting man, and in December 1927 he and a friend (Bruce Blunt, the poet) were complaining about how they didn’t have enough money to get drunk at Christmas. As they walked home from the pub they hatched the plan to write a carol and submit it for the Telegraph’s annual competition. Blunt wrote the words and left them on the piano for Warlock – the next morning he came down and Warlock had written the music. They submitted it, won and had a very merry Christmas 🙂

    It’s a hauntingly beautiful carol too…

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