I have had a bit of a struggle finding info on songs I am supposed to analyze for my Songs Of Christmas Past Blog series thus my posting schedule has had to be altered a few times. This week’s song is an example… the song I was supposed to analyze was Jingle Bell Hallejuah but due to lack of information I have decided to talk about Happy XMAS War Is Over instead.
As I mentioned last semester when I analyzed the Ticket To Ride Beatles Medley I was first introduced to the Beatles in college thanks to a band that my friends from theatre had called JFJ that did Beatles cover songs. Happy XMAS War Is Over was released 1971 after the Beatles had broken up. John and Yoko Ono formed their own band. This song was recorded with the Harlem Youth Choir. I always thought this was a beautiful Christmas song. It is one of my favorites. SVC performed this in our Sounds of The Season Concert in 2016. Guest artists for this song were Patrick McCarty, the SHS Acapella Choir and Jim Summers on Guitar. The audience was invited to sing along too which made the performance extra special. The harmonies were beautiful which was made this song easily the best song we sang in the whole concert.
Wow! It is November already. Hard to believe that this semester has been flying by so quick I have missed everyone this semester and can’t wait until the concert which is just 1 month and 5 days away. Matt and I will be back next semester.
I hope everyone has been enjoying my Songs of Christmas Past Blog series. It has been fun reviewing songs from past holiday concerts. Unfortunately in some cases I have been unable to find information on the songs we have sung. Thus my posting schedule this series has been changed.
Friday 11-9 Jingle Bell Hallelujah
Friday 11-16 Bonus Analysis 40th Anniversary of Grease
This was originally supposed to be my analysis for the Top 40 Showcase in June. Unfortunately the showcase was canceled due to low ticket sales. I have decided to do this analysis anyway just for the fun of it. I hope people will enjoy it.
No Entry the week of Thanksgiving due to Holiday Traveling
Friday 11-30 That’s Christmas To Me
Friday 12-7 Happy XMAS War Is Over
Please note schedule change! This entry will be posted on my Theatre Is My Life Blog as the Milford and Souhegan High School Holiday Concerts will also be reviewed.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I am a bit early. I am especially thankful for all the support this blog has received in its first and hope it will continue to be successful in the years to come. We look forward to analyzing more music next semester. For future reference it is looking likely that in Fall 2019 we will be stepping away from doing this blog due to being busy with our Commitment Ceremony and honeymoon. We will make a final decision about this in August 2019.
It’s hard to be believe we are in November now. This is my favorite month of the whole year. It’s when we start to wonder if it’s necessary to start Christmas planning; although it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. When it is this time of year, one of the most beloved holiday classics of all time comes to do performances in New England-at places such as Boston at the Wang Theater and the Palace Theater in Manchester, NH. It’s the Nutcracker Suite; originally scored by Tchaikovsky.
In this song, the jingles are twisted with the familiar song of Jingle Bells. The song begins with the traditional Jingle Bell melody, then the second one is twisted with the March of the Toy Soldiers, followed by the Sugar Plum Fairy, then the Dance of the Reed Pipes, and finally the Waltz of the Flowers. The song was arranged by Chuck Bridwell; and it’s very festive and created to delight the lover of the Nutcracker Suite.
As we are continuing to grasp about the early days of Christmas and know it was started, this song is more modern than some of the other songs for the season in the chorus. This piece was written by Buddy Greene and the lyrics were created by Mark Lowry. This debuted as a gospel piece by Michael English; an artist own for his Christian inspired music. It was when both Greene and Lowry were members of the Gaither Vocal Band in the early 1990s.
Other artists have used this piece such as Pentatonix and Jordan Smith. This sounds like a piece for artists to catch on, but there are a couple of points to explain. People have thought it lacks the scriptural or theological depth describing that Mary would not been asked about the birth of baby Jesus. The bible describes it more like Mary understood perfectly. Some others mention about this piece being a beautiful expression of the love of God. This song doesn’t have as much poetic license as some others; but the beat of 53 beats per minute have made this piece good for those who made it on top of the charts in the past.
I hope everyone after four practices has gotten into the Christmas Spirit for the semester. This song I’m about to write about is often used for all ages – because this can be used as a round; a type of song that children like to sing with each of them starting at different parts with the same melody; or the whole song sung through with the entire choir. The traditional version of Christmas is Coming is heard as the identical melody to the English dance tune Country Gardens but other melodies have been used in the song.
In the past, this song has been sung by the Kingston Trio for their album The Last Month of the Year and titled as A Round About Christmas. If any of you like old time folk music, then this would be a nice soothing song to get you ready for December. Other artists have sung this including Bing Crosby; who sung Christmas is a Comin’; rearranged by Frank Luther. You can also listen to the instrumental version on Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack arranged by Vince Guaraldi.
For the semester, this version is arranged by Andy Beck. He’s a graduate of Ithaca College with a Masters degree in Music education; and now is a music director, composer and arranger of popular Christmas music scores. For more information of him and his scores, visit his site at https://www.singers.com/arrangers/Andy-Beck/. This traditional English round has been re-embellished with new lyrics and make people come together while the season will be busy. The tune has been added with a new composed bridge and will make a wonderful opening for the concert.
In case you don’t know what the traditional nursery rhyme is like, here’s what it’s like in case you want to teach your young children and grandchildren:
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!
This week I am going to be analyzing What Is This Feeling? from Wicked,
Wicked first premiered on Broadway in 2003 and starred India Menzel as Elphaba and Kristin Cheonweth as Galinda. It is currently still on Broadway. I do not know who is playing the lead characters though.
When I think of this song I am immediately bought back to college when I met my roommate for the first time freshmen year. This is situation that Glinda and Elphaba find themselves in at the beginning of the show. In this song they are writing letters to their parents explaining what their roommate is like. I got along well with my roommate but at the first meeting it does not look like Elphaba and Glinda are going to get along. I am Glinda in this song and it fun to explore that character a little bit better. Developing this character will be fun as rehearsals for my cabaret progress. It is clear that they do not like each other and that Elphaba is different from the rest of them. That is why the other Shiz students side with Galinda. One thing that I really love about Wicked is the growth that the relationship between Glinda and Elphaba grows and how the “unadulterated loathing” eventually goes away.
I am very excited about my cabaret that I am doing at work. I am also hoping to achieve the girl of this performance of the song Angels on My Shoulder that Dan Wolaver composed for me. I think it would be a nice tribute to Dan to perform it. What Is This Feeling was performed in our spring concert ins 2016 Comedy tonight performed by Kim Whitehead and Rachel Cerullo.
This post was originally supposed to be posted on November 21st but had to be moved up a couple weeks due to lack of information provided on both Flowers In Winter and Goin To Bethlehem to do an analysis. Next week’s analysis will be on Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
I get to talk to one of my favorite movie musicals of all time in this post and I am so excited. I first saw the Sound Of Music when I was 10 years old at my grandparents house… it was first introduction to musical movies. Did you know that the Von Trapps were a real family of musicians? I have been to the Von Trapp family lodge in Stowe Vermont and it is such a fun place to go.. I really want to go back! The movie is actually based on the memoir of Maria Von Trapp which was published in 1947 after her husband Georg’s death. Maria Von Trapp was portrayed on screen by the great Dame Julie Andrews and Captain Von Trapp was played by Christopher Plummer. The stage musical premiered on Broadway in the Lunt Fontaine Theatre on November 16th, 1959 and the movie premiered in 1965. Mary Martin played Maria Von Trapp and Captain Von Trapp was portrayed by Theodore Bikel.
MY favorite songs from the Sound Of Music include I Have Confidence, 16 Going On 17, My Favorite Things, Something Good and Do Re Mi. The song I am going to talk about today is Edelweiss.
First of all what is Edelweiss? It is a flower that is a popular flower in Sweden and Austria. It means noble white in German, This flower grows high in the Alps.
This song is beautiful and I always thought it had wonderful harmonies in it. SVC performed it in their Christmas Around The World concert in 2012. This song was written for the Sound Of Music because it was a good representation of guitar playing and folk singing. It is sung in the festival performance scene in the movie and musical. The actor who played Georg in the musical was a good guitar player so this song was well suited for him. Sadly this was the last song that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote together before Hammerstein died of cancer.
How is this song related to Christmas and the holiday season? I wondered the same thing recently. If you listen to the lyrics it says “Blossom of Snow may you bloom and glow?” As I mentioned Edelweiss means Noble White in German which makes perfect sense for the holiday season. While The Sound Of Music is technically not a holiday film Edelweiss and My Favorite Things are my favorite Christmas songs from that movie.
Sources: Wikkipedia and Broadway Musicals The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time