Happy XMas War Is Over

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.

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Remaining Entries in the Songs Of Christmas Past Series

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

Wednesday  12-19

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. 

The Nutcracker Jingles

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.

Mary, Did You Know?

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.

Christmas is Coming

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!

What Is This Feeling?

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

 

 

Edelweiss

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