The political landscape lately has been exhausting to the point of madness.
The hate, trolling, half-informed spewings of just about everybody has really been soul-deadening.
So to start the season out right, I’m going to share my all-time favorite Christmas carols.
For me, these songs evoke a seemingly lost sense of wonder, of child-like naivete, of a deep sense of peace associated with Christmas. Those feelings seem to have been lost in today’s technology-driven atmosphere. They’ve been replaced by the pablum of “fairness” that supposedly keeps things from being elevated above others.
Well, I say fooey to all that. So here goes, in no particular order:
•“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” by Ella Fitzgerald. I don’t think there is a singer alive today that can match the depth and richness of the Queen of Scat’s voice. Aretha Franklin was close, but I’m a bit older-fashioned.
I invite you to listen (you probably can find this on youtube) and actually hear lyrics. It’s a glimpse into the deep feeling of love that you can’t seem to find nowadays.
•“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin and Marilyn Maxwell. Hey, it’s Dino. The Rat Pack-er. Smooth and mellow, you really feel the weather when Dean’s telling you about it.
•“Ave Maria” by Luciano Pavarotti. This song is transportative. It’s both worship and entertainment, and the grand master really fills it with the proper sentiment.
•“Ode to Joy” by Ludwig von Beethoven. Sufficiently bombastic enough to remind us about the amazing event this holiday is about.
•“Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah,” as performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. While we’re on the subject of bombastic, the MTC has made this song a staple, and rightly so. This, right here, it what it’s all about.
•“I Saw Three Ships” by Yes. I’m a die-hard progressive rock fan, and have loved the music of this group for years. When I heard this song, done in their style, I was hooked.
•“Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)” by the Vienna Boys Choir. The true meaning of Christmas, sung by angelic voices.
•“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Jewel and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. TSO erupted on the Christmas music scene years ago, and the holidays have never been the same.
•“Joy to the World” by Mannheim Steamroller. Done instrumentally, it still gives the feeling of bliss associated with the birth of Jesus. It’s actually a tradition in my house that every time MS releases an album, we buy it. These guys are that good.
•“O Holy Night” by just about anybody. Far and away my favorite carol ever. This never fails to fill me with joy.
Send me a note about yours. I’d like to know what you think.
•Another sure sign of the Christmas season is the Red Kettle Campaign by the Salvation Army.
Every on occasion needs a helping hand, especially around the holidays. The Salvation Army makes sure that our friends and neighbors in need can receive help. So please, donate generously.
There are kettles about town, bell ringers in front of Walmart, and even a kettle here at the Meteor.
Drop by, and drop a donation. Let’s make Christmas a little merrier.
Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.