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broodings from the burrow

December 19, 2018


virtual advent tour 2018: day 19
posted by soe 6:37 am

virtual advent tour 2018, hosted by spritewrites.net.

Season’s greetings, readers! We’re back for our final Wednesday before Christmas. While you probably know Dec. 6th is when Western religions celebrate St. Nicholas Day, did you know that Eastern Orthodox religions celebrate it on Dec. 19? So happy St. Nicholas Day, once again!

As I mentioned last week, my Dad (DOD) composed two Virtual Advent Tour posts for us this year. While his first post looked at some of the earliest Christmas carols, his second fast forwards to more contemporary times.

Take it away, DOD!


United Kingdom’s Christmas One Singles

Okay, so not every Christmas pop song originates in the United States and since the passing of Dick Clark and Casey Kasem, other music charts have become even more important than ours. One of the most notable is in merry old England and calls attention to the most popular single recording on Christmas Day of each year. This pop chart began in 1952, and in 1955, the first Christmas themed song to become a number one was “Christmas Alphabet” by Dickie Valentine, a British cover song of a McGuire Sisters hit the previous year in the States. Since then, there have been nine additional Christmas songs, the last of which was the most recent version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid 20 in 2004.

Christmas Number Ones first gained notoriety in 1973 when British rock bands Slade and Wizzard deliberately released Christmas tunes, “Merry Christmas, Everybody” and “I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday” respectively. Slade topped the chart on that Christmas. What makes this a contest is since 2002, the singles chart has been fair game for reality contestants, novelty acts, supergroups, retailers, and charities to vie for publicity and fame. The last of the non-professional acts to become the number one single was in 2015, when the leading pop act, Justin Bieber, asked his fans to vote for a charity instead. The winner was a choir consisting of employees from the Lewisham and Greenwich National Health Service Trust (operators of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the University Hospital in Lewisham). The choir did a number called “A Bridge Over You.” This is a combination of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and Coldplay’s “Fix You.”

Pop acts almost always win the race to Number One. The Beatles are the only act to have four Christmas Number Ones. They are also the only act to have both the Number One and the Number Two Christmas songs. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen is the only song to have reached the top spot twice (1975 & 1991). “Mary’s Boy Child” is the only song to reach Number One by different artists (Harry Belafonte and Boney M.). “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” has been Number One for three generations of Band Aid.

Here are two contending acts for this year. First, the Christmas advertisement from John Lewis and Partners called “The Boy and the Piano.”

The second is a group of firefighters from across England who banded together as The Fire Tones to raise money through their charity Christmas single benefitting The Firefighters Charity and The Band Aid Trust.


* * *

Have a merry musical Christmas everyone.


Thanks for this post, Dad. Part of what I like about the film Love, Actually is Billy Mack’s (played brilliantly by Bill Nighy) blatant pursuit of a comeback through the Christmas Number One race.

See you all tomorrow for yet another stop on the Virtual Advent Tour!

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December 18, 2018


virtual advent tour 2018: day 18
posted by soe 6:02 am

virtual advent tour 2018, hosted by spritewrites.net

Happy Tuesday, folks! We’ve reached the final countdown (cue Europe) — the last week before Christmas. If you’re on task, congratulations! Take a well-deserved cocoa break. If you’re behind the eight ball, don’t despair! There’s still time to get things done. Just take one thing at a time.

Our host for today is Jo Kay of Beyond Strange New Words. She shares some of her favorite Christmas movies, all which would make great viewing this week or next.

See you back here tomorrow for yet another stop on the Virtual Advent Tour!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 2 Comments.

December 17, 2018


virtual advent tour 2018: day 17
posted by soe 6:07 am

virtual advent tour 2018, hosted by spritewrites.net.

Welcome back, folks! I hope you had a great weekend, full of productivity or relaxation, whichever you needed more. I crossed a couple things off my list, but it’s still going to be a busy final week. I’m looking forward to it, though. I do find a looming deadline to be exhilarating.

Today the Virtual Advent Tour returns you to raidergirl3 at An Adventure in Reading. She has a fun, photo-filled post for you about counting down the season.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow morning when we’ll count down yet one more day until Christmas!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 2 Comments.

December 16, 2018


virtual advent tour 2018: day 16
posted by soe 6:19 am

virtual advent tour 2018, hosted by spritewrites.net

Greetings, fellow Adventers! (I’d prefer Adventists, but that’s already been taken…)

We’re down to the single digits on our tour and are narrowing in on the final fortnight of the year. I hope you have enjoyed both so far and find the remainder to be pleasant for you and yours.

Today our tour once again returns to Kat at As Kat Knits, who has a letter to her granddaughter offering some intergenerational entertainment suggestions.

Thanks, once again for stopping by my blog and following along on the Virtual Advent Tour. See you tomorrow for another post!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 1 Comment.

December 15, 2018


virtual advent tour 2018: day 15
posted by soe 6:38 am

virtual advent tour, hosted by spritewrites.net

It’s the weekend! I hope you have a lot of fun things planned or are able to cross a lot of things off your list, depending on which makes you happier.

I am your host once again today and thought I’d share some more music with you. Every year, I make a Christmas cd, which tends to get finalized rather late in the game (by which I mean I’m still working on this year’s). Earlier this month, I shared songs that were new to me this Christmas season and thus in consideration for the 2018 mix; today I thought I’d give you a few that made last year’s cut.

This is from the stage production, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, a remake of the 1942 musical film of the same name. I saw parts of it on PBS’ Great Performances last year, and knew this would make a great intro song.

Here’s a Caribbean riff on a holiday classic (written by Robert Allen and Al Stillman) from the Calypso King of the World, Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco):

My household embraces a lot of different types of music, and while I don’t actively seek out country music especially often during the rest of the year, come Christmastime, a little twang feels necessary and right. “There’s a New Kid in Town” was written by Don Cook, Curly Putnam and Keith Whitley and first recorded by Michael Johnson in 1985, but it’s been recorded by everyone from George Strait to Blake Shelton. This version is from 2017 and is by bluegrass siblings The Roys.

Finally, this is “Light of the World,” by the Blenders from their 2017 album, Holy Night. If you like their sound, this Minneapolis-based band has been playing together for more than 25 years and have several Christmas albums to their names. Paul Mabury, Paul Duncan, and Lauren Daigle wrote the song, which Daigle released in 2013.

See you back here tomorrow for another stop on the Virtual Advent Tour!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 2 Comments.

December 14, 2018


virtual advent tour 2018: day 14
posted by soe 6:12 am

virtual advent tour 2018, hosted by spritewrites.net.

Happy Friday, dear friends. I hope that you are calmly and restfully moving through your holiday preparations list, be it one you have on paper, on your phone, or in your head.

Behind today’s calendar door, we have a trip back to Judith’s blog, Reader in the Wilderness, where she has some more seasonal reading suggestions.

See you tomorrow!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 1 Comment.