There are many Christmas songs that I find irresistibly catchy; I have to stop whatever I am doing and bounce along while lip-synching to them. Then there are those that make me cry no matter where I am or what mood I was in. On Wednesday I helped Mark select a tree and we decorated it at his place. (Our tradition seems to be that he puts up his tree one month after mine.) I brought along some Christmas DVD’s to play while we decorated. The first one we listened to was “A Christmas Celebration” by Celtic Woman. I could play that on an endless loop and never tire of it. As I was stringing up the lights I had to stop and watch the performances of these two songs, both sung by the angelically beautiful Lisa Kelly. They are tearjerkers:
“The Christmas Song”:
The opening piano alone tugs at my heart. Look at Lisa during the break at 2:12 as she is reflected in the Steinway. And then her voice soars. I am rendered silently contemplative by the third and final “Merry Christmas to you” and by the piano that follows. Lisa looks over her shoulder at the pianist David Downes, a gesture that speaks volumes. What might this gesture mean to me? I could be looking back at the dearest loves of my life; looking back at the past year’s regrets; looking back at my childhood and Christmases past.
“Green the Whole Year Round”:
“The holly yew” as sung by Lisa gives me shivers. The presentation of this song, with the choir at attention silently waiting for their part to chime in, puts Lisa on focus for our undivided attention. We can only gaze at her beauty, especially during the applause at the end when the screen fills up with her burst of a smile. Choir member Julian Edwards sneaking smiles at the camera isn’t too bad to look at either.
“Christmas Mem’ries” by Rosemary Clooney:
This song is from her 1996 Concord Jazz album White Christmas, one of my favourite Christmas albums ever. As Rosemary sings I cannot help but remember the Christmases of my own past, including the very first Christmas that I can remember, that of 1970 (when the photo accompanying this post was taken). Listen to Rosemary sing “Funny, but comes December, and I remember every Christmas I’ve known.” I can picture her singing it, eyes gazing into the distance. I, too, am carried by the song into my own Santa sack of Christmas mem’ries.
Other songs from this album that tug at my tear ducts:
“Christmas Love Song”:
and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”:
With a million and one albums entitled White Christmas, it’s important to get this one right:
It’s one of the best Christmas albums ever. Merry Christmas.