Thursday, December 25, 2008

Song Of The Week X

An Evening in December is an awesome a cappella album. I had the audio cassette of this one but have never been able to find the CD. If you like Christmas songs or a capella, you should try this now! If you don't like either, try it and it shall convert you! In case you're still against it, I'll have to personally visit you and convince you, but I highly doubt that would be necessary.
This is the title song, the only one from the album I found online, and it's not even complete :( I wish I could find the "O Come Emmanuel" from this album. That one is simply... beautiful.

An Evening in December - Kelly Nelon with First Call

Heres the link to the full song performed tolerably well by a high school choir

Christmas Carolling

What is Christmas without carols? Bah humbug!
Unfortunately very few people here know what it's like to go carolling and to encourage a better understanding, we decided to do just that in the University. There were a few hiccups early on with getting permission. This had more to do with the spite of one person than the laws of the country. But thankfully, every mean man has a sensible person above him who can overrule senseless decisions. That meant, eventually, that we were okay to sing on the evening of the 23rd.
There were around 12 in total who were interested and we practiced a couple of times so that we didn't embarass ourselves in public. Some invitees couldn't make it because of reasons like a) it was too cold, b) they weren't feeling well, c) they couldn't refuse free university dinners, d) they lived too far away. Finally though, a bunch of us made it out in the cold night.
Alex was dressed up as Santa Claus, with an old red jacket and a Santa mask. We started at Xin yuan, our own dorm area, and with Oswin on the guitar, belted out some old classics. Unfortunately it was too cold for people to stay for long enough and notice. But we did get some of our friends to come down with us and there were 20 or so people altogether when we set out for Qin yuan.
To keep with the Christmas spirit, we greeted the people on the way and once we had worked out the best way to do it, people actually waved and wished us back rather than crossing to the other side of the road in fear.
Qin yuan was better because there were more people out on the square but the best was at SOGO where we thought we'd do a pre-dinner carol round by the big Christmas tree. Ending on a high note is always good and we gave them an encore of Jingle bells to thank them for their support.
Back at the dorm, we went to each floor of the boys hostel singing carols. Our success triggered a couple of rip-offs with other carol groups vying for attention, but hey, the original is always better!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Last Saturday evening as I was listening to some music, I had the sudden urge to sing along with "Have Yourself..." As I was listening to the song, I took down the lyrics on a piece of paper and it's been in my head ever since. Oswin and I have officially declared it to be the theme song for this Christmas and we went out and got a star to "...hang a shining star upon the highest bough..."
Going along with the consumerist spirit, many Chinese shops have switched to Christmas colours with Santa hats and paper snow flakes on windows. After all, Christmas is just another commercial festival, right? The upside of this sad turn of events is that you can buy Christmas decoration in communist China. So getting a star at "Underground" was not a problem. [For the uninitiated, "Underground" is what we call the bunch of shops under the little park near the city centre]

In a sense, it's not a traditional christian christmas song - just a sad song from a musical [and the original doesn't even have the "shining star" line!] So it's the Frank Sinatra version I give to you here. [I was really tempted to put up the Twisted Sister version but didn't like the "hohoho here we go" line, maybe you could check it out on youtube]