And who isn’t saying this right about now?

“We Need a Little Christmas” by Jerry Herman, sung by LeAnn Rimes


Video from leannrimesofficial

I have to say that while I never thought of it as a country song–it is, after all, from the Broadway musical Mame

(No, it is not from “Glee.” “Glee” did a very partial cover of it, but it was nonetheless written for and performed in Mame)

–it does seem to fit the genre. Still, no one sings it quite like the original Mame, Angela Lansbury, in the original cast album…


Video courtesy of CBEntr

…or ever after:


Video courtesy of James Christian Jr.

She just gets better and better, doesn’t she? No wonder that Jerry Herman famously coached her (secretly, of course, since that sort of thing is Not Done) before her audition!

(By the way, isn’t that line, “But, Auntie Mame, it’s one week past Thanksgiving Day now!” quaint? No surprise that more recent productions change that line to “But, Auntie Mame, it’s one week from Thanksgiving Day now!”)

Continue reading “And who isn’t saying this right about now?”

It’s very nasty out tonight. Really very.

And while it is not below-freezing cold, it is also not really weather that makes the idea of going outside at all appealing…

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” by Frank Loesser, as sung by Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt:


Video courtesy of Dragon Blast

This is another one of those songs that everyone, but EVERYONE, has covered. Recent pairings include Sara Bareilles and Seth McFarland, Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé (which has a video I find more than slightly creepy), and Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker. The one I brought in–from “Lady Gaga & The Muppet’s Holiday Spectacular”–I find especially charming. Don’t they seem to be having a blast? I love that!

And the role reversal helps pull the teeth of a bit of controversy that arose around the song over the years–the “wolf” and “mouse” aspects of the song bothers some people. And of course, if you just look at the lyrics (or listen to some of the recorded duets), it can certainly be read as a man pressuring a woman to submit to sex. It seems to me only fair to the songwriter, however to bear in mind that the song was originally written by Loesser to sing with his wife at parties as a signal that things were starting to wind down. (And indeed, if your hosts are singing that to each other in front of you, it does become clear that you are looking at two people who would very much rather you left…now!) His then-wife, Lynn Garland, in fact, was not in the least bit happy when he sold the song to MGM, Oscar or no Oscar (and it did win the Oscar for Best Original Song), since it was supposed to be “theirs.” And I think this Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Lady Gaga duet makes it just as clear as the Loesser’s duet must have done that there’s no coercion going on here, it’s all just flirtation.

Continue reading “It’s very nasty out tonight. Really very.”

Still no snow forecast for NYC.

But I don’t like to be parochial, and snow is being forecast for quite a number of places across the US (and no doubt elsewhere on the planet too), so this song will probably be an option for SOMEONE…

“Sleigh Ride,” by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish, sung by The Ronettes:


Video from PhilSpectorVEVO

That’s a 1963 recording, and a classic, but if you prefer something a little more contemporary, here’s “Sleigh Ride” sung by Pentatonix (which includes the middle bits that pretty much everyone leaves out):


Video from PTXofficial

Continue reading “Still no snow forecast for NYC.”

We are not expecting snow in NYC.

Which I’m not complaining about! (I’m not even complaining about the rain we’re supposed to get later in the week, because, drought-like here.) So don’t take this as an order or even a request, please, but…

“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”, by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, sung by Carly Simon:


Video from Carly Simon-Topi, “Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment.”

BTW: Do you know who has covered this song? EVERYBODY. (Just search for “Let it Snow” on YouTube, you’ll see.) Which includes the cast of Star Trek: TNG.


Video by jamescovenant. (FYI: The song runs from the beginning until about 1:11; following is an ad for a game by the clever person who put together the video.)

And as long as we’re looking at a holiday song by Cahn and Styne, here’s another–“The Christmas Waltz,” by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, sung by Kristin Chenoweth:


Video from Kristin Chenoweth-Topic; “Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment.”

It was not covered by Captain Picard.

Despite that lack, the two songs do have something else in common–according to Sammy Cahn, they were both written during hot California summers. “Let it Snow” was written to take their minds off the heat, and “The Christmas Waltz” was written because Frank Sinatra called and asked for a Christmas song.

Continue reading “We are not expecting snow in NYC.”

If it’s December…

…it must be time for my parade of Jewish winter-holiday-season music. Chanukah songs, of course, and Christmas/generalized-winter-holiday-season songs written by Jews.

(If you were not expecting this, then welcome! You must be new to Castrocopia, always good to see a new face.)

 

I started with this song last year, too, because it makes such a nice segue from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, especially since both Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to have continued just-all-week-long. The song? “The Christmas Can-Can,” music by Jacques Offenbach (with a judicious amount of mash-up included), lyrics and arrangement by Walter Chase, sung Straight No Chaser:


Video by Straight No Chaser

 
*If you are interested in details, I will be putting some info behind the jump–you don’t have to see it if you’d rather just enjoy!
Continue reading “If it’s December…”

Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789

*ahem*

Could I have a moment of your attention before you disappear into a blizzard of parades/football games/cooking/eating/otherwise celebrating Thanksgiving?

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be–That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks […] for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

[…]

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington
George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress

 

thanksgivingcornucopia

(un)Official CastroCornuCopia

 

Some cooking tips:


Video courtesy of Snoopy

 

And because I find this song appropriate:


Video by MusicCityRoots

(Yes, I am that corny. Be thankful I did not grace you with The Wiggles’ version–on autoplay.)

 

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

 

*Yes, this is pretty much the same Thanksgiving Day post as last year (and the year before, through time immemorial) (or at least two years back). This makes it a Copia TRADITION, up to and including this note, which is nothing at all like me being lazy. Happy Thanksgiving!

About that Mesquite show

You know, the one that Castro did this past Saturday? Well, it resulted in this quite nice article in the Mesquite News:

“We all have very diverse musical interests that we kind of combine to make us what we are,” Jason said.

[…]“I think we are better together, and this is too special not to try.”

 

For the full piece, click on over to the website!