Why do I always feel the need to make excuses for bringing up a Barry Manilow song? In my youth, although I was a fan, I was known to say that Manilow had one fast song and one slow song, each with many titles–but it’s not true. It’s more, I think, that he sings in a deceptively stylized way; it sounds relaxed and not stylized at all, but it’s still a strong enough style that the songs he sings sound more alike than different. (Not that he doesn’t have a definite music writing style–he does–but there’s also the fact that the songs that he DIDN’T write sound as much like Barry Manilow as the ones he did.)
Don’t believe me? Try listening–really listening–to the same song sung by Lea Salonga:
According to the Songfacts blog, this is the second most popular song for the end of the year, and it is “the kind of ballad that is usually sung in a melancholy tone because the singer instinctively knows the answer (you’re probably busy).”
So let’s undercut the melancholy with this sweet version sung by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt:
Of course “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was not written by a Jewish songwriter, so far as we know–it’s one of those songs whose creator is generally rendered as “Trad.” (Possibly originally a French Trad.) But I hesitate to call it the “main” melody here, since there are so many other Trad.–and non-Trad.–bits in it. So … erm … It has the dreidel song in it, that’s a Chanukah song, and Chanukah songs all qualify. Yeah, that could be it!
Ah, well, let’s be honest: It’s just here because it makes me laugh. Happy whichever day it is!
It is warm here in the northeastern US. I mean, right now it’s nasty and pouring rain, but it was over 60°F in New York today, and it’s supposed to be over 70°F tomorrow. Which is ridiculous for December, of course, but then the following song’s rarely-performed opening verse begins “The sun is shining, the grass is green.”
“White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, in the movie in which it first appeared (Holiday Inn), sung by Bing Crosby and Martha Mears:
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