Brookfield Basics

A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.

Christmas Music


Following is a reprint of a column I post every other year. 

Consistent readers of this column (both of them) know that I am an audiophile, and some of my most enjoyable entries address the subject of great music, and the people that make it. And one of my favorite things about the season of Christmas is its music.

On a spiritual level the meaning of Christmas is determined by one's faith. On a personal level, Christmas has always been about traditions and memory. And music has always been at the center of both of those for me.

My favorite hymn is Oh Holy Night, with its beautiful ascent and simple, clear telling of the Gospel story. High on my list of carols is Silver Bells, first sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the 1951 movie, The Lemon Drop Kid. But with due respect to Hope and Maxwell, a far better version of this song was offerred by Tanya Tucker, the beautiful but troubled country western star of the 1970's and 80's.  Her rendering is slower paced, giving the song an entirely different characterization; her rich and redolant southern alto investing the lyrics with an almost tangible texture, wrapping the listener in a cocoon of sound and imagery.


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