Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Yuletide 2008

Since today is Yule Day, I thought I would dispense with doing a full entry and give you the gift of some holiday themed music videos, courtesy of YouTube.

This first video is a clip from Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas, Crosby's last Christmas special. It originally aired on November 30, 1977, only about a month and a half after Crosby had died. I remember watching it when it first aired and was a bit surprised at one of Crosby's guests. In fact, it has one of the most surreal and most famous moments in the history of Christmas TV specials: Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing a duet of "The Little Drummer Boy." Although the team of Crosby and Bowie sounds strange, I have to admit that the results were very good.

This is one of my top five favourite Yuletide songs. "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" grew out of a campaign conducted by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969, in which they placed posters and billboards in eleven cities worldwide which read "WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas from John and Yoko," as a protest against the Vietnam War. The song was released on December 6, 1971 in the United States and reached #3 on the Billboard charts. A publishing dispute would prevent it from being released in the United Kingdom until November 1972, but it would go to #4 on the British Singles Chart. This is a collection of clips of Lennon set to the song from YouTube.

While "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen was a sequel to their popular song "Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron (which went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966)." Both were based on the comic strip Peanuts, in which Snoopy often fantasised he was a flying ace fighting the Red Baron. That having been said, "Snoopy's Christmas" also has its roots in history, being also based on the Christmas Truce of 1914 during World War I. On that day British and German soldiers, without the knowledge of their superiors, called a truce between themselves. The British and German soldiers exchanged small gifts with each other, shared pictures of their loved ones back home, and, in some locations, even reportedly engaged in friendly football matches (that's soccer to my fellow Americans). I remember this song well from my childhood, and it has remained one of my favourites ever since.

Okay, I have to confess. This is not a Christmas video. It doesn't even have anything to vaguely do with the holidays. I simply posted it here because I have a big thing for Katey Perry (she combines two of my guilty pleasures--Eighties style synthpop and overly pretty brunettes...)

Merry Yuletide to all and to all a good night!

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