#ChristmasSongADay – Part 3

Continuing my series of the songs I have been posting each day for Advent on Twitter and Facebook, here are those I featured from Days 13 to today, Day 18.

One of my favourite singer/songwriters is Mary Chapin Carpenter. I have every album she has released in her 30 year career and have been lucky enough to see her play live: a magical experience. In 2008 she released an album of Christmas songs, called Come Darkness, Come Light. Six of the twelve songs were written by her, including this one, the title track, which was my choice for the 13th. I think it’s lovely, and hope you like it too:

That turned out to be the start of a three day run of songs from female singer/songwriters. I’ve always had a soft spot for this style of music, going back to when I first became interested in music in the 60s. One of the first to get my attention was the peerless Joni Mitchell. Even after all these years, my favourite of all of her albums is Blue, which was released in 1971. My vinyl copy of that album wore very thin during my university days, and it is still my ‘go to’ Joni album. It is a very introspective album – classic bedsit music! One of the best of a set of fine tracks is this one, which I chose on the 14th. I believe it is complemented perfectly by the Snoopy video:

The third song in this run of three, which I posted on the 15th, is by another artist whose albums all feature in my collection. Shawn Colvin released her debut album a couple of years after Mary Chapin Carpenter’s first record. The two are friends and have played live together many times, although I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Shawn live – there are plenty of videos on YouTube though! She beat Mary to a Christmas album by ten years, releasing Holiday Songs And Lullabies in 1998. This is another fine album, and the track I chose is this one:

Isn’t that lovely, so beautiful in its simplicity? How could I follow that up? I didn’t try! Instead, I took a completely different approach, and went loud:

That dark little song about a department store Father Christmas being duffed up by a bunch of kids was released as a single in 1977. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it didn’t trouble the charts. As far as I know it has only appeared since then on a couple of Kinks compilation albums: they went through a period of making their studio releases ‘concept albums’ and it’s hard to see where this song would have fitted in! Still, it raises a smile of nostalgia for me, and I’d be surprised if you’d heard it before – which is, after all, one of the reasons why I make this selection each year! As a complete aside, you might like to take a look at a much more heart-warming view of a child’s Christmas, written by Enda, a fellow blogger. I think this is a wonderful piece of writing, and I hope you can read it too.

As yesterday, Day 17, was a Sunday I thought it fitting to share a Christmas carol as my song for the day. But, rather than go for a version from a religious setting, I chose this:

You may well recognise Maddy Prior as being a longstanding member of Steeleye Span, who – along with Fairport Convention – were one of the forerunners of the electric folk scene which developed in England in the late 1960s. You may also recall them having a novelty Christmas hit in 1972 with Gaudete, to the best of my knowledge still one of only two chart hits sung entirely in Latin (the other is Pie Jesu). I could have chosen that, but went for this one instead as it is a little further off the beaten track. Whilst remaining a Steeleye Span member, Maddy has regularly undertaken Christmas tours with the Carnival Band, and that is taken from a DVD made of their 2004 tour.

For today’s choice I stayed in the folk music area. I featured Bellowhead earlier in the series, and here they are again, leading a massed folk band ensemble that featured in a one-off special programme shown on BBC4 in 2009. It really doesn’t seem that long ago since I first saw this! This song, although not this version, was the b-side of Bellowhead’s Christmas Bells single (which is in Part 1 of this series – link is on the right). I bet you haven’t seen it done like this before, though:

So, that’s it for Part 3 of my #ChristmasSongADay series. I’ll be back on Christmas Day with the final seven songs, and hope to see you again then. After all, you’re going to need something to take your mind off the eggnog, yet still more gifts of socks, and arguments with the family, aren’t you! Have a great week, and I hope all of your Christmas preparations go well. See you on the 25th 😊

28 thoughts on “#ChristmasSongADay – Part 3

  1. browney237 December 26, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Joni Mitchell has always been a favourite in a long list of female singers I love. Court and Spark is a regular on my turntable or playlist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive December 26, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      Same here, one of the first I really took to, around the same time as Sandy Denny. I like just about everything she has done but I must admit to a preference for her early, folkier stuff. Blue is a masterpiece, to my ears.


      • browney237 December 26, 2017 / 10:41 pm

        I love all of her early music and have to say in recent years have started to enjoy her newer modern jazz style. Shame we will ever get anymore of her music.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive December 26, 2017 / 11:01 pm

        Yes, she retired too early I think. But she clearly felt she’d done everything she wanted to, so we can’t really blame her. Those first four albums alone would have been a great legacy, even if she hadn’t developed her subsequent style in the way that she did.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Clive December 18, 2017 / 8:02 pm

      Thank you! And a Merry Christmas to you and yours too 😊🎄

      Liked by 1 person

    • Clive December 18, 2017 / 4:54 pm

      Many thanks, Frank 😊


    • Clive December 18, 2017 / 4:42 pm

      Thanks Frank, glad you like them 😊


  2. Stevie Turner December 18, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    I used to love Gaudete and Maddy Prior’s voice. Haven’t heard from her in years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive December 18, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      She’s still going strong, as are Steeleye in their latest incarnation. They’re still making records and announced tour dates for next year recently, maybe you can get to see them – I first saw them in 1971 and they’re just as good now as they were back then 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clive December 18, 2017 / 4:54 pm

        I hope I’ve remembered it right! I saw some announcements on Facebook, so hopefully they were for next year! Do they still do the open air summer concerts at Kentwell Manor? I know they’ve played there within the past five years.


      • Stevie Turner December 18, 2017 / 5:39 pm

        I saw them at Kentwell a few years back. Yes I think the summer concerts still take place although we haven’t been for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive December 18, 2017 / 5:58 pm

        Hopefully they’ll be there again for you. We took the kids to the Tudor recreations there a couple of times, a great day out in lovely surroundings.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Stevie Turner December 18, 2017 / 6:07 pm

        I remember once going there for Hallowe’en and we were all creeping round the grounds in the dark. I nearly fell in the bloody moat…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive December 18, 2017 / 6:12 pm

        At least you might have caught a carp! We only went in daylight, much safer 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive December 18, 2017 / 5:01 pm

        A quick update. Just checked their Facebook page and the tour was now, including Bury St Edmunds last Wednesday! I’ll keep an eye out for you, now I know you’re interested 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. endardoo December 18, 2017 / 11:48 am

    The way musical tastes should be, I reckon, Clive: let’s call it eclectic!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive December 18, 2017 / 11:55 am

      That’s the word I always use for it. It’s so much better than ‘random!’

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Miriam December 18, 2017 / 11:45 am

    What a veritable smorgasbord of lovely Christmas music Clive. Wonderful way to lead us into the festive season. Wishing you and yours a peaceful musical time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive December 18, 2017 / 11:54 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed them, Miriam. I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas too 😊🎄

      Liked by 1 person

  5. endardoo December 18, 2017 / 11:27 am

    Another great set of songs, Clive — Shawn Colvin is warbling away as I write. Keep them coming

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive December 18, 2017 / 11:35 am

      Glad you enjoyed them! A bit of a mixed bunch, but my musical tastes are like that!

      Liked by 1 person

Please leave a reply, I'd like to know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.