#ChristmasSongOfTheDay 2019 – Part Two

It seems like several of you enjoyed the first selection of my #ChristmasSongOfTheDay so I’m hoping that there will also be something here that you like. For this second set, I’m taking you through days 7 to 13. Six more will follow next time, and I’ll be rounding off on Christmas Day with the final seven choices. That will make 26 in all – I do a bonus extra post on Christmas Day, for those seeking respite from the traumas of a family celebration, or who just have nothing better to do!

Last Saturday, the 7th, saw the return of one of my all time favourite Christmas songs. For me, this one is right up there with Greg Lake, who I posted in the first set. Jethro Tull have been one of my favourite bands since their beginning, more than 50 years ago. In that time they have released several Christmas songs and a whole album of seasonal fare. This is the one I like best, which is why I’ve shared it in each of the five years I’ve been doing this. This is actually a promotional video, specially made for the BBC’s Top Of The Pops programme, but that doesn’t take anything away from it, as it is the perfect accompaniment for the song:

A couple of weeks ago, before my thoughts turned towards Christmas, I posted Under The Covers, in which I shared a few covers by family-based bands of some great songs. One of the bands I featured in that post – Foxes and Fossils – has recently begun recording again after a bit of a hiatus, and for Sunday 8th, as I like to share a carol on Sundays, I gave you their latest. It was only four days old at that point and already had over 56k views (now approaching 75k): not bad for an unsigned band! Their version of Angels We Have Heard On High is stunningly beautiful. I hope you like it as much as I do:

On the 9th I rectified a (to me) surprising omission. As I said earlier, this is the fifth year that I have been doing this and in all that time I have never shared Steve Earle’s retelling of the nativity story. I can’t think why, as I’ve been a fan of his ever since his first album, back in 1986. This song, Nothing But A Child, is the final track on his third album – Copperhead Road – which was released in 1988, and it is lovely. Someone has made a slide show video to go with it, which complements it very well:

I have often remarked here that I am at heart a folk music fan. For eleven years the UK was blessed to have the talents of the ‘folk big band’ Bellowhead to enjoy. They are the band who I have seen play live the most often. I first saw them at the Royal Albert Hall in 2008, when there was a ‘Folk Prom’ as part of the BBC’s annual Proms season. They endeared themselves to me at the outset when Paul Sartin, who takes the first verse here, welcomed us to ‘the Kensington Folk Club’ and, on the strength of their success there, they were given a whole show to host on BBC4 for Christmas 2009. They played several Christmas songs in their own unique style, and had some guests from the folk world too. This one is the show’s finale, for which everyone who had been in the show joined them on stage – as well as Paul Sartin and Jon Boden, others singing in this are Jim Moray, Lisa Knapp, and the Unthanks. Much fun was had by all and riotous dancing ensued – a typical Bellowhead gig, really:

On Wednesday 11th I made a slight change to one of my usual choices. I have always posted Joni Mitchell’s song River as part of this series but, sadly, the cute video of Snoopy skating to the song seems to have disappeared from YouTube. I still wanted to include the song, but with a little difference. I have long enjoyed the music of Sarah Darling, who has a beautiful voice and writes most of the songs that she performs and records. But she does covers too, and her version of Joni’s song is lovely, so I shared it for you:

For day 12 I shared a version of a carol that I hadn’t included before. Annie Lennox has had a long career, from her early days in The Tourists, via Eurythmics into her solo time. I’ve not followed her that closely but, on the evidence of this, maybe I should have done. A fabulous version of the song, and I love the pagan feel to the video:

Today’s choice is another longstanding favourite of mine, which has featured every year I’ve done this. This is John Mellencamp (aka John Cougar, Johnny Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp) in a live concert performance of a Christmas pop classic and, whilst other versions have been chart hits, this one wasn’t – although it does appear on a benefit album, A Very Special Christmas, which was released to support Special Olympics International Inc. This performance is typically boisterous and features a cameo by his then three year old daughter Teddi, who rather steals the show at the end.  The ‘proud Dad’ look on his face is lovely and, thirty or so years on, I hope she is as proud of this as he clearly is:

I closed Part One of my compilation with a lovely Christmas advert which has taken this country by storm. Having done a little digging I’ve found that this is actually the third year that Hafod Hardware have done this, so I’m going to share their two previous productions with you. This is the first, from 2017, and features an early appearance by little Arthur. All three have a backing track from Andrea Von Kampen, who is a real bonus find for me: she is a singer/songwriter from Lincoln, Nebraska, and has the voice of an angel. A good choice by whoever made it: someone who clearly knows good music! This one also includes a subtle visual joke for fans of the Two Ronnies:

That’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll see you again for Part Three. Enjoy your Christmas music!

22 thoughts on “#ChristmasSongOfTheDay 2019 – Part Two

  1. What a wonderful and diverse collection of Christmas music! Your knowledge is impressive. I’ve pinned this post so I can put my earbuds in later today and listen to all of the songs. I’m sure to feel the Christmas Spirit!


  2. I love Correli’s Xmas concerto first discovered on a Classic FM Xmas CD. We first heard Bellowhead at that prom on television -then got to see them live in Boscombe ( Bournemouth ) at the O2 Academy. We later saw John Boden and one other chap from the group at New Forest Arts, a tiny theatre; that evening was quieter, but just as entertaining as the Bellowhead days!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I got it on a CD issued by the Sunday Times, lovely piece of music. Didn’t realise the Proms concert was going to be on tv when I booked it, but got to see them play another song when the BBC transmission ended – the talking heads were still jabbering away in their box, blissfully ignorant of the band! I guess you saw him with John Spiers, the accordionist. They were a duo before forming Bellowhead. I saw the duo as support for Steeleye Span on their Wintersmith tour, they joined in with Span on a couple of songs. Bellowhead gigs were amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some more great songs here Clive and what an eclectic mix they all are! I loved hearing about the earlier ads for Hafods and that they used the delightful voice of Andrea Von Kampen in all of them – they sure are on a winner. Thanks so much for all your efforts in compiling these posts, so much work but also fun I imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Debbie, I’m glad you enjoyed them – my musical taste is fairly wide. I’d love to include Corelli’s Christmas Concerto but think that might be a step too far! Hafod and Andrea VK have been a gift for me this year: their 2018 ad (with more Arthur) will be in my next collection. The posts are so easy to put together: I just use the daily Facebook/Twitter posts and expand them. I have a lot of fun doing it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a carol I remember singing in my childhood, Robbie, but I don’t think we ever sounded as good as this version. There’s a lot of dross on YouTube but occasionally there are gems like this band.

      Liked by 1 person

    • He did when I saw them about eight or nine years ago: one ticked off the bucket list, only took me 40 years or so! Glad you like Steve Earle too, saw him just before I retired. Two great evenings! Happy Christmas to you too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been a fan since their very first album, late 60s, and finally got to see them about 8 or 9 years ago. Ian Anderson is very talented. Glad you like JM too, another long time favourite of mine. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the remaining selections too.


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