Today’s Advent Calendar window has opened on two songs based loosely on dancing, and they also carry on from yesterday with the theme of fun. I’m fairly sure that one of today’s performers will be unknown to just about everyone reading this, though the other act is better known, in the States at least.
Whilst the majority of my selections have featured at least once before in the previous years in which I’ve done this, it’s always good to find something new. Sometimes these newbies can derive from deliberate searches for artists on YouTube – often to see if there is a video for something I’ve heard on Apple Music – and on other occasions I just stumble into them. This first one, which I featured a couple of years ago, was a case in point. He was someone of whom I’d never heard before, but I was rather taken by his video. It ranks at the Stinking Bishop end of cheesiness but is so much fun that I had to include it. If that had been in any doubt, his fellow performers swayed it for me:
I was intrigued to learn more about Si Cranstoun, and I found a short Wikipedia article. He’s an interesting character! It seems that he had apparently been in ska and fifties revival bands, and had been a busker too, for twenty years before getting his first record deal a few years back. He has since made several albums of fifties-influenced songs: he has a great voice and his sheer exuberance deserves to win him a bigger audience. I hope he finds it, because his music is so much more fun than the dross we get on the radio nowadays. There are a number of other videos of him on YouTube, including some from his busking days, so do check him out if you enjoyed this one.
Today’s second song is a new one for me, though it has been around since being released on an album – Christmas Cheers – in 2009. It is unusual for me, in that I very rarely feature a cappella performances, but something about this one caught my attention. The lyrics are very clever – and very rapidly delivered, so I hope you can keep up! If not, you can find them here. This is Straight No Chaser:
The group was formed at Indiana University in 1996. They broke up on graduating and were replaced by a new set of members. The original cast reformed a few years later and took back ownership of their name. To date they have recorded eight albums and, judging by their videos, their live performances are always well-received. Their original video, The Twelve Days Of Christmas, currently stands at over 24m YouTube views!
I’ve been giving you occasional bonus videos at times, and I thought I’d share another today. Georg Friedrich Händel’s Hallelujah Chorus is often performed at Christmas, but schools and colleges in the US have been performing an alternate version. There are many of them on YouTube, but I think this, from South Kitsap High School, in Port Orchard, Washington State, may be the group who started it. I could well be wrong on that, but it’s my favourite of the ones I’ve seen, anyway:
After this bumper edition of songs, here is today’s image – a heartwarming family tale: