Advent Calendar Day 15

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:

I’ll see you tomorrow 🎅🦌

21 thoughts on “Advent Calendar Day 15

  1. Pingback: Saturday Snippets…’Tis the Saturday before Christmas 19th December 2020… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. The Christmas twist would have been good even if there was no music. 😎

    I admire the creativity that went into the second one, and anyone who can pull off acapella deserves extra credit.

    I’d love to know where the idea came with the third one. Not my favorite, but I appreciate the work that went into it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It has a certain appeal, doesn’t it!

      A Capella isn’t really my thing but, like you, I appreciated the skill that went into that.

      Me too. A clever teacher, maybe. One who despaired of the students’ ability to sing, perhaps?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a big fan of buskers, so I certainly hope Si Cranstoun meets with success.

    I enjoy a cappella, and this one was great, very creative and ell performed.

    I don’t think I’ve seen any alternative versions of Hallelujah Chorus; this was wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do too, but I fear it’s taking too long! If you follow the link in Clare’s comment above you’ll see him and his brother as buskers: they’re very good.

      I’m not usually a fan of a cappella though there is another one coming later in the series. As you say, this was very well done.

      There seems to be a bandwagon for schools to jump on, judging from the raft of videos on YouTube. This is the best I’ve seen, and I love the little guy jumping to match their height.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve proved me wrong, Clare! I watched a lot of these when I first came across Si, and they’re great. The Dualers had chart success with this song, which I guess is how the two dancers knew it, and Tyber has kept the band going since Si left after he got his record deal. They make a happy sound.

      Liked by 1 person

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