Why White Christmas is the Greatest American Christmas Song Ever

Why White Christmas is the Greatest American Christmas Song Ever

White Christmas is the greatest American Christmas song ever written. Many know the tune but few know the story of who wrote it. The world has quietly marked the 130th birthday of the song writer whose contributions to the 20th century songbook cannot be understated. His life, especially in regards to his family, was filled with heartbreaking tragedy. He was born Izzy Baline in 1888, the son of Russian Jews struggling to make it in a country filled with persecution against Jews. He lost his father when he was only 8. That made his life of poverty more difficult thanRead more

88 Keys + 500,000 Lights + Three Ships = Christmas

88 Keys + 500,000 Lights + Three Ships = Christmas

Jon Schmidt of The Piano Guys replays an old favorite from a long ago solo-album and gives it a fresh spin with, oh, half a million Christmas lights. Take a look and a listen: I Saw Three Ships is an old English carol that makes almost no sense. How can three ships sail into Bethlehem when it is so far away from any body of water? Some believe the song is actually a nod to the Three Wisemen. Regardless, it’s a Christmas tune and it has long belonged to Jon Schmidt who takes it to bouncy new heights in thisRead more

We Three Kings

We Three Kings

We Three Kings purports to tell the story of the Magi — perhaps one of the least understood elements of the Nativity Story. While scripture is short on detail of exactly who the Magi were that does not mean the imagination does not run wild and creative when we celebrate their role in Christmas. In this fun video the “three kings” take over the organ…and put on quite a show: The show here is the annual Christmas concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which always features an organ solo of some type. That small moment in the spotlight is alwaysRead more

The Story of Porky Pig, Blue Christmas and a Dude Named Seymour Swine

The Story of Porky Pig, Blue Christmas and a Dude Named Seymour Swine

For many years we have been asked for the back story of Porky Pig’s Blue Christmas. In case you haven’t seen this masterpiece, here it is: Editor’s Disclaimer: It seems that no matter what we post we receive contrary opinions and plenty of emails of complaint about the politically correct this or that of Christmas. Porky Pig doing Blue Christmas is going to unleash those demons in force. For the record, we DO NOT CARE, on this one. This is just plain funny. Porky Pig, of course, is a world famous Looney Tunes character who dates to the 1930s. He’sRead more

O Holy Incredible

O Holy Incredible

We have discussed the classic Christmas song O Holy Night before. We rarely feature it because it represents one of the most difficult of all Christmas songs to sing. It remains beyond the range of many contemporary artists. But what happens when you mash-up O Holy Night with Ave Maria? Any accomplished singer would call that a challenge. Part of that has to do with the arrangement of the song, which often soars to heights that are just out of reach for…mere humans. Even in choir settings the music is usually a challenge. O Holy Night is a sacred, emotionalRead more

Silent Night by Home Free

Silent Night by Home Free

Silent Night is a simple song. It tells a simple story. It features a simple tune. It offers simple harmonies. That is why so many modern versions of Silent Night drive me crazy. It is just so often very over done (Look up Beyonce on YouTube — it’s an ear-bleeder). That is why I like this more subdued traditional take just released by Home Free: What I like about Home Free is that they take sacred songs seriously. There is nothing remotely secular about Silent Night. We love secular Christmas music and feature a lot of it but sacred ChristmasRead more

Carol of the Bells

Carol of the Bells

The story of Carol of the Bells is hardly as well known as the song itself. It has been re-interpreted over and over by a variety of artists — most recently by Lindsey Stirling: Stirling, who seems to command you watch as much as listen, captures the original spirit of Carol of the Bells simply by making it more about the music than of Christmas. Such was the case originally with Carol of the Bells. The song was composed by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914, who crafted the piece based on traditional Ukrainian folk chants that welcomed the NewRead more

The Christmas Song and Dance with an Angel

The Christmas Song and Dance with an Angel

Imagine the scene — a man deep in the throes of despair weeps in prayer to God, asking for forgiveness of his many sins. But he is not a man one would think to be burdened down by the guilt of wrong doing. He was a monk. But life was not going well for Henrich Suso and like many people of faith he blamed himself for his misfortunes. After his prayer was finished, he climbed into bed, sure to have another fitful night of tossing and turning over his worries. Somewhere in the dark of night as he slumbered aRead more

An Elf Named Moe

An Elf Named Moe

Every once in a while a Christmas song comes along that speaks such truth we just have to share it. That’s way it is with Carl Stuck’s new song, An Elf Named Moe. Moe, you see, is one hard working elf. Carl bumped into him at the airport one day and Moe told him all about it: We love the idea that Santa does not do it all alone. In fact, we believe in a world where elves not only carry a big load but they have stories to tell of their own and personalities nearly quite as big asRead more

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing has become for many an anthem of Thanksgiving — as close to a Thanksgiving carol as there can be. The song was written in the mid-18th century by a 22-year old theology student. His name was Robert Robinson. As a youth, Robinson was a bit of a wild child, having lost his father when he was just 5 years old. As he entered his teen years he became too much for his mother to handle so she shipped him off to London to apprentice for a barber. At 17, Robinson set out on aRead more