American Elephants


Merry Christmas Three-fer by American Elephant

I suppose I should have known from the start that since much of my favorite Christmas carols were hard to find audio recordings of, that finding them on YouTube would be even more unlikely. That obvious conclusion, nonetheless, escaped me.

BUT! While I haven’t necessarily been able to find the songs I most wanted to share, I have found some fun stuff that I hadn’t seen or heard before myself. The first of which is a performance of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which is usually one the most tedious and/or obnoxious carols around, but NOT when done by the King’s Singers with Julie Andrews. Dame Andrews doesn’t actually sing in this one, while it’s her special, she’s just there for comedic effect. Although everyone should own at least one of her various Christmas albums.

The second is the sultry stylings of legendary jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson in That’s What I Want for Christmas. Often imitated, never equaled.

And last but not least, Chanticleer, perhaps the best men’s chorus in the world, performing in the Medievil Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in front of the Neapolitan Baroque Créche and Christmas Tree. The tree is beautiful beyond compare, the acoustics in the room are breathtaking. Many PBS stations will replay the performance each year — watch the whole performance if you can.



Sussex Carol by American Elephant
December 10, 2010, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags: , , ,

I love Christmas carols. I love all kinds of Christmas carols — traditional, contemporary, choral, jazz, even country and some rock. I’ve yet to find a rap Christmas song that I can tolerate, and I doubt I ever will, but for the most part my taste in carols is very wide-ranging and eclectic.  But I think my favorites are traditional carols that you don’t hear much anymore, and lesser known renditions of those you do.

The Sussex carol is one such song, and you can’t get much more majestic than this rendition by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the King’s Singers (famous English singing group), with the full tabernacle orchestra, including bell choir and pipe organ. This concert was broadcast a few years back on PBS, so they may play it again.

Pretty good way to start off the season. Hope you like!

(Update: You know, I still like the version by the Choir of King’s College I played last year better. )



Merry Christmas Three-fer by American Elephant
December 7, 2009, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags: , , , , ,

I suppose I should have known from the start that since much of my favorite Christmas carols were hard to find audio recordings of, that finding them on YouTube would be even more unlikely. That obvious conclusion, nonetheless, escaped me.

BUT! While I haven’t necessarily been able to find the songs I most wanted to share, I have found some fun stuff that I hadn’t seen or heard before myself. The first of which is a performance of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which is usually one the most tedious and/or obnoxious carols around, but NOT when done by the King’s Singers with Julie Andrews. Dame Andrews doesn’t actually sing in this one, while it’s her special, she’s just there for comedic effect. Although everyone should own at least one of her various Christmas albums.

The second is the sultry stylings of legendary jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson in That’s What I Want for Christmas. Often imitated, never equaled.

And last but not least, Chanticleer, perhaps the best men’s chorus in the world, performing in the Medievil Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in front of the Neapolitan Baroque Créche and Christmas Tree. The tree is beautiful beyond compare, the acoustics in the room are breathtaking. Many PBS stations will replay the performance each year — watch the whole performance if you can.




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