Posts Tagged ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’

harrietA few months back, someone (or several someones) posted to Facebook about a British singer named Harriet, who’d just released a new album. I remember that the post(s) came on a busy work day, so clicks weren’t made and, as is often the case, the post(s) descended on my timeline never to be seen again; and the mental note I made to check her out went the way of many mental notes.

Information overload is par for the course these days, after all.

Anyway, fast forward to this morning, when I pulled up Rumer, backed by Lissie & the Pierces, singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on YouTube –

It’s a beautiful, touching performance of a beautiful, touching song. And there, on the right hand “Up Next” list of videos picked by YouTube’s algorithms, was a song by Harriet: “Maybe This Christmas.”

Now, as I write, it’s a little past one p.m., Eastern time, on Christmas day. I’m in no rush. Diane and I exchanged gifts (10,000 Maniacs’ Our Time in Eden on vinyl for me!) last night, and we have nowhere to be until later this afternoon. I planned to use this time to start work on a Top 5 culled from a 1974 Rolling Stone…but those plans went out the window once I heard Harriet’s voice. Here’s another taste – the lead single from her self-titled debut album:

What I’ve learned over the past few hours: Everyone and their brother, including Rumer (and, now, me), have compared Harriet’s vocals to Karen Carpenter’s; and that I really like her music. Perhaps that’s because, as she says in this interview, it’s rooted in the ‘70s:

So, without further adieu, here’s today’s Top 5: Harriet – two additional tracks from her album, plus a few smart covers.

1) “What’s Mine Is Yours.”

2) “Afterglow.”

3) “Last Christmas/I Can’t Smile Without You.”

4) “Every Breath You Take.”

5) “I’m Not in Love.”

 

Christmas is the time to say “I love you.” I’m not sure why, but that Billy Squier lyric (and accompanying melody) has stuck with me since I first heard it way back in…1981?! Yes, I suppose so. I was never a Squier fan, never bought anything by him, but this song –

– just takes me back. Martha Quinn, aka Mrs. Bobby Brady, introduces it; the song itself starts at the 1:40 (or so) mark. In fact, I likely saw the clip when it first aired or shortly thereafter, as we had MTV by then (I think).

Seeing Martha reminded me that I have an autographed photo and letter from her, circa April 1983 – perhaps a post for another day? – and, somewhere lost in my archives, I possess a letter from Santa…yes, you read right – not to, but from. The jolly old elf took pity on me one year, though I don’t remember the specifics. Perhaps that’s the year I got hit in the eye by a mud ball? Could be.

Anyway, for today’s Top 5: Christmas Songs. No rhyme or reason to the picks, just songs and performances that I enjoy – and, hopefully, you will, too!

1) Duffy – “The Christmas Song.” This has become one of my favorite Christmas videos and renditions of “The Christmas Song.”

2) David Crosby & Bing Crosby – “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth.” What needs to be said about this classic clip?

3) The Supremes – “Children’s Christmas Song.” Pure joy set to music – that’s this song in a nutshell.

4) Rumer – “Remember (Christmas).” I created this slideshow from pictures my dad took while serving in Korea during the war. Earlier this year, I was surprised when Rumer retweeted to me someone’s request as to where to find the song. (Of which, I have no idea. Someone shared it with me.) She watched the video, liked it and was intrigued to learn the history behind the slides. Kinda cool.

5) Hayley Westenra – “River.” Not a real Christmas song, but it’s become a seasonal favorite – as this Washington Post article explains. And I love Hayley’s crystalline voice.

And, of course, a few bonuses…

6) The Waitresses – “Christmas Wrapping.”

7) Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

8) Bob Seger & the Last Heard – “Sock It to Me, Santa.”

9) Pat Benatar – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

10) Paul McCartney – “Wonderful Christmastime.” Yeah, some folks hate this. I don’t. And Annie Zaleski over at Salon gives a good defense of it.