Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Seasonal Sounds

So it's the holiday season now. I guess. In spite of the feckin' tropical temps here in Cowtown the last week or so. 74º here yesterday, are you kidding me? I don't mean to look a global warming gift horse in the mouth but I want to be shoveling snow in a parka in December, not raking leaves in my Bermudas.

But December it is, so I have hung the tree by the fireplace and stuffed mistletoe into my stockings and dutifully updated the iPod to feature the sounds of the season. Now you might be wondering, Irish Person, what you could listen to yourself this festive season that will satisfy both your Celtic cravings and your Yuletide yearnings. Uncle Bloggy has some recommendations for you from my own play list. I welcome your additions.

The Chieftains: The Bells Of Dublin. As far as I'm concerned, the gold standard of Irish Christmas aural fare. Though in my opinion a few of the guest vocals are lumps of coal (Lord deliver me from Jackson Browne), most are gems (Elvis Costello's great "St. Stephens's Day Murders" , and the surprisingly beautiful spoken word reading of "Don Oiche Ud I MBeithill" by Burgess Meredith) and when The Chieftains tear into traditional pieces like "The Boars Head" and "The Wren" set, there's not a better sound track to your Irish holiday.

Eileen Ivers: An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas. Like having your Egg Nog stirred with a fiddle bow. Just a great record from the Afro/Celtic rhythm of "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" to Eileen's own haunting take of "Don Oiche Ud I Mbeithill" to the jazzy fiddle treatment of "Christmas Time is Here" from "A Charlie Brown Christmas." A nice gift from a multiple-time KC Irish Fest performer.


Ashley Davis: Songs Of The Celtic Winter. Another Irish Fest alum, Ashley Davis offers a collection of songs to listen to while you cuddle up to your honey by the fire, or at least by that fireplace screensaver. You want find any of the old standbys here with the exception of a great, understated Auld Land Syne but you will find a lot of beautiful original songs that feel like a warm sweater on a cold night.

And has there ever been a better, Irisher Christmas song than this? No, there hasn't. So what about you? What's on your holiday setlist? You more of a Bing Crosby, Christmas in Killarney person? Let us know what we should play at the Irish Fest staff party this weekend.

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