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  #1  
Old 12-14-2000, 08:16 AM
Sauron Sauron is offline
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This has probably been discussed before, but a cursory search of the boards didn't turn it up, so ...

A bit of background info. A few years back I first heard the Emerson, Lake & Palmer song "(I Believe in) Father Christmas." I absolutely LOVED the song. Wonderful tune, the vocals mesh nicely ... it just pushes all my holiday buttons (and I don't have a lot of them, frankly). Always got me smiling goofily when it came on the radio.

However, when I finally figured out the words, I was a bit disheartened. The song is not a cheerful, uplifting bit o' holiday spirit; it's kinda depressing, actually. I still love the song, though. I'm just careful not to sing along when the kids are in the car.

So -- anybody else got a holiday song (or any other kind of song, for that matter) that they loved for the tune and what they thought the message was, only to discover the song actually meant something else? (Kinda like Ronald Reagan using Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as an example of stirring Americana, without realizing it was an indictment on the treatment of Vietnam vets.)
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2000, 01:36 PM
Stephe96 Stephe96 is offline
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What about the opening lines of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer?

I suppose they're not "misunderstood," necessarily, but these lines have never made any sense to me.

Consider: "You KNOW Prancer and Dancer and....etc"

OK so far, but then this: "...but do you recall...the MOST FAMOUS reindeer of all?"

Um, hello? We've just been told that we KNOW the others, but somehow we have to search our memory for the MOST FAMOUS one? Makes absolutely no sense....
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2000, 01:44 PM
struuter struuter is offline
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Actually Sauron, the ELP song is the first on my list. I had the exact same initial feelings as you--I suspect that great horn part has something to do with it on my account anyway--but after actually hearing the words...well, you said it yourself.

Bummer.
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Old 12-14-2000, 02:20 PM
delphica delphica is offline
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I've already gone on at length in the Pit about the trauma inflicted on me as a small child who didn't understand the "joke" of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."

Is there a new holiday song out there on the radio about shoes? I caught a snippet of this on the radio, and thought I heard a line about "Mommy is in heaven now." Hopefully I misunderstood. I can only imagine this will send kids into fits of hysterics. Or maybe send me into fits of hysterics. This went on my "Avoid at All Costs" lists.

Will I get lynched for saying I don't like the John Lennon holiday song that most people love? With all due respect to the memory and legacy of Mr. Lennon, the line "and what have you done?" just irritates me. Other people seem to see this as a nice way of taking stock over the past year, but it always strikes me as being very accusatory. I might be misunderstanding it, but I can't shake the distaste I have for it. And the "little kid" voices annoy me.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2000, 02:47 PM
Sir Dirx Sir Dirx is offline
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I have the "Best of" cd of EL&P, on which is the song mentioned in the opening post. I enjoyed it for all the same reasons as you until I finally listened to it enough to get all the words.

I like it even more now.
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2000, 03:21 PM
Sauron Sauron is offline
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Sir Dirx -- You're a strange individual. I like that in a person.

struuter -- I had a feeling, somehow, that your take on the song would correspond with mine. We very well could have been separated at birth, you know.

delphica -- There was a horrible bit of holiday tripe that came out a few years ago, sung in a child's voice, and I seem to recall that death was a central theme in this song. It got a ton of airtime one Christmas, and then faded quickly. I don't remember anything about shoes, specifically, so it may not be the same song you've heard, but it sounds like it's from the same genre. I HATE crap like that.

Completely different point: Has anyone else noticed how much the Bing Crosby version of "White Christmas" sounds like a funeral dirge?
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2000, 03:27 PM
struuter struuter is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sauron

struuter -- I had a feeling, somehow, that your take on the song would correspond with mine. We very well could have been separated at birth, you know.

You say that like it's a bad thing...


Actually, I'm listening to the very song right now.

I'll add another, if I may...Frosty the Snowman? Yeah...um...he MELTS at the end. The whole part about him coming back again to play or whatever--yeah, that pretty much blew the whole let's-build-a-snowman-thing for me as a child.
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Old 12-14-2000, 03:30 PM
poohpah chalupa poohpah chalupa is offline
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When I was but a lad, I thought the lyrics from "Winter Wonderland" were:
"In the meadow, we can build a snowman,
and pretend that he is parched and brown..."

This never ever made sense to me.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2000, 04:00 PM
Sauron Sauron is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by struuter
Quote:
Originally posted by Sauron

struuter -- I had a feeling, somehow, that your take on the song would correspond with mine. We very well could have been separated at birth, you know.
You say that like it's a bad thing...
How on earth could that be bad? I would have gone for the whole "soulmate" thing, but since you and Ogre apparently have something going, I figured I was safer just implying we were related somehow.

poopah chalupa -- That made me laugh for 40 seconds. I needed that. Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2000, 04:23 PM
struuter struuter is offline
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Since this is a major hijack, I'll just put on this lp of Perry Como's greatest Christmas hits...mmmmm, how about 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas'?
Just to keep the mood of the thread--because I've never really understood Perry Como anyway.

<hijack>
Sauron, I think Ogre will agree with me when I say that our virtual date thread is for his initiation. It's supposed to teach him how to flirt effectively. (I do what I can...I do what I can)
I BETTER see him flirting elsewhere on this board, or I'm not going my job as a mentor.

So, you just go right on ahead and use 'soul mate' if you like. I'd be honored if you considered me as that.
<hijack>

Ooooph. Enough Perry. I like poopah's comment on parched and brown. Makes you wonder what they were using to make that snowman...
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2000, 05:09 PM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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When I was a kid the song Do You Hear What I Hear always gave me a case of [OwenMeany]THE SHIVERS[/OwenMeany]. I thought it so terrible that there was this dreary song about a child crying in the night, shivering in the cold, etc. I don't know at what point in my life I slapped myself on the forehead and realised the child was Jesus (fer cryin' out loud!) but I know I used to listen to the song in secret whenever I wanted to give myself the creeps, lol.
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2000, 05:48 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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delphica
I would guess that you are thinking of a song by Ray Stevens that is not a holiday song. "Mama's In The Sky With Elvis" on the "I Never Made A Record I Didn't Like" collection.
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2000, 06:19 PM
MovieMogul MovieMogul is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sauron
Has anyone else noticed how much the Bing Crosby version of "White Christmas" sounds like a funeral dirge?
I don't know about dirge, but it is a song immersed in melancholy, and with good reason--it came out in the middle of World War II, and thousands of servicemen were indeed dreaming Of Christmases "just like the ones [they] used to know." It's a song about the the sights and sounds and memories of places and loved ones far distant ("with every Christmas card I write"). The repetition of white in the song acts as an agent of purity in a world immersed in blood, and the final wish "May your days be merry and bright" looks to the future for a better tomorrow, since there seemed to be no end in sight to the war being fought (this being 1942).

Just listen to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" two years later for a similar combination of nostalgia, melancholy, and hope--perfect for the period and still timeless today.

On a different point, my favorite genuinely depressing/disillusioned holiday piece is Jethro Tull's "Christmas Song"
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2000, 06:40 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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ArchiveGuy "On a different point, my favorite genuinely depressing/disillusioned holiday piece is Jethro Tull's "Christmas Song"

Add that to Loundon Wainwright III singing "Suddenly It's Christmas".
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2000, 07:47 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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well, there are no carols like the minor key death and devastation carols. oh no, we are not talking about grandma got runned over by a reindeer.

we three kings of orient are:

myrrh is mine it's bitter perfume, breathes a life of gathering gloom, sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, seal'd in the stone cold tomb.

i got to sing that verse in a yolka in church when i was in single digits. this could explain a lot.

and the ultimate. the coventry carol. an actual lullaby carol. you know: lulay thou little tiny child, bye bye lu le lu lay...

third verse:

herod the king, in his raging, charged he hath this day, his men of might, in his own sight, all children young to slay.

these "modern" christmas songs can't hold a candle to the "classics." minor keys really stick in your brain so while people are humming jingle bells, i'm humming " what child is this":

nails, spear , shall pierce him through, the cross be bourne for me for you.
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2000, 08:32 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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rocking chair
It's worse when you learned the support for the main tune, and that's what you want to sing at mass. The other's around you are thinking what is he singing.
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  #17  
Old 12-15-2000, 12:55 AM
bagkitty bagkitty is offline
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What perturbs me is when radio stations play Jesus Christ Superstar anywhere near Christmas... it should be played near Easter... on the flip side, Handel's Messiah is Christmas-ee, and it disturbs me when it is played near Easter... (and our national broadcaster HAS done this before)

don't know why I let it bother me, being an atheist and all, but it is damn sloppy
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  #18  
Old 12-15-2000, 01:18 AM
Juniper200 Juniper200 is offline
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rocking chair: Those are my two all-time-tied-for-#1 favorite Christmas carols. Maybe it's something sick in me, but the myrrh verse is probably one of my favorite musical things ever. There's not enough dark stuff at Christmas, and I think we're in desperate need of it.

poohpah chalupa: Listening to my brand-new copy of Rockapella Christmas (<plug>buy a copy! buy copies for friends and family!</plug>), I hear the lyric as:
Quote:
In the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend that he is Parson Brown
Naming the snowman after a religious figure familiar to the two lovebirds of the song makes more sense in light of the marriage stuff that comes up in the next lines.
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Old 12-15-2000, 01:18 AM
bwk bwk is offline
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One thing that bugs me is a lot of times for 'Silent Night' people say 'round young virgin' instead of " 'round yon virgin".

They say, she's young, she's pregnant, so she's round. But it is 'round, as in A-round. This bugs me. They will argue it into the ground, too.

Also, did any of you ever listen to the Ventures Christmas album? It is just the coolest. But, when I was little, the song 'Scrooge' scared me. The guitars make it sound evil.

What about Good King Wensceslaus or however the heck you spell it? Who is this guy? What is the feast of steven? If he's a good king, why is this poor man out having to gather winter fuel? What happens during the rest of the song?

Also, I forgot to ask in another thread.. but... what is a creche?
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  #20  
Old 12-15-2000, 01:31 AM
Sublight Sublight is offline
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bwk, that was never my interpretation of "round, young virgin, tender and mild," but then, maybe that's just me.

And ELP's "I Believe in Father Christmas" has always been my favorite precisely because it's so dark.

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  #21  
Old 12-15-2000, 02:46 AM
flodnak flodnak is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bwk
What about Good King Wensceslaus or however the heck you spell it? Who is this guy? What is the feast of steven? If he's a good king, why is this poor man out having to gather winter fuel? What happens during the rest of the song?
Wenceslaus was a real person, king of Bohemia in the 10th century. If you remember Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution in 1989, much of the action took place in Wenceslaus Square in Prague... named for this guy. He legalized Christianity in Bohemia, though he seems to have stayed away from the "Convert or lose your head" tactics many other kings used to get their subjects to become Christian. Anyway. Bohemian tradition would have it that he was a pretty good king for his day, and the Catholic Church made him a saint.

The story in the song is apocryphal, but the peasant's actions are nothing unusual. Few people owned enough land to support a forest big enough to supply all the wood they needed through the winter, so most people would have to buy or gather wood for heating and cooking. And the guy is poor, so he has to do it himself. Why were there poor people in this "good king's" realm? Because that's the way it was in Europe at the time. If he had managed to single-handedly change that, we'd be singing about Amazingly Wonderful Brilliant King Wenceslaus, and that doesn't really scan, does it?

"The Feast of Stephen" is St. Stephen's day, 26 December. The king and his page (servant) are going out to bring meat and wine to this poor fellow. The page is exhausted from walking through the snow, and the king offers to do the hard work of breaking a trail. And because the king is such a holy guy, a miracle occurs - the footprints the king left in the snow are warm.

Hey, Archive Guy, do you know if "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is another one of the war Christmas songs? It sounds like it to me - the singer, as I hear it, is only daydreaming about being able to come home for Christmas. Maybe a soldier who desperately wishes he could come home? Or someone separated from his/her family by the war for other reasons. At any rate, it doesn't seem to be the cheery, upbeat song some make it out to be.
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  #22  
Old 12-15-2000, 02:50 AM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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There are only three Christmas songs I like (being Pagan), and they are We Three Kings (because of the minor key), and Adeste Fideles and O Magnum Mysterium ("O magnum mysterium et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio, alleluia.") because of the Latin.

"We three kings of orient are, trying to sell some cheap underwear, so fantastic, no elastic, just $3.99 a pair..."
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  #23  
Old 12-15-2000, 02:52 AM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bwk

Also, I forgot to ask in another thread.. but... what is a creche?
Crèche is French for manger. In English, a crèche is a Nativity scene.
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  #24  
Old 12-15-2000, 02:54 AM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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Oh, I almost forgot All This Time! ("All this time this song is best, Verbum Caro Factum Est. This night there is a childe y-born, that sprang from Jesse's thorn; we must sing and say thereforn, all this time this song is best, verbum caro factum est.")

Again, because of the Latin.
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Old 12-15-2000, 06:07 AM
MovieMogul MovieMogul is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by flodnak
Hey, Archive Guy, do you know if "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is another one of the war Christmas songs? It sounds like it to me - the singer, as I hear it, is only daydreaming about being able to come home for Christmas.
Indeed, der Bingle recorded "I'll Be Home for Christmas" in 1943, a year after his supersmash "White Christmas". And you're right, although the melody is more upbeat and the words generally optimistic, there's one line--"I'll be home for Christmas/If only in my dreams"--that's a haunting reminder of how many weren't coming home any time soon (if at all).
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  #26  
Old 12-15-2000, 10:42 AM
delphica delphica is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phobia
delphica
I would guess that you are thinking of a song by Ray Stevens that is not a holiday song. "Mama's In The Sky With Elvis" on the "I Never Made A Record I Didn't Like" collection.
Maybe I'm reading too much into the title, but the song you mentioned actually sounds good. Who wouldn't want to be hanging out with the King?

The song I heard on the radio said something about the mother being with either Jesus or in heaven. And it sounded so sappy! It was playing on a top 40 type station, if that helps at all.
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  #27  
Old 12-15-2000, 10:59 AM
BurnMeUp BurnMeUp is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Juniper200
Listening to my brand-new copy of Rockapella Christmas (<plug>buy a copy! buy copies for friends and family!</plug
You know, I can't STAND Rockapella, their smug faces, the Camren Sandiego thing... and then they made that commercial where they all love the tree so much the leave it in the forest and decorate it... they just make me want to retch.

Merry christmas movie house!
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Old 12-15-2000, 11:01 AM
BurnMeUp BurnMeUp is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by matt_mcl
There are only three Christmas songs I like (being Pagan), and they are We Three Kings (because of the minor key), and Adeste Fideles and O Magnum Mysterium ("O magnum mysterium et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio, alleluia.") because of the Latin.

"We three kings of orient are, trying to sell some cheap underwear, so fantastic, no elastic, just $3.99 a pair..."
I was always a fan of Ave <Maria... if sung really well. i have 2 great copies in my cd collection, one is Harry Connick Jr and one is (believe it or not) Chris Cornell.
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Old 12-15-2000, 11:04 AM
BurnMeUp BurnMeUp is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bwk
One thing that bugs me is a lot of times for 'Silent Night' people say 'round young virgin' instead of " 'round yon virgin".

THat always sounded like someone giving directions...

"Where can i find the manger?"

"Manger, oh it's over there, 'round yon virgin"
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Old 12-15-2000, 11:10 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Up on the rooftop reindeer paws...

I thought reindeer had hooves.

And from Suzy Snowflake:

If you want to build a snowman
I'll help you make one 1-2-3.
If you want to take a sleigh ride
The ride's on me.


That last line always struck me as kinda gross.
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Old 12-15-2000, 11:30 AM
scratch1300 scratch1300 is offline
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My father told me this funny story:

During World War II my father was a guard in a P.O.W. camp. It was Christmastime, and the German prisoners were singing "O Tannenbaum". A fellow guard became irate and started slapping some of the prisoners around. He wasn't keen on the idea of them singing "German war songs". My father disabused him: "You idiot! They're singing 'O Christmas Tree!" After which, the other guy was very apologetic and shared his candy bars with the P.O.W.s.
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Old 12-15-2000, 11:45 AM
screech-owl screech-owl is offline
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Dagnabit, I'm at work and the score is at home!

Quote:
Originally posted by bagkitty
What perturbs me is when radio stations play Jesus Christ Superstar anywhere near Christmas... it should be played near Easter... on the flip side, Handel's Messiah is Christmas-ee, and it disturbs me when it is played near Easter... (and our national broadcaster HAS done this before)

don't know why I let it bother me, being an atheist and all, but it is damn sloppy
Actually, Handel's Messiah is both Christmas and Easter. It is divided into two parts (I believe the 'break' is at the instrumental interlude), and the "Hallelujah Chorus" is part of the 'Easter' section. Most performances include both the Christmas and Easter sections because, well, most people would feel cheated about hearing only the music, especially not hearing the "HC".
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  #33  
Old 12-15-2000, 11:54 AM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dinsdale
Up on the rooftop reindeer paws...

I thought reindeer had hooves.

I believe it's reindeer pause......




However I'll admit that I still don't know this one.

In O Holy Night there is a line

long lay the world in sin and "aeropining"

What the heck is aeropining?


Is it anything like those Aeropostal clothes stores. Then I can where God my want to take advantage of these fabulous sales.





Others were talking Jesus Christ Superstar at Christmas instead of Easter.


I took until I moved to NYC to figure why they always played the Ten Commandments at Easter.
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  #34  
Old 12-15-2000, 12:12 PM
Medea's Child Medea's Child is offline
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matt mcl... O Magnum Mysterium! If its the same one I sung in high school I am so with you!

Ave Maria, in several forms ... grr, memory dying as to who wrote my favorite.

mmm... Christmas music, sigh, now I want to sing. Minor keys that ache... that's holiday spirit.

"sin and error pining" Zebra, pal.
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  #35  
Old 12-15-2000, 12:20 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zebra
long lay the world in sin and "aeropining"

What the heck is aeropining?
I thought the line was "In sin and error, pining"
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  #36  
Old 12-15-2000, 01:20 PM
BiblioCat BiblioCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by poohpah chalupa
When I was but a lad, I thought the lyrics from "Winter Wonderland" were:
"In the meadow, we can build a snowman,
and pretend that he is parched and brown..."
This never ever made sense to me.

When I was but a lass, I also misunderstood "Winter Wonderland" lyrics:
"Later on, we'll perspire, while we drink, by the fire..." I always thought it meant they were drinking hot chocolate by the fire and getting all hot and sweaty.


Good Christmas song lyric place:
http://christmaswish.cjb.net/
Yes, in "O Holy Night", it is "Long lay the world in sin and error pining,"
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  #37  
Old 12-15-2000, 01:25 PM
Juniper200 Juniper200 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BurnMeUp
You know, I can't STAND Rockapella, their smug faces, the Camren Sandiego thing... and then they made that commercial where they all love the tree so much the leave it in the forest and decorate it... they just make me want to retch.
Well, that's your perogative...but you realize that I have to kill you now, right?
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  #38  
Old 12-15-2000, 02:58 PM
screech-owl screech-owl is offline
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Re: Dagnabit, I'm at work and the score is at home!

s/fx: head repeatedly bashed on keyboard

Brain is running faster than the fingers

Quote:
Originally posted by screech-owl
Quote:
... most people would feel cheated about hearing only the music, especially not hearing the "HC".
Should properly read:
...most people would feel cheated about hearing only half of the music, and especially not hearing the "HC".

::note to self -
DayQuil = daytime
NyQuil = nighttime


On that same note:

<To the tune of "Winter Wonderland">

Cars will pass,.. seem 'em glisten;
Hear them crash,... if you listen.
A horrible sight,
We're slidin' tonight,
Drivin' in a Winter Wonderland.

Gone away... is the tarmac,
Someone side... swiped my car, mac!*
We'll skid and we'll pray,
Then call Triple-A**,
Drivin' in a Winter Wonderland.

In the left lane, someone built a snowman.
We'll pretend that he is Parson Brown.
Ask me if I'll stop and I'll say "No, man!"
"I'm gonna run the mm-mmmm mmmm-mm down!"

Later on,... we'll perspire,
As we change... the flat tire.
We'll moan and we'll bitch
'Cause we're in the ditch, from
Drivin' in a Winter Wonderland.



* Okay, it's a little lame. I'm on Ny-Quil for g*d's sakes!
**for all you really northern folks, change this line to:
Then call C-A-A
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  #39  
Old 12-15-2000, 03:28 PM
screech-owl screech-owl is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sabbatical City
Posts: 4,611
Quote:
Originally posted by Medea's Child
...Ave Maria, in several forms ... grr, memory dying as to who wrote my favorite....
Several composers have set the "Ave Maria" to music, most notably Franz Schubert (in German, not the Latin text; I believe it's about a young woman who doesn't want to get married and beseeches Virgin Mary to help her) The text starts "Ave Maria, Jungfrau mild" (and again, my Schubertliederbuch is at home).

You may also be be thinking of the Bach-Gounod "Ave Maria" - (music by J.S. Bach, arranged and Latin words added by Charles Gounod) - one of the more popular "AM"s.


Several "Ave Maria" snippets
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  #40  
Old 12-15-2000, 03:36 PM
Flutterby Flutterby is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Penumbra
Posts: 6,535
[hijack] I was just wondering if you people have heard the song White Trash Christmas I have and it's hilarious but I cannot find the lyrics and was wondering if anyone else knoew where I could find them..[/hijack]
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  #41  
Old 12-15-2000, 06:29 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
bwk: Re: "Good King Wenceslas"

Perhaps things will become more clear if you sing it like this:

"Good King Sauerkraut, LOOK OUT! On your feets uneven . . ."

And the "Winter Wonderland" carol will take on a whole new meaning if you substitute these words for the chorus:

"Walking 'round in women's underwear"
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  #42  
Old 12-16-2000, 12:30 AM
bwk bwk is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
oh, also, what about 'Riu Chiu' that I saw and heard the Monkees sing? it is a pretty song. What is its origin?
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Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight.
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