Christmas music continued/open thread

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 · 8 Comments »

Sleigh Ride is one of my favorite pieces of Christmas music. And this is the version I grew up with, which still sounds the best to my ears:

As a kid I always wanted to hear this over and over again. Strangely, my mother did not share my enthusiasm.

Sleigh Ride should never, ever, ever be sung. Whoever came up with the idea of writing lyrics for it in the first place was a damn fool, and any singer who tries it should be shot. Okay, maybe a little harsh there with the shooting. Anyway, singing totally defeats the purpose of Sleigh Ride, which was explicitly written as an orchestral piece with the instruments evoking the sounds of a sleigh ride. Got that, JoJo? Sleigh Ride. Not “I’m singing about a sleigh ride.” Sleigh. Ride. Thank you.

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8 Responses to “Christmas music continued/open thread”

  1. sister of ye says:

    Five years ago I took one of my nephews to a series of symphony concerts geared toward young people. It included a Christmas concert, and one of the pieces was Sleigh Ride. Beforehand the conductor explained which instruments create the clip-clop and whip sounds. My nephew was fascinated. I confess I was as well.

    Two of my favorite Christmas CDs feature a local steel drum group. Most of the cuts have vocals. But The Carol of the Bells is strictly instrumental, and an absolute delight.

  2. Three Wickets says:

    Just tried listening to Harry Connick Jr. sing to it. Gross. You’re right.

  3. Sweet Sue says:

    I agree with you, Dr.Socks, but you simply can’t shoot Johnny Mathis.

  4. editor_u says:

    I loved this piece as a child, and it was an orchestral version, though I may not have heard this recording. I certainly don’t recall the solo ocarina (or whatever it is).

    I certainly agree that it NEVER should be sung.

    You write “Sleigh Ride. Not ‘I’m singing about a sleigh ride’” in the same way that I usually say that I like some Christmas music, but not music/songs ABOUT Christmas. The latter would include those nostalgia dripping songs that most people seem to like to hear (for example, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “White Christmas”).

  5. votermom says:

    This is one of my favorite Christmas songs .. don’t know if you can really hear it here though. It’s “Simbang Gabi” (Midnight Mass) – traditionally starting Dec 16 one is supposed to go to mass at 6am every morning, then at midnight on Christmas Eve.

  6. votermom says:

    Hm, embed didn’t work…here’s the utube link

  7. tinfoil hattie says:

    traditionally starting Dec 16 one is supposed to go to mass at 6am every morning, then at midnight on Christmas Eve.

    Yeah, been there, done that, jumped off the ride when I became the driver. (How’s that for mixing metaphors?)

  8. tinfoil hattie says:

    BTW, The Roches have a GREAT Christmas album. (They do sing “Sleigh Ride,” alas.)