Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Favorite Christmas Songs—Open Book Blog Hop



Welcome to another week of the Open Book Blog Hop. I hope you're staying warm, or dry, or comfortable depending upon what part of the world you're in. Here in the American West, it's windy and snowing and I'm drinking a cup of hot chocolate as I type this. I'm not complaining—the snow helps me get in the Christmas mood.

When it comes to Christmas songs, I'm a total traditionalist. There's something special about several hundred otherwise bad voices joining together in a large old church and singing the songs of the season. Even though I'm far away now, the music resounds in my heart.

Silent Night is probably the first Christmas song I remember singing. Sure, i couldn't hit the high notes, but that didn't matter. Neither could any of my sisters. As I got older, My voice got better, and the song was no longer a challenge. Now that I've gotten really old, my voice has lost it's flexibility, and the song is again a challenge.

I was part of my high school chorus, and we always did special Christmas presentations. One of the hardest songs we sang was Oh, Holy Night. Our director had a hard time finding a male voice to handle the high notes. But here's a version of the song that I think is the perfect rendition.




Another favorite of mine is Joy to the World. Such a simple sentiment, but so powerful. I know not everyone is happy at Christmastime, but I'd like everyone to find one little piece of joy on the heart. And the song just expresses joy in its melody, even without the words.



But I also like non-religious songs. Who can resist singing along with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Jingle Bells?

But I think one of my favorite songs is one that's almost impossible to sing by yourself.  Carol of the Bells can't be done right by a solo voice.



Tell us about your favorite Christmas song in the comments.  And to find out what songs Kelly Williams likes, visit her blog HERE. You can find her books on Amazon on her author page K. Williams

Blue Honor :Blue Honor tracks four tightly twining families during the American Civil War. Each member is asked to sacrifice more than their share to see friends and loved ones through the terrible times. The only certainty they have is that nothing will be the same.

Emily Conrad is the bookish daughter of a wealthy dairy family from Vermont. Her indulgent father has educated her and bred ideas that aren’t acceptable to her more urbane mother, who thinks Emily needs to settle down with her longtime friend and town philanderer Evan Howell. The outbreak of war frees Emily from these expectations for a time, but a stranger soon arrives after the guns begin to blaze, threatening her plans more than societal conventions ever could.

Devoted to the young woman who healed her wounds, Henrietta has become part of the Conrad family, hoping that she may one day see her husband and son again. As a runaway slave, she’s been lucky enough to find this slice of peace in Vermont, but the return of Evan Howell and the man he brings with him portends great change that might see her locked back in irons, if not executed for what she’s done.

Evan isn’t as bad as his reputation has made him out to be. He knows his chum Emily will make the best doctor Vermont has ever seen, and he knows he’s not the man to marry her. With a little manipulation, he convinces his commanding officer, Lieutenant Joseph Maynard, to take leave with him and see the beauty of the north. He just doesn’t let on it’s not hillsides and streams he’s setting the man up for.

Joseph has both power and privilege as the son of a Baltimore lawyer, but neither can guarantee him the things he wants in life. His commission in the army is likely to lead to death, a sacrifice he was willing to make to end slavery in the States—that was until he saw Emily Conrad. Torn between duty and desire, Joseph struggles to stay standing for that which he once held strong convictions. War weary, they all march on to duty…



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8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing 'Carol of the Bells'. I thought I didn't know it, but listening to the choir I realise I do. It's lovely!

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  2. I agree P.J. there's nothing like a big choir singing traditional Christmas carols and I miss that in my local community. Thanks for sharing 'Carol of the Bells'--it's definitely one of my favorites.

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    1. I had to dig to find a version that wasn't "overproduced." Sometimes simpler is better.

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  3. Good picks! Carol of the Bells is on my list too. When I saw John Denver on here, it so fit you. I love that. Have you heard him and the Muppets? that album is so much fun. Thanks for the shout out!

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    1. I have that album. :) Bought it when it was released! Don't know what happened to the poster that came with it. You're right, it is a lot of fun.

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  4. Love your picks. Carol of the Bells is definitely a complicated choir piece. Beautiful, but hard for lusty alto non-singers like me.

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  5. Carol of the Bells always makes me tear up. It evokes so much emotion in me, it leaks out of my eyes.

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