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However, we do have this live version on YouTube:


Canada is peculiarly rich in girl folk groups: Dala, the Be Good Tanyas, the Wailin' Jennys, and of course the Good Lovelies spring to mind. Here the Good Lovelies perform what amounts to two versions of the classic New Year's Eve song.

There are in fact many many versions of Auld Lang Syne. The Beach Boys did one. Mariah Carey did a whole EP of remixes, which is a little terrifying.

Here's a little history of the song:

Auld Lang Syne is one of Scotland's gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbours' hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future.

It is one of the many folk songs from the great Lowland Scots tradition collected and fashioned by the pen of one of the world's greatest songwriters. Burns devoted the last years of his life to the song tradition, and often a mere fragment from some old ballad was transformed by his alchemy into a memorable love song or Scots poem. With Auld Lang Syne, though, the brilliance was already there; this is the Bard's first mention of it in a letter to Mrs Dunlop in 1788:

"... Light be the turf on the breast of the heaven inspired Poet who composed this glorious fragment."

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?
Oh hey, remember Green Trees Red Hearts from Day 15? There's now a third Ho Ho Ho Canada mix. You can get it over at the Line of Best Fit.

I caved

I've set up a Dreamwidth account under electricland, so if you're over there, please let me know!
Listen here.

Another confession: in general I am not all that fond of Rufus Wainwright. He's very talented but I have a particular horror of whiny tenors. And yet... I quite like this. Go figure. Apparently this song played a fairly major part in his rise to fame thanks to this Gap commercial:



We sang this for choir last year, which was fun; harmonies crunchy enough to be interesting.

Obviously we are sort of out of sync again. When I made up this mix it was a general holiday-season mix and New Year's seemed an important part of that.

Took the day off. Today I have some last-minute shopping to do, and I MUST set up my poor tree! How about you?

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?
Listen here.

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong are never wrong, and they're particularly right together. Ella's solo version is also lovely.



The other seasonal jazz classic is of course "Baby, It's Cold Outside." It's acquired unfortunate overtones but I'm still fond of it. Here's a great version by Meaghan Smith and Buck 65.

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?

Fat litter

Cousin Jen and I are watching Coupling and have hit the sofa parasites rant, which remains the best thing ever.

Musical Advent calendar interlude

Yet another Christmas collection for your listening pleasure!
Listen here.

This is another song that needs no introduction. Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders also put in a well-deserved appearance in the Women Who Rock documentary mentioned on Day 16; she truly is a phenomenal talent, and even if this song has only the most tenuous connection to Christmas, it's still a classic.



This has more covers than I expected: KT Tunstall, Coldplay. I see nobody messes too much with the arrangement. (Maybe the Mighty Mighty Bosstones - I haven't listened to any of them all the way through, I have to admit.) Not to be confused with (I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles by the Proclaimers.

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?

EEEEE.

Listen here.

So remember back in the introduction to this Advent calendar I mentioned that former Beatles suck at Christmas songs? It doesn't seem to apply to their wives: this is a Yoko Ono song, and it's amazing, although I admit I like this cover better than the original.

From this interview, in which Thea Gilmore also has trenchant things to say about depression:

Yoko Ono's "Listen, The Snow Is Falling" evokes an idyllic Christmas card of the mind, a kind of universal Yule, and Gilmore's minimal arrangement lends it an air of weightless meditation.

"I didn't even know the song," Gilmore admits. "I was on tour with the Waterboys and I was talking to Mike Scott about covering his song 'December', and he said 'yes you can, that's great, but go and listen to this Yoko Ono song because it will really suit your voice'. So I listened to it and I loved it and I thought it was just beautiful. Everyone said 'you can't do a Yoko Ono song! What's the matter with you!' but it's gorgeous, and it comes at a point on the album where it really needed to draw breath and just stop. I think it really works as that."

Cuddle up in a blanket, close your eyes, and let her sing you to sleep.

Get the full musical Advent calendar here. | What is this?

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