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A Musical Advent Calendar (Introduction)

I love Christmas. My family is culturally Christian but completely secular in practice - although my mother and I went to an Anglican high school, complete with chapel every day, our family celebrates Christmas and Easter with food and family get-togethers, not church. That isn't really the point, though. I love the season and the lights and the decorations and the Christmas trees and the stories and the encouragement to buy presents for your loved ones and the breathless anticipation that leads up to the big day. And of course the music. There's no escaping Christmas music at this time of year. Some of it is bad and wrong*, but an awful lot of it is glorious. I sing in a chamber choir, and this year as every year we've been practicing carols, wassail songs, winter songs, arrangements old and new. And I've put my Christmas music (there's a lot of it) into rotation on iTunes.

I've also been neglecting my LiveJournal lately. So I have a plan: I'm going to combine some disciplined LJ posting with my love of Christmas music by creating a musical Advent calendar and sharing it with all of you.

What is a musical Advent calendar, you ask? From tomorrow until Christmas, I'll be posting one Christmas song per day, with commentary, and building a playlist on Grooveshark.com. (Shoutout to claris for suggesting that component - it makes life so much simpler.)

(UPDATE: The astute listener will notice that the number of songs on Grooveshark doesn't necessarily match the number of days elapsed in December. This is because the entry for day 2 is actually 2 tracks - blame the Chieftains - and some other days don't have entries on Grooveshark because I am scared of their TOS. I've tried to include YouTube videos instead where possible.)

Some songs are traditional, some are modern, some don't actually seem very Christmassy at all, and a couple are really for New Year's. If you follow along, I hope you'll discover a few things you haven't heard before. I welcome questions, comments, and suggestions for next year's mix - you can never have too much Christmas music, in my view!

So that's the plan. Please join me! Here's to a happy and musical Advent.

*Specifically, Wonderful Christmastime and Happy Christmas (War Is Over). Former Beatles apparently cannot be trusted with Christmas songs.


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