Thursday, December 7, 2006

Memories in Christmas Music

Tonight, I was listening to Christmas music while riding around in the car. My mind always wanders back to Christmases past when listening to it and tonight was no different. It is at this time of year I miss my parents and having a close family the most. If it were up to me, I'd spend every Christmas in 1970, as that was the last one when I had both parents and siblings nearby.

Certain Christmas songs bring back particular memories of people or events. Below, is an incomplete list of songs and some memories associated with them.

O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)

This one reminds me of my mother, as I remember her telling me of how she'd been chosen to sing that song in Latin when she'd been in the choir in school as a kid.

Little Drummer Boy

This one reminds me of my best friend when I lived in Massachusetts. He and I used to sing the "rum pa pum pum" part as "rub your bum bum" while simultaneously rubbing our asses. You have to remember we were only about seven years old at the time. He later died in a car crash in 1980, just shy of being 22.

Charlie Brown Christmas Theme

This reminds me of my high school best friend and his family. The laid back, mellow jazz sound of this song just kind of fits how it felt being around their family.

Silver Bells

This one reminds me of going to center city Philadelphia to see the Christmas lights in the late sixties and of seeing the Salvation Army Band out on the street playing Christmas carols on trumpets and trombones. Nowadays, they only have people out ringing bells at Christmas, which makes me miss the band.

Let It Snow

When I was in the high school band, we did a medley of Christmas songs as part of our marching routine. I remember the band director getting put out at this one girl who kept pushing her hair back every time the wind blew it out of place. He finally sang, "Let it blow, let it blow, let it blow", to the tune of Let It Snow.

Over the River and Through the Woods

This reminds me of spending Christmas with my grandmother's sister as a little kid. At that time, I lived far from my one remaining grandmother and she was the closest thing to a grandmother I had at the time.

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
Jingle Bell Rock

Both these songs remind me of the Christmas parties my parents had when I was a kid in the sixties. Jingle Bell Rock also reminds me of this girl who sang it in a purposely off key voice at work about five years ago and made everyone laugh.

Jingle Bells

At around ten years old, I'd sing this as:

Riding down the road
In a cracked-up Chevrolet
O'er the roads we go
Traffic all the way
Horns on cars honk
Making traffic slow
Oh what fun it is to sing
This traffic song tonight

Oh, Jingle Bells
Santa smells
A million miles away
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a cracked-up Chevrolet!

There are more, but these are the first that came to mind. What memories do certain Christmas songs evoke in you?

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