a few of my favorite things: singalongs

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, Henry came home with my first Christmas present of the season. He said that I could go ahead and open it. And I was thrilled to discover that it was a box set of Christmas music, entitled Songs for Christmas by Sufjan Stevens. Singalong is right there on the bottom of the set. I think that Henry bought it as a reminder of the ill-fated Little Drummer Boy we tried to record on his four-track many years ago. Actually we both love Sufjan’s music and the included stickers and family portrait poster had to have sealed the deal.

I promised myself that I would save the music until December 1, because I find it necessary to really moderate when I start listening to Christmas music. I love it and I don’t want to get sick of it. When I realized that Sarah and Shannon were coming over, I had to put in all five discs. You never know when we all might want to break out in song.

We were sitting there talking about really important things like high school and where to watch the WFU football game. All of a sudden they realized that we were in fact listening to the Christmas music I had emailed them about. After we passed a traditional hymn, Sarah began to understand some not-so-traditional verses and decided to recite them for us. Like beat poetry. Listen to the insightful words of Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? (Well You Deserved it.)

This time of year, you always disappear
You tell me not call, you tell me not to call
And when the door is closed,
You’re wearing different clothes
Or hiding in the paper, pretending not to hear

Inexpensive wine, I buy it all the time
You tell me take it back
You say you’ll take a nap
But I can see it now, you always tell me
How I could do so much better
You said it in your letter

Did I make you cry on Christmas Day?
Did I let you down like every other day?
Did I make you cry on Christmas Day?
Did I let you down on Christmas Day?

Verse 2…

Some are silly, some are somber, some are spiritual. What more could you ask for?

Shannon did recognize a song that the three-year-olds sang in her church Christmas pageant every year. She was quite excited about that. But they swore that Henry bought the set because he looks a lot like Sufjan. And I would even suspect that they have the same personality type. But I must say that his other albums showcase great examples of storytelling about a whole host of experiences that may lose their effect in prose. You should check out his work. Illinois is my favorite. But, Ryan, you need to get this set. It is perfect to throw in a little diversity to your annual Christmas mix.

The following night we quite the very end of the Holiday Parade of Boats in Old Town Alexandria. Thank you, Jason, for coordinating the lovely evening. After the parade had ended, we enjoyed the Christmas carols of a group performing on the dock. Everyone perked up with A Few of My Favorite Things. I believe some money was even donated! Now you will be humming that tune the rest of the day.

There are usually several opportunities to sing Christmas Carols in the Penn Quarter neighborhood during your lunch break. 12/20/2006 – Calvary, 777 8th Street NW 12:15-12:45

Please add any others in the comments section. I will continue to add them as I hear of any.

If you would like to have your own singalong at home, please download this free Christmas cootie catcher and song guide that I made a few years ago. I currently use it as a sample for my cootie catchers.

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17 Comments

  1. Caroline Armijo

    National Gallery of Art Holiday Caroling
    in the West Building Rotunda
    December 10, 16, 17, 23, and 24, 1:30 and 2:30pm

    Guest choirs lead afternoon sing-along caroling
    December 10 – The 18th Street Singers, Washington, DC
    December 16 – The DC Boys Choir, Washington, DC
    December 17 – The Xaverian High School Chorus, Bronx, NY
    December 23 – To be determined
    December 24 – Alpine Singers Chamber Choir, Washington, DC

  2. the Rab

    i was working on my annual “the rab’s eclectic christmas mix” cd (last years) and i took a break to surf around your blog and found this entry. neato. do you have suggestions for my CD? are any of the songs in your gift suggested? can i find them on itunes or emusic?

    i’ll have your copy of the mix CD under the tree next weekend.

    feliz navidad.

  3. the Rab

    hey!! are you saying my christmas mixes lack diversity? i have everything from Otis Redding to Ella Fitzgerald to Dar Williams to Johnny Cash to … well, i’m looking into adding Twisted Sister & Lynard Skynard this year. their Xmas albums rock!

    just kidding. that’s a good suggestion. i will look it up. peace and chicken grease cuz.

    p.s. send more suggestions! everyone! (to my blog)

  4. the Rab

    when are the armijos coming to WS, NC?

  5. the Rab

    ok just 1 more comment/question… what is going on with the family gathering this year? when? where? what are we doing? i seem to be always be the last to know… since i don’t live in town and everyone is so communications/technology challenged. 😉

  6. the Rab

    i found the cd collection on itunes and emusic. it’s 42 songs, is that right? i have 21 more downloads available on emusic; which should i get?

  7. the Rab

    i’m switching to the new blogger! yEA! i see you already have by the labels in your latest posts. gosh, caroline, you’re more cutting edge than me! WHAT?! i’ve been waiting for blogger to get tags (or “labels”) for a while. thank goodness. organization and search are good.

  8. the Rab

    i don’t know caroline. some of this stuff is making me sad. little drummer boy? it may induce narcolepsy in small children. are there any upbeat songs to suggest?

  9. Caroline Armijo

    Okay RAB, how am I going to answer all of these questions…

    I love your Chrismtas mixes. I am not suggesting that you are lacking in anything. Just that this box set is a new source of songs.

    Yes, some of them are a little slow. I listened to it with my mom. She had similar comments. She was looking for the more upbeat. And, she also thought that she might could use this version of Amazing Grace as back up for her to sing a solo in chuch. Very funny… I can hook you up. Maybe I will make my own mix of favorites, as a remix of yours from the past.

    We are meeting at Mom’s around 3, although we are driving from DC that day. So I am hoping that we will make it right around 3. We are on a very tight schedule that day because we are flying into DC from Florida. I am scared to say that our wake-up will be around 4:30 am.

    We have talked about doing a dirty Santa gift exchange and also giving gifts to Braxton. I am not sure what will happen. Maybe we should do a $10 on the exchange and make sure it is something that each person would want for themselves. That way you would be willing to take your own present back. Also including a gift card and cash keeps the game exciting.

    Can you tell me the boys’ favorite colors. Ian is blue, right?

    P.S. Henry loves Little Drummer Boy. He tried to make me record our own version one year.

  10. the Rab

    call me when there are updates. so we should be at your house at 3pm? is there an early dinner? that is good!

    and let me know about the exchange.

  11. the Rab

    still finalizing the mix. i should finish tomorrow night.

  12. the Rab

    hey do you like the Christmas Revels? they are good. kind of like old time folk sing-alongs.

  13. the Rab

    can you bring some christmas CDs to germanton? for me to borrow for next year? when do you go to FL?

  14. the Rab

    hey, ironically, you can get a free Sufjan Stevens Christmas song on iTunes this week!

  15. Caroline Armijo

    I was just getting ready to work on a CD for you.

  16. the Rab

    i downloaded like 4 sufjan MP3s from emusic.com. i chose the boogie with the elf-dance song on album 4.

  17. the Rab

    check it. more on the CD.

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