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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Day 5 - "Christmastime Is Here" (vocal) from A Charlie Brown Christmas - 25 Days of Christmas Angst

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This is the first time I've decorated for Christmas in a few years,
and at the center of my display is Charlie Brown.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the most popular holiday television shows.

"Christmastime is Here" is the song that opens the show.  Before looking at the song it is important to look at the dialogue that goes on during the instrumental interlude of the song.

Charlie Brown:  "I think there must me something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming but I'm not happy.  I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel.  I just don't understand Christmas I guess.  I like getting present and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that but I'm still not happy.  I always end up feeling depressed."

Linus:  "Charlie Brown you are the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem maybe Lucy is right, of all the Charlie Browns in the world you are the Charlie Browniest."

If I had to give just a single inspiration for my creation of this list, it would be Charlie Brown.  In this one bit of dialogue he and Linus get right to the heart of my seasonal angst.  I enjoy doing a lot of the things associated with Christmas, but I never really feel happy.  Or at least I don't feel happy to the level that the average Linus of the world expects me to.

I know the big moment for most people in this show is when Linus tells the Biblical Christmas story.  For me, it is this exchange between Charlie Brown and Linus.  The real problem Charlie Brown and I have is that we don't recognize that the enjoyment we get out of what we do IS what we are supposed to feel, and we make it worse for ourselves by comparing our happiness to others.

We put such pressure on ourselves to "be happy" for this time of year we make ourselves miserable.  The somber children's choir singing to an equally plodding jazz instrumentation fits this sentiment.

The lyrics touch on some themes I've already discussed in this list.  Longing for a perfect past and the beauty of nature in winter being two of them.  The line that stands out though is part of the chorus:  "Oh, that we could always see / Such spirit through the year."

Part of what is supposed to make this time of year special is how people are supposed to put aside old grudges, be more caring for their fellow man, and take time to enjoy life more fully.  This song asks the perfect question:  why don't we act this way all year long?

Rather than put so much pressure on ourselves try to have this perfect few weeks/days, we should be arranging our lives so that we have these things all the time.  Anytime you hold so many expectations the only thing you can truly expect is disappointment.  You will never "feel the way [you're] supposed to feel."

Christmastime Is Here (vocal)
from A Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmas time is here.
Happiness and cheer.
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year.

Snowflakes in the air.
Carols everywhere.
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share.

Sleigh bells in the air.
Beauty everywhere.
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there.

Christmas time is here.
We'll be drawing near.
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year.

Sleigh bells in the air.
Beauty everywhere.
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there.

Christmas time is here.
Families drawing near.
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year.

25 Days Of Christmas Angst
Day Song Download/Purchase Info
5 "Christmastime Is Here (Vocal)" from A Charlie Brown Christmas Buy the full album:

Buy the song:

DVD of the show:

Amazon Instant Video:
The combination of jazz instrumentation and a children's choir is unique. If the nostalgia isn't enough of a reason to enjoy this one, perhaps the fact that it perfectly expresses the melancholy of the Christmas season will give you a reason to listen.
4 "Your Song" by Earl Madary I could not find a digital or physical version of this song available anywhere for sale. So I am making it available for you to listen to.

Click To play in your browser or right click to download.
Read my blog post for more about this song.
Some people add much to our lives in such a limited time. Earl Madary is one of those people in my life.
3 "Breath of Heaven" by Vince Gill Buy the CD:

A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary:

note: The song is available only as part of the full album.
Read my blog post for more about this song.
I recommend buying Vince Gill's Christmas album titled, Breath of Heaven: A Christmas Collection. I have only been able to find it available as a physical CD, however.
You can get this one song as an mp3, but you have to purchase the full album listed to the left.
2 "Ave Maria" by Aretha Franklin Buy the full album:

Buy the song:
Read my blog post for more about this song.
Don't settle for the version from the This Christmas album. Get the older and better version from One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.
1 "White Christmas" by Uncle Crow
FREE!
Read my blog post for more about this song.
Get this free album from C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply. There are other Christmas cigar box guitar albums discussed here.

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