DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

Christmas music

Dec 7 2012

The Gift of Song

by Jnai W

My favorite thing about the holidays is the festive seasonal music. While I’ve become pleasantly acquainted with Wham!’s “Last Christmas” and Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time” over the years (thanks to B98.5’s standard holiday rotation) my heart belongs to the sacred songs and traditional Christmas caroles. This holiday season my biggest Christmas wish is to be wandering around the mall as a Christmas flash mob of carols and hymns erupts around me.

Have you witnessed one of these, Reader? The closest I’ve ever come is viewing a YouTube clip of an especially thrilling flash mob from two years ago in a Redondo Beach mall.  I have to say I was intrigued and spent half an hour online searching for more clips of talented vocalists in public places bursting into song, like a Rodgers and Hammerstein production come to life (minus fleet-footed choreography).  While these fits of musical merriment may or may not be completely spontaneous, they are incredibly fascinating. The best part of a flash mob, especially one that boasts holiday songs, is the reaction of unsuspecting passersby swept up in rousing choruses of “O Come Let Us Adore Him” and “O Holy Night”. The expressions of bemusement, accompanied by the clicking, tapping and raising of smartphones, soon give way to mallgoers chiming in, clapping along or gazing wistfully at the flash mob singers.

The beauty of the lyrics, the nostalgia of being gathered together with others in song—even for just five out of the ninety minutes devoted to gift shopping and errands—is undeniable and vital at a time of year that’s subsumed by hustle and bustle, hurry and worry.

I will attempt to embed this blog post with my favorite flash mob clip. I hope this makes you smile as much as it has made me.

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Dec 15 2010

Not your usual holiday sounds

by Dea Anne M

For a number of years, I worked in retail and each holiday season I was loath to play seasonal music at home given how saturated my ears would become at work. I have to say though, there is something about playing those special seasonal sounds that makes the holiday feel complete. There is a wealth of traditional and contemporary music available from DCPL, but if you’re in the mood for something a little off-beat, check out these offerings.

First off, let us remember that Christmas isn’t the only holiday celebrated at this time of year. Although Hanukkah is over for this year, you can still enjoy such music as A Taste of Chanukah and Happy Chanukah Songs. For Kwanzaa, which starts December 26th, you can listen to Kwanzaa Party! and The Kwanzaa Album.

…and on to Christmas specific music…

For fans of early music, there is A Medieval Christmas from The Boston Camerata and On Yoolis Night from Anonymous 4.

Do you like bluegrass? Check out Christmas On the Mountain: A Bluegrass Christmas. Is it jazz you favor? Try A Smooth Jazz Christmasfrom Dave Koz & Friends.

Or select from this Christmas stocking of sounds:

Christmas On the Border (blues and salsa)

Yule B’ Swingin’ (big band)

Surfin’ Christmas (surf stylings)

Mambo Santa Mambo (mambo beats!)

Are you planning a cool, swinging, Mad Men-esque party for the holidays? For your soundtrack, consider Christmas Cocktails I and II or Christmas With the Rat Pack.  Crazy baby!

Finally let us give a thought to a couple of soundtracks which have, for many of us, become holiday classics.

A Charlie Brown Christmas


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

What are your favorite holiday sounds?