We've got lots of Christmas music playing at our house, and of course our favorites are the actual carols--the hymns celebrating the Incarnation. We are all over Handel's Messiah too; we've got the Chicago Symphony version and my favorite, the London Symphony and Chorus conducted by Sir Adrian Boult.
I feel like I have to put that disclaimer first so you don't think we're infidels dancing around the Christmas tree to John Mellencamp singing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (though OK, we really like that one), because, in addition to all the beautiful Christmas carols, we have to admit we like the fun, silly stuff, too.
A year or two ago, there was a youtube video that went viral and got millions of hits. It was of an a cappella group from Indiana University. They were planning a 10-year reunion and put some of their footage from college up on youtube for the group members to see before getting together again. Then everyone saw it and they got a record deal from Atlantic and were asked to do a PBS Christmas special last year, which is now on DVD in a boxed set with two of their Christmas CDs. I bought it a week or so ago, and we can't.stop.playing.it.
These guys are fantastic, and the girls, instead of watching Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer now ask to watch "those boys singing together so we can dance." I've had a few moments of "What have I done here?" since their favorite is "Hey Santa," and not the Wilson Phillips' "If we could make believe/if everyone would care a little more/there'd be harmony" one. No...this version has "Santa, don't bring me any toys/just bring my baby and a bottle of joy/maybe just a taste for Uncle Roy/'cause we all know Santa's a good ol' boy."
I just remind myself of all the Irish music my parents let us listen to growing up, and how my mom would make us skip the song on the record called "Nancy Whiskey," blissfully unaware that pretty much every song on the record had to do with whiskey or infidelity or infidelity because of too much whiskey. And we still turned out OK, right? Don't answer that.
Anyway, if you are looking for some fun holiday music with an incredible talent, you should definitely check them out. They really are fantastic. I'll leave you with the video that went all crazy on youtube, which you've probably already seen anyway, but watch it again because it can't fail to put you in a happy mood. (Of course, my favorite part starts about 2 minutes in.) Below the original, I put "Hey Santa" and one from the PBS special (to convince you that you need to get this). While I was looking for these on youtube, Elaine came in and said, "Can you turn that off your computer now and put it on TV?"
So, I give you: Straight No Chaser. Happy Friday!