Holidays greetings! 🙂 (Yes, I did two plurals on purpose. 😉 ) For this month, I have decided to review some of the coolest and most uniquely good songs related to some of the holidays celebrated in the month of December. My two articles will feature a collection of songs – not just one. My next article, Supercool December Holidays Music – Part B, will include Paul Revere & the Raiders, Big Time Rush, The Ronettes, and more! 🙂 I hope you will read my reviews for each song and not only the ones featuring the holiday(s) you celebrate. Music is music. It speaks to the heart. It can affect and effect our lives in so many ways. Please read on; I hope you enjoy my gifts to you! 🙂
Chanukah (also sometimes spelled Hanukkah) came first and begins first, so it is fitting that we start with a song by Matisyahu with the title, “Happy Hanukkah”. 🙂 An amazing beat and rhythm are just two of the things you will hear in this song! 🙂 😎 This is one of the coolest Chanukah gifts ever; it is a song of supercool proportions that comes directly from the gifted heart of music artist Matisyahu. 🙂 In fact, near the start of the song he says that this is a gift of love to you. 😎 I have enjoyed the unique style of Matisyahu’s songs since I first heard him; it is what could be partially described as Mediterranean Reggaeton. Very cool, lively music with honest heart. This song, “Happy Hanukkah”, is beautiful. Every instrument lends its beauty to the song with melodic power; it’s very cool. 🙂 Not only does it have a great overall sound, but also, it has so much profound truth in the lyrics, sung with the heart of a man who seeks to honor the Creator in all things. I appreciate that element so very much. It gives depth to a song like nothing else can. 😎 There are so many cool things in this song; I hope you will go listen to it so that you can hear it for yourself. Peace and love are two of the main things in this song and are treasures that we all desire. Very true are the words that Israel brings love to the world – “from Mount Zion this is what we do”. Israel exemplifies the Creator’s love in the way they so selflessly go help any country who needs their skills (such as medical help after natural disasters) – even if that country scorns them on a daily basis. The Creator loves each of us, whether we love Him or not. He doesn’t base His love on what we do; He loves us because He loves us. Simple as that. 🙂 That’s why He sent the promised Mashiach (Messiah) to give us eternal life through faith in Him and what He did for us. Selfless love. A gift of mercy (not giving us the bad things we deserve) and grace (giving us good things that we don’t deserve and haven’t earned – couldn’t earn on our own if we tried). Faith and trust in HaShem, believing on Yeshua (Jesus) who fulfilled the prophecies of old, this is the greatest gift ever.
You haven’t heard how cool “Jingle Bells” can sound until you have heard Paul Revere’s Raiders’ rendition of it! 🙂 😎 They bring their own originality, fun-lovin’, energetic, highly-skilled musicianship to it, making it a standout to be admired. 🙂 They perform this at their live show, Rockin’ Christmas, bringing visual as well as audible entertainment as only they can. 😎 After a great instrumental intro by Tommy Scheckel on drums (his drums really make this rockin’ version rock!), Ron Foos on bass (bringing those groovy, deep tones), Paul Revere on keys (he played not one, but two instruments in this song! 🙂 ), Jamie Revere on guitar (I love his awesome guitar playing – its tones can be felt), Doug Heath on guitar (he’s got some supercool stuff to wow everyone with in this song), Danny Krause on keys (the man has gifted hands, what more can one say?), lead singer Darren Dowler sings lead with power, finesse and gusto! 🙂 😎 Each performance is special, with variations now and then. For example: Paul Revere would sometimes sing the second verse; I always enjoy hearing him sing – you can hear the fun and happiness in his vocals. 😎 Another example: Darren, instead of singing the lyrics “a one-horse open sleigh”, he sang “a ’57 Chevrolet”; both versions are cool and highly enjoyable for this Chevy girl to hear! 🙂 Paul said he really enjoyed doing that version after hearing another artist, Brian Seitzer, do that kind of a rendition. Paul and his boys Raidered it! (To see what I mean by that, please check out my article Meet Paul Revere’s Raiders! 😉 🙂 ) Midway through the song, the spotlight moves to Doug Heath at center stage as he plays a superb guitar solo while the rest of the band rocks on – Tommy Scheckel’s cymbal playing finesse adding another dimension of delight to this groovy rendition. 😎 Almost a half a minute later brings the song to its next verse of toe-tapping fun; Ron Foos is going to town with style as he strums that bass! On the last chorus, Darren belts out the words with even more umph, Doug does a groovy run along the frets, Jamie radiates joy as he plays that guitar so well, Ron keeps rockin’, Paul’s playing the jingle bells instrument, at the perfect moment Tommy uses his drumsticks to direct attention to Danny Krause who plays a beautiful flourish on the keys – accompanied by Jamie on guitar (maybe Doug and/or bassist Ron played, too, but I couldn’t see them in that shot so I can’t say for sure 🙂 ), then the rest of the guys all join in on an instrumental closing of very cool proportions. Paul Revere’s Raiders, akin to the original Raiders whose songs they perform faithfully, are a supercool live band who never fail to entertain, satisfy your need to hear good music, bring a smile to your face that doesn’t quit, and allows you to relax and gave a great time – every time! 🙂
One song, “Silent Night”. 🙂 Two very talented as well as gifted artists, Elvis Presley and Taylor Davis. 🙂 I’ll start with the first recording, Elvis Presley’s classic tune backed by the deep tones of a grand piano as well as melodies provided by male and female vocals. 😎 Then I’ll review the next-recorded rendition, Taylor Davis’ beautifully melodic tune backed by a well-chosen and well-played orchestration of sound. 🙂
*When Elvis Presley sings “Silent Night”, he conveys the peace, comfort and joy of the Creator’s gift to us so genuinely with each tone and inflection of his voice. He sings from his soul, from his heart, reverently. “All is calm.” The Creator can bring peace and calm to us if we trust Him to. He can help us feel a true peace and calm in our hearts and minds through Yeshua/Jesus if we just ask Him sincerely. You can have peace in your heart anywhere and in any surrounding circumstances. Yes, even right there where you are right now. “All is bright.” He brings light even where there is darkness – whether the darkness is physical, mental, spiritual, or any other kind of darkness – He can bring you light. 😎 He made the sun shine for about a whole day, standing completely still overhead, when the Israelites were fighting their enemies back in Joshua’s day. The Creator is the same Being He has always been; He cares about each one of us, whether anyone else does or not. I think that’s really cool. 🙂 😎
*The very talented violinist, Taylor Davis, plays “Silent Night” so very beautifully, speaking to the heart and soul without the need for words. Drawing the bow sweetly across the strings with steady beauty, she brings the story of the song to life through music, touching the soul in a calm and gentle way. Timing is important and the heart of the musician comes through when they are playing their selected instrument. Listening to her music, I believe that Taylor Davis has a gentle, sincere heart that feels the depth of meaning through music. It is how she conveys the message of the song so exquisitely. 😎 “Silent Night” is a gentle lullaby melody, as the human birth of Yeshua/Jesus our Mashiach/Messiah is celebrated; He is the Son of the Creator, all-powerful, yet He came to Earth in human flesh to bring us light, joy, peace with the Creator and life everlasting. That’s real love. 😎
Along with the upbeat tune of Klezmer, Chanukah is sung about in this song with great, warm, deep lively vocals from the illustrious, warm-hearted Theodore Bikel. 🙂 😎 In “Oy Chanukah”, he sings about the reason for celebrating Chanukah, lighting candles for eight days on the Chanukiah (a special, beautiful candlestick that holds eight candles – four on each side of a center candle that is employed to light the others. Kind of like the Creator is the Light Who has the power to give light to each of us if we’ll just stand still long enough to listen to Him. Chanukah is observed “to remind us of days long ago”, as the song says, and to especially remember the Creator’s provision – which continues today and always. 🙂 After fighting for freedom from oppression, winning, and cleaning up the Temple from the evil destruction by the enemies who had previously taken over, there was only enough pure oil to light the Temple’s candlestick for one day – but the Creator made that oil last for eight days and nights (which was the time needed for there to be more of the required oil made and ready). Miracles! 🙂 Way cool. 😎 This song tells it well and sounds great throughout! 🙂 I love the finishing lyrics, “you can dance with hope!” Hope is a priceless thing; it encourages you to be brave and stay strong through whatever you are going through or dealing with in your life. The Creator loves us and gave us precious promises that we can count on Him to fulfill; we can depend on Him – He loves us and cares about everything. 🙂 Hope is a strong thing, a knowing in your heart and soul that even if you can’t see it, it’s there. As it says in the Scriptures: you can’t see the wind itself, but you can see what it does. 😎 The Creator is present everywhere; you may not see Him, but you can see His Hand in the many blessings, big and small, in your everyday life – if you take time to notice them, you’ll find it is easy to see them. 😉 Anything good is a blessing from the Creator; He gives good and perfect gifts. 😎
A doo wop group established in 1991, Stormy Weather, teamed up with the illustrious Ronnie Spector to sing a Christmas version of the 1960’s song, “Creation of Love”. 😎 And the result was quite beautiful! 🙂 Sung acapella, the poignancy of the lyrics are all the more powerful with only the human voice and some tasteful, time-keeping finger snaps being heard. Ronnie sings lead as Stormy Weather provides the perfect background – all of them sounding great! 🙂 The song tells the story of a girl and boy who met at a dance, walked hand in hand out into the winter wonderland and soon realized that love was there, created in their hearts for each other. 🙂 They kissed, their hearts dancing in the night. 😎 They walked along for a while, smiling, then as he held her tight, they pledged their love to one another. 🙂 “I love you and you love me – think how happy we will be. I know, now I know – that’s the creation of love.” A very nice love story. 🙂
Did you know that Mark Lindsay sang a solo of “What Child Is This?” as part of a special recording? 🙂 Now, this treasure was made available at W. T. Grant stores on a vinyl LP titled “A Very Merry Christmas Volume IV”; Columbia Special Products produced it exclusively for them c. 1967. You can hear it, like I did, from YouTube. 🙂 A beautiful instrumental melody begins, and then Mark begins to gently sing of Yeshua/Jesus’ birth. The soar in Mark’s excellent voice as the chorus begins. I love the way he sings with strength and conviction; he consistently sings every song with true heart. 😎 The question is asked – why was he born in such a low estate, where animals fed? It was to show, in part, that He didn’t come to be popular or bring admiration from others. That wasn’t His purpose. The lyrics continue to explain, “Nails fierce shall pierce Him through – the cross be borne for me, for you”. He suffered and died in our place, so that we wouldn’t have to pay for our own sins – that’s how much the Creator loves us. As the song says from Scripture, He is the Word (“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotton of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Book of John, chapter one, verse fourteen. 🙂 ) in human form, come to save us. When He created us, He gave us free will – we can choose our own path. He won’t make us accept His gift and put our faith in Him; it is our choice alone. We can choose to believe or choose to deny; it is one or the other. Rejecting His gift means choosing to pay for our own sins forever with the Devil who made that same bad choice. Accepting the Creator’s gift of salvation through His Son, Yeshua/Jesus, means instantaneous forgiveness and the promise of eternal life in Heaven with the Creator Who loves us. Which choice do you want to make? It’s not too late; as long as you have breath, you have choice – but please keep in mind: no one is guaranteed they’ll take a next breath. Some things are too important to put off; this is one of them.
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