It’s December and therefore time to start playing festive music! Today I’ve chosen Andy Williams’ classic from 1963, It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. I hope you enjoy the first of my Christmacious tunes!
Here’s my song for St Andrew’s day: Loch Lomond, the traditional song first published in 1841 in Vocal Melodies of Scotland. There are many theories about the origins of the song, most of which link to the Jacobite rising of 1745. The “high road” in question is seen as the main road between London and Edinburgh where the heads of the executed rebels were exhibited and the interpretation of the “low road” which I like best is that it was the underground route taken by the fairies or ‘little people’ accompanying the souls of dead Scots who died in foreign lands (England in this case!) back to the homeland to rest in peace.
Loch Lomond has been recorded by hundreds of performers, and the song has also become the unofficial anthem of Scottish band Runrig and have closed their concerts with it for over 25 years. My version is definitely not particularly Runrig in style, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless!
There are lots more Scottish songs in my collection here, and you can also have a look at my album of Scottish tunes. This one hasn’t made it into that collection yet, but it may do in the future if it goes down well! If it’s your first time on the site, find out more about the 365 Songs project or see all of my November songs here.
Today’s song is Sia’s Chandelier. While the 2014 song did well in charts worldwide, it was the video featuring 11 year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler which went viral and became YouTube’s seventh most-viewed video of the year and the thirteenth most-viewed video of all time with over a billion views. Chandelier also received a Grammy nomination for Best Video and the Best Video of 2014 award from Rolling Stone magazine.
Today I’m playing Keane’s 2004 song Somewhere Only We Know. It was covered by Lily Allen and used in the 2013 John Lewis Christmas advert (I’ve already played this year’s John Lewis song!) I hope you enjoy this song. If it’s your first time on the site, find out why I’m playing a tune a day here or see all of my November songs.
Today is Thanksgiving in the US and this song came up on a Thanksgiving playlist so I thought it would be appropriate to play today. It’s Irving Berlin’s Count Your Blessings (Instead Of Sheep) and comes from the film White Christmas, performed by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. It was nominated for Best Song in the Academy Awards in 1955 but was defeated by Three Coins In The Fountain.
Today I’m playing the main song from the first of Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus albums, Songs of Sanctuary. It feels a bit strange to be playing a piece of music which is so intrinsically vocal on the piano so I’ve added a bit of voice/synth to the layering to make up for the lack of vocals! Adiemus was originally created by Welsh composer Jenkins for a Delta Airlines commercial and the project grew from there. The words don’t mean anything: Jenkins wanted the voice to be a true instrument without the distraction of lyrics.
Today I’m playing a lovely piece of music I’ve come across fairly recently. Ashokan Farewell was written in 1982 by American folk musician and composer Jay Ungar to serve as the farewell waltz at the Fiddle and Dance Camps run by Ungar. It was later used as the theme of the US miniseries The Civil War.
Today’s piece is the stunningly beautiful Adagio in G minor, theoretically by 18th century Venetian composer Albinoni, but actually composed by 20th century composer and musicologist Remo Giazotto. Giazotto claims to have discovered an original manuscript by Albinoni while working on his biography. The piece has been used in many films and TV series, from Flashdance to Monty Python’s Flying Circus and even (apparently!) in The Inbetweeners 2.
I saw a bit of Happy Feet Two this evening and it reminded me that I’d never played Queen’s Somebody To Love which was one of the main songs in the original Happy Feet movie. Somebody To Love dates from 1976 and ever since has been one of the all-time Queen classic songs. After Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991, George Michael sang this song at the tribute concert at Wembley and his performance was considered to be so good that serious consideration was given to have him continue Freddie Mercury’s role and perform with the remaining members of Queen.
I’ve probably ended up playing this a bit too fast, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. There are more of my Queen performances here and if it’s your first time on the site, find out why I’m playing a tune a day here or see all of my November songs.