Friday, November 27, 2009

The Christmas Playlist (Revised)

Hey bloggers...Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

It's time to post the Christmas playlist again. There's a little bit of everything here (currently 112 songs)...pretty much all of my favorites, and, hopefully, yours. The only thing I couldn't get that I wanted was 'Riu Chiu' by the Monkees. They did a really beautiful version of the ancient Spanish hymn (it's on YouTube), but it wasn't available on the site that I use.
A few things I want to mention:

1 - Joy To The World — (covers by Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, and a trio consisting of Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby. It also appears here, in part, in a few carol medleys...)

I included JTTW several times in the playlist because, in my opinion, this great hymn is the official dominion anthem. It jubilantly declares that the earth is the Lord's, and that He is her King. I especially love it because it has a paradigm of universal and ultimate reconciliation: "Let EVERY heart prepare Him room!" ...and of all things being consummated in Christ...AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING! Heaven and nature singing together...the true manifestation of the concept of the UNI-verse!

2 - Hark! The Herald Angels Sing — (covers by Mahalia Jackson, Nat King Cole, Take 6, and the Vince Guaraldi Trio from the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack...)

I used this powerful carol multiple times because it also has a very pro-reconciliation viewpoint. The phrase "God and sinners reconciled" in the lyrics speaks of reconciliation in past if it is a fact that has already occurred. It has beautiful theology in every verse, and is my sentimental favorite because both It's a Wonderful Life and A Charlie Brown Christmas conclude with it.

3 - Christmas In Dixie — (Alabama)
Although I do like some country music, I'm not necessarily an Alabama fan. And yet I love this song, and I want to tell you why. Normally, I would never use a song with "dixie" in the title becuase of the potentially perceived political incorrectness of it. But this song came out right after the end of the Atlanta child murders of the early 80's, which coincided with the arrest of Wayne Williams. Those of you who lived here then undoubtedly recall what a nightmare that whole thing was, and how relieved we all were when it was over. I can recall the first time I heard the line "...and in Atlanta, Georgia, there's peace on earth tonight", just a few days after the arrest. I remember what it meant to me at the time, and how I wept when I heard it. And all these years later, I still get chills every time I hear those guys sing that line because I relate it to that time...and because I love Atlanta...and so I love this song.

4 - O Holy Night — (covers by Mariah Carey and David Phelps)
My favorite Christmas song...especially the third verse.

5 - Auld Lang Syne Millenium Mix — (Kenny G)
Take some time and listen to the whole thing, especially if you're in my age demographic (or just a history buff). It's really cool.

6 - The Meaning of Christmas — (Linus Van Pelt)
What can I say? It's a classic.

7 - Glory to God in the Highest — (The Specks)
Some of you may wonder why I included a Southern Gospel song here, but it's because of the message (and the song is kind of peppy and catchy, too). I like it because it talks about Jesus being born to save "the world" from sin, a concept that you don't hear expressed very often in this music genre.

8 -The Little Drummer Boy — (Bob Seger)
This is a true Kingdom song. It's about using what's in your hand to serve the King, and Seger's cover of it really captures the essence of the message.

9 - Dream Child (A Christmas Dream) — (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)

This could potentially become my new favorite Christmas song. Everything about it just blows me away. Take the time to listen to all of it (you can Google the lyrics so you can follow along).

10 - The other artists: Kirk Franklin, Aaron Neville, The Judds, Joshua James, Mannheim Steamroller, Mahalia Jackson, Diana Krall, The Roches, Hillsong Australia, Harry Connick, Jr., Kelly Clarkson, Vince Gill, George Winston, Luther Vandross, First Call, Wendy Francisco, Boyz II Men, Chris Botti, Shirley Caesar, Johnny Mathis, Michael W. Smith, Celine Dion, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah McLachlan, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett, Boston Pops, The Sojourners, Garth Brooks, Whitney Houston, Clay Aiken, BeBe & CeCe Winans, 4Him, Boney M., Carnie & Wendy Wilson, Marc Anthony, Josh Groban, MercyMe, The Monks and Choirs of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, Vienna Boys Choir, U2, Lauryn Hill, Sparrow Artists, Paul McCartney, Anne Murray, David Crowder Band, Trisha Yearwood, Point of Grace, Hymns on Guitar, Jewel, Angie Winans, Relient K, Sarah McLachlan, The Carpenters, Sixpence None The Richer, Angels & Airwaves, Red Nativity, Wayne Watson, BarlowGirl, Jars Of Clay, Destiny's Child, Kathy Mattea, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon, The Temptations, John Coltrane, and Messiah — A Soulful Celebration.

Your feedback is appreciated.



karl cobos said...

I really enjoyed your post bishop, along with your stories "behind the song" and the seasonal and color changes to your blog. takes a lot of time to maintain a blog consistently. I just spent most of the night updating I really appreciate these posts even more.

"Ya' need to give it up for your leader, he definitely deserves your applause, and please give him feedback when you can...doesn't have to be long"

Keith said...

Been listening to Christmas Play List all afternoon just love it . And yes I get the healing aspect to Christmas in Dixie . What a horrible time that was and to close for comfort one of the kids body found less than a 1000 feet from my home . I pray we never have to go through anything like that again . I went to YouTube for the Monkees I posted link it cool . The lighting of the Great tree was wonderful last night but very cold . Thank goodness for Hot coffee and Hot Chocolate . Hope everybody had a wonderful day .

Erik said...

Bishop, great playlist. Thank You again.

As I am working on Fri while at my mom's - a great peace added, consumed.

re Joy To The World, and hark The Herald Angels Sing, I LOVE them and am in agreement, a celebration of an event that has already occurred, like 4th of July celebration, - celebrating a past event, enjoying the past effect forward to now.

Thank You for repeating in the 21st century the chorus that the Angels sing.

That is really why i Love this place.

Amen, Thank You.

Erik said...

Thanksgiving and praise Always !!

God satisfies my hunger and has quenched my thirst, I enjoy the satisfaction of a full stomach and satisfied tongue that speaks Thanks and Praise. It only gets better and better.

His Face is so beautiful, Thank You God for the sharing Your Face in the mirror and in every face I see, You are there.


River said...

All those songs are great but I love Alabama's Christmas cassette/cd. Two songs stand out to me A Candle In The Window. & Joseph & Mary's Boy. I have it on cassette and have worn out these two songs. I'm not much of a country music person but this cassette/cd means a lot to me. It all about the memories and how special they were.

Who's the One we need to thank & who's this party for. Who's the One responsible for all this peace & joy. Who deserves the credit for the blessings we enjoy.
Preacher said last Sunday
It was Joseph & Mary's Boy
(written by Don Cook & Keith Whitley)

Avatar said...

NL, I keep wondering how your "Give Thanks" reading went.

River, your post reminded me HS was showing me Joseph and Mary yesterday. Thanks so much.

Bishop, "revised" seems an feels like a whole new list. Although Mannheim Steamroller has already used the title "Fresh Aire", TransSiberian Orchestra songs and arrangements certainly fit that category for me...fresh air and inspiration for moving forward--[cool line in Dream Child...the star is "so we'd know that we can see that far!"].

The Christmas light shows TSO's music inspires seem like breaking the four minute mile of light displays...bringing LIFE and amazing light into the "darkest" month of the year.

I have a feeling I'll have a different fave each day...but for day one, its "The Prayer"...because it could seem out of place...which makes it a burning bush and subtly defines the collection, especially with its Italian lines: you are eternal star...I pray we find your light and hold it in our hearts...we dream a world without violence...
a world of justice and faith.

wordver: bengrat...yep, been grat-eful...for the new playlist...

Erik said...

Another wonderful , nourishing service. Excellent worship with both choirs, the vitality of the word with Bishop and Pastor D.E., The Spirit so energizing, Pastor Beth sharing, the raining of Spirit infusion boost; the receiving of blessing, encouragement, anointing from all the pastors, and the closing Praise & Worship – Beautiful.

ThanksLiving – Perfect.

Our Spirits invited ourselves to a party today, again.

Thank You.

Ebony said...

1. Gloria: Michael W. Smith.- I love the song Gloria, but there's something about this one that just makes me feel all festive
2. This Christmas: Donny Hathaway (and ONLY HIS VERSION)-One of the best R&B songs ever written, too bad we can only hear it once a year.
3. Mary did You Know: Michael English/Clay Aiken -I love the idea of getting into the mind of Mary as she was preparing for the birth of Jesus, just beautiful.
4. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Andy Williams- Just a fun classic that gets me all happy
5.Silent Night-Acapella version by Boyz II Men: One of the most beautiful adaptations of a beautiful song.
6. Silent Night-The Tempations-Motown at its Best
7. O Holy Night: Mariah Carey- A beautiful song sung by a beautiful voice (I miss that Mariah actually)
8. One Small Child: David Meece- I sang this song in High School and have loved it ever since
9. Little Drummer Boy: Jars of Clay- "I played my drum for him....I played my best for him...then he smiled at me"
10. Carol of the Bells- Afer singing it for Three years straight, I was kinda sick of it, but I love it again
11. Sleigh Ride-Boston Pops- Another fun one for the Holidays
12. Jesus is the Reason for the Season: Kirk Franklin-Besides the message of the Song, you gotta love a song where you hear "I Love it when you call him your savior"
13. Christmas is all in the Heart: Steven Curtis Chapman- A beautiful stripped down melody about not getting caught up in the hustle and bustle and remembering what really matters
14. Sleigh Ride-TLC- Modern update to a classic
15. Let it Snow: Boyz II Men:- Love these guys, love this song
16. Last Christmas: Wham/Cheetah Girls-Ok, here is where I probably lost about 80% of the people I tagged on this note. Yes it's cheesy, yes it's George Michael (and the cheetah girls respectively), but come on, you know you sing along to it in the car.
17. Go Tell it on the Mountain: Mahalia Jackson- Mahalia, 'nough said!
18. Do they Know it's Christmas: Band Aid-Helps me to remember those less fortunate during the holidays.
19. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays: NSYNC- And with this, who ever I didn't lose for "Last Christmas", I lost here. It's a fun song though, very cute
20. All I Want for Christmas is You: Mariah Carey-Good Christmas Fun
21. Wonderful Christmas Time: Paul McCartney-Fun holiday song
22. The Christmas Song: Nat King Cole- No Explanation Necessary
23. "O Come All Ye Faithful"
24. "Joy to the World"
25. "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
26. When Love Came Down: Point of Grace