Not much to report on the goings-on of Merriman Park. Still anxiously awaiting a special delivery or two.
Oh, my long-awaited flooring finally arrived...but as much as I thought it would be real wood --it wasn't. I guess the price should have tipped me off. But what about truth in advertising? Whatever, --Merry Christmas. Chalk it it up to caveat emptor --let the buyer beware!
Speaking of Christmas...there was a time, in the long ago, ye-olde, distant past, when holiday music served as a tonic to my soul. But after toiling in the glamorous, glitter-filled world of retail display for most of my adult life, I can honestly say that most Christmas music now sounds like fingernails scratched across chalkboard. There are, however, a few notable exceptions. And as my Holiday Gift to you, Dear Reader, I offer the following, my personal holiday favorites:
Love, You Didn't Do Right by Me, by Rosemary Cloony. George's aunt was a fabulous chanteuse who only improved with age. Here, a decidedly young-ish Rosemary belts her (broken) heart out. Though this is not exactly a "Christmas Carol" in the traditional sense it is from the movie White Christmas, and it does contain the lyrics: "To send me a Joe, who had Winter and snow in his heart, wasn't smart..." so it makes the list. The gown, the gloves, the back-up dancers, the stylized choreography, all conspire to create a moment of pure Hollywood, holiday magic.
There's Always Tomorrow, from the 1960's Christmas classic, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This animated gem from my childhood always aired on television right around the first of December and was nearly as eagerly anticipated as Christmas Eve, itself. This song, again not strictly a Christmas carol per se, but one of my holiday favorites, nevertheless.
I absolutely cringe whenever I hear the ubiquitous, over-played and decidedly played-out carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, but this video version, The Twelve Gays of Christmas, given a well-needed injection of punk rock vigor and a revamp from some highly-talented male dancers, never fails to slap a holiday smile on my somewhat jaded, (but still relatively youthful-looking, even in absence of major-cosmetic-surgery) face.
Christmas would not be complete without a view of this John Waters classic from the cult hit, Female Trouble. Silent Night was once a holiday fave carol of mine, (until the millionth hearing)...now whenever I hear it I long for the abridged version sung here....in this clip, Dawn Davenport, desperately wanting a new pair of 'cha-cha heels' for Christmas, has a little holiday melt-down. Ah, the true meaning of Christmas, distilled down to a two-minute clip, wrapped up with a big, red bow and presented, dear Reader, as my special gift to you. Enjoy!
Christmas without Dolly Parton would indeed be a rather dismal prospect! This song, Hard Candy Christmas from the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas always brings a little tear to my eye. (Perhaps it's the 1980's hair-dos)? Or maybe it's just a great, sentimental song from one of my favorite Country-Western divas!
Speaking of tears to the eye and continuing the Country-Western theme, I give you this heart-warming piece from Jim Reeves, A Memory of an Old Christmas Card. I simply adore this song, not only because you don't hear it every day at the Mall, but especially for the faux-sincere spoken passage at the middle: (1:35) "why, I know you must have looked through THOUSANDS of cards to find that wonderful 'po-em,' that still brings a tear to my eye."
Another, 'real' Christmas Carol! Fortunately, this festive little number, performed by The King's Singers and Dame Kiri Te Kanewa, will never make it to the Mall's playlist. Therefore, it makes mine. Plus, it features a harpsichord, which is forever A-OK by me!
My personal fave. When I first saw the movie Chitty, Chitty, Bang! Bang! in the theater as a very small, tow-headed youth, I instantly glommed on to this delightful scene, featuring Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes) as a clockwork doll. Oh, the countless hours later spent in front of the looking-glass, in a sad attempt to recreate the magic! Again, not specifically a holiday song, yet the toy theme allows me to put it on my Christmas list.
To me, Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without copious amounts of --well,
Speaking of over-indulging, this is what Christmas is all about --a well-choreographed, boozy shin-dig! Poor Judy Garland, mixing up reindeer with rainbows, and what was that Santa had in his sleigh? And Mel Torme all trying to keep the well-lubricated holiday ship from altogether sinking... Christmas never looked so messy --or so much fun!
Last but certainly not least, OK, admittedly not a Christmas song in the traditional sense, The Morning After by Maureen McGovern from the sensational, monster-hit-movie, The Poseidon Adventure (the original, 1970's version, not the deplorable, more recent remake) does take place on New Year's Eve, and does feature an up-side- down Christmas tree (which I have gotten plenty of mileage from), putting it squarely within my holiday-song criteria. 'Disaster movies' were la hauteur de la mode as I was growing up and this campy, schlock-fest was, arguably, the genre's crowning jewel! I will sit through this movie every time it shows up on cable if only to see Shelly Winters' belly-flop and subsequent death-scene. The aforementioned belly-flop is featured in this clip, but alas, not the must-see, heart-wrenching, death-scene dialog: ("You see, Manny, in the water, I'm really ...a skinny lady!......Ach!...Ach! ...'' [Dies. Scene].
I hope you enjoyed this sad, little tour through my personal, holiday favorites --what, pray, tell, are yours? Undoubtedly, I will have something more Merriman Park -related things to post in the near future. Til then, I wish you, dear Readers, and yours, a happy Holiday Season!