In the midst of the horror that would later be known as World War I, Christmas saw a series of unofficial truces between British and German forces. That's the subject of this song by John McCutcheon. The video is wonderful, with documentation of the event in photos. Do listen to/watch the whole thing--it's worth it.
My brother-in-law Bob brought over the Stan Rogers CD "From Coffee House to Concert Hall" and announced, "He wrote a song about me!" When I heard the song I couldn't stop laughing. Bob is known for waiting till the last minute--I mean REALLY the last minute--to get his shopping and wrapping done.
I would venture to say that he's got lots of comapny.
"At last I'm ready for Christmas--with nearly two hours to go!" A wonderfully human and humorous song--hope you enjoy.
I just love this arrangement of "Good King Wenceslas," which is already one of my favorite Christmas carols. The tune is that of a spring carol from the 13th century, a carol that was probably a lot more carnal than its 16th century version and a long way distant from what eventually became the 1853 carol about a king (actually a duke) who braves the wind and cold to bring alms to a poor man. His page wants to give up, but the saint's footprints contain warmth, and by walking in those footprints, the page is able to continue. Forthwith, the Roches' version:
While I'm definitely secular, I've always loved this song. But I especially love Tracy Chapman's version. As opposed to the near-histrionic renditions one sometimes hears, this one is understated and soulful (if a secularist may use that word).
Of course I've always said that Chapman singing the phone book would probably raise the hairs on the back of my neck ...
This song has become somewhat controversial, with many people arguing that it's a song about date rape, or is at least coercive and rapey (see here, for example). According to Wikipedia, the conversation that the song consists of is marked in the score by the notations "mouse" and "wolf," corresponding, of course to "woman" and "man." That sure does look like prey and predator. The song has been done with the roles reversed, by Betty Garrat and Red Skelton (you have to get through the Esther Williams/Ricardo Montalban video before Betty and Red come on) and it's been performed on Glee by two men. Still, it's inarguable that the song was intended to be sung, and is almost always sung, by mouse/woman and wolf/man.
It's true that the man is very persistent. And I'd be willing to go as far as saying that it's this kind of thing that contributes to the idea that when a woman says no, she doesn't really mean no--she just needs to be talked into whatever the man wants of her. Also, the line "What's the sense in hurting my pride?" (wolf) makes me absolutely cringe.
And yet. There are lines in the song that indicate that the female half of the duo isn't all that unwilling to stay: "maybe just a half a drink more," "maybe just a cigarette more," "I ought to say no" (notice that "ought"), "at least I'm gonna say that I tried," etc. A lot depends on just who performs the song: much can be conveyed by the particular singer.
Anyway, feminist though I am, I like this laid-back version by Norah Jones and Willie Nelson.