Sunday, December 27, 2009

top ten songs about New Year

Being Scottish, New Year's Eve, which we call Hogmanay, is important, in that it's been celebrated for centuries and so is one of Britain's venerable traditions that are messed with at one's own risk. I would like to present a top 10 of songs associated with the New Year.

As you can see from Pam's comment at the bottom, it never occurred to me to think that people with slower connections than me might have to wait for all ten videos to load, so I initially provided the direct link to the video she wanted on YouTube, but on second thoughts have provided links to them all.

10 - The art of falling over on Hogmanay has been perfected over centuries if not millenia, but not to look beyond the gentle haze would be a mistake because, according to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, feasclick to see 'Mary did you know' on Revd Bosco Peters' Liturgy site ts of the Blessed Virgin have tended to congregate in January, which is possibly why January 1 is now allocated to Mary, Mother of God. So I would like to allocate this slot to a song called Mary Did You Know, with sections from Jesus of Nazareth, a film made by Franco Zefirelli and produced by Lew Grade, both of whom had promised their friend Pope Paul VI that they would make a life of Christ; the video was posted by Revd Bosco Peters (above). The scene of her joy and misery is set in 1954's The Lord by Romano Guardini, friend and mentor of Josef Ratzinger, the present Pope:
The Lord: click r=to read reviewsEverything that affected Jesus affected his mother, yet no intimate understanding existed between them. His life was hers, yet constantly escaped her. Scripture puts it clearly: he is "the Holy One" promised by the angel, a title full of the mystery and remoteness of God. Mary gave that holy burden everything: heart, honour, flesh and blood, all the wonderful strength of her love. In the beginning she had contained it, but soon it outgrew her, mounting steadily higher and higher to the world of the divine beyond her reach.

9 - Here's one by Abba; I'd be in trouble with Maxima if I didn't include this, as the Nordic quartet is her favourite outfit.

8 - Here's a new year's song by Northumberland (Geordie) band the Unthanks, about the annual celebration in the region's Allendale when "guisers", people celebrating the new year, carry flaming tar barrels around the town square on their head.

7 - Buon Anno, Buona fortuna: Italian musician wishes us Happy New Year and good luck.

6 - Here's a tune that we're going to meet later: Auld Lang Syne, with words by Robert Burns but a melody that he almost certainly didn't write, but which has become inseperable from the song. I think Rabbie would approve. (For Pam and others who have to wait for long periods for a pageful of videos to load, here's the link to this video directly at YouTube:

5 - Slade, one of my favourite bands, released this at the end of December 1984; althought they're from Birmingham, they made use of London Cockney rhyming slang when singing about being "Brahms and Liszt on the floor". Unfortunately, it's all too true of new years' parties.

4 - I was disappointed to find that I couldn't find a video of Nancy Wilson singing her hit What are you doing New Year's Eve, but delighted to find this young lady singing the standard with the emotional force of the original. I don't know her name, but hope that she goes far.

3 - There's an English custom of "wassailing" at New Year: it derives from the Anglo-Saxon phrase "waes hael", which means "good health" in the sense of "be whole". It occurs to me that none of us are whole, but an invitation to waes hael might remind us to look upstairs and reflect on that which might make us whole. Here's Kate Rusby with Here we come a Wassailing.

2 - It's just another New Year's Eve: Barry Manilow's song for everybody who wishes the season was over quickly is set here to clips from the proto-Superman series Smallville. And it works.

1 - I said we'd meet this tune again! It was vaguely amusing to see people who hadn't darkened a church's doorstep for decades declaim Sir Cliff Richard's masterwork as a foul marriage of the world's best-known drinking song with a prayer. My answer, as a Christian, is: God bless you, Cliff! If people watching this video decide to explore Christianity then they will; and if they don't, they won't. But if you think Christianity is just about having nice thoughts, then I recommend you watch the video, which shows the grim realities that Christians deal with.

I hope you have a happy new year.

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  1. Have a wonderful new year!

    Perhaps you should post a link to last year's singing of Auld Lang Syne? My family and I waited the 20-30 minutes it took for dial-up access to download the video and watched/listened to it - we appreciated it!

  2. Hi Pam, have done so - it never occurred to me to think that if you have dial-up access you'd have to wait for all ten videos to load!

  3. Never liked the song, "Mary did You Know", with the line stating that Jesus "would save you[Mary herself]", as Mary was saved from original sin, and maintained her sin free life. Her salvation came from the Holy Spirit, and not from the dying and resurection of her Son.
    The Slade video was fun.. SOOO 80's!

  4. Thanks for pointing that out; I hadn't picked that line out - it's the wee hours now, but I'll have a think about editing the post tomorrow.


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