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HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER)

Posted by Billyjam, December 23, 2007 09:32am | Post a Comment





War Is Over...if you want it
"War is over!" If only those three simple words were true. If only this current senseless war in Iraq, and the pending one in Iran  along with every other (inevitable) future war between nations was over and done with. If only there truly could be peace on earth forever. And why is this such a far-fetched idea? Why, in this current so-called progressive, high-technology, information age, where we should have learned long ago from history's mistakes (i.e., war is bad because war kills humans), are we still waging wars on one another?

The answer, I believe, lies in John Lennon's lyrics to this timeless anti-war song: war is over if you want it and I strongly believe that the reason we still have wars is because voters (especially in the USA) don't care enough to keep fighting for peace and not allowing administration after administration to trick us into thinking mass murder is justified because it is done in the name of fighting for our freedom. If we really, really wanted the war to bewar is over john lennon yoko ono over, it could be.

The above video collage set to John Lennon and Yoko Ono/The Plastic Ono Band's classic Happy Xmas (War Is Over) is put together by YouTuber Sakitamasao. The song itself was recorded 36 years ago at the Record Plant Studios in New York City with the help of producer Phil Spector. The children singing in the background, who really add to the overall beauty and power of this song and who were fully credited on the single's sleeve and even pictured on its cover (above), were from the Harlem Community Choir and would all be in their forties now, having lived through many more US wars since the Vietnam War -- which was what the song was recorded in protest of at its recording back in November, 1971. 

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christmas records, putting the "x" back in xmas

Posted by Whitmore, December 22, 2007 10:21am | Post a Comment

The legendary Mae West recorded “Put the Loot in the Boot Santa” in 1966, from her album of parodies, double entendres, and burlesque songs: Wild Christmas, (which also includes the classic "Santa, Come Up and See Me Sometime”).  The silver screens greatest vixen was still, even then, tantalizing in her steamy send-ups. Though in her 70’s, she was every bit the notorious raconteur and diva-risqué she was in her heyday of the 1930’s and 40’s, and here she is a quarter of a century later, putting the ‘x’ back in xmas. The flip side of this single is West’s cover of Lennon/McCartney’sWith Love from Me to You” filled with more sexual overtones than any Beatle song you will ever likely hear in this life. As Mae West, the original sex kitten once said, "My left leg is Christmas and my right leg is New Year's. Why don't you visit me between the holidays?"

christmas records and christmas cheer

Posted by Whitmore, December 21, 2007 02:57pm | Post a Comment


Lorne Green
’s greatest claim to fame is starring in the long running western Bonanza, playing the role of the family patriarch Ben Cartwright and being the first man most people ever saw in color on television. But Green’s oddest credit is that he had a number one single in the middle of the English Invasion in 1964: his talking ballad “Ringo”, (which ironically is not about the Beatle, but a Western gunslinger: Johnny Ringo).

This 7 inch record, “Must be Santa,” is his contribution to the subgenre of “annoying kids singing Christmas songs”, (of which I have somehow become a leading collector!?!), featuring some fine shrill warbling of the Jimmy Joyce Children’s Choir. Oddly enough the flip side, “One Solitary Life”, is the polar opposite; a morose, bleak, 2000 year old tale of loneliness, social deprivation and the ultimate execution of a doomed unnamed man (hint, hint) which is probably a more telling song of Christmas than we’d like to acknowledge. Loren Green really plays the fate card well.  Then again, years before Bonanza, Lorne Green was known to his fellow Canadian citizens as "The Voice of Doom", a nickname he earned as a radio announcer for CBC radio from 1939 to 1942, where his distinctive baritone painted the grim news of World War II in deep somber tones. Listening to such a desolate voice, especially on a Christmas record, is just a plain and simple holiday cheer killer …  that miserable tingling in your soul, its not unlike that vacant stare when you’re trying to find parking at the Glendale Galleria the weekend before Christmas, and you have an exhausted, yet frantic, raging, sugar-doped child in the back seat screaming that he wants to see Santa -NOW!- meanwhile babbling on a badly deteriorating cell phone connection is your employer going on about something trivial and asinine, and while looking at that pink parking ticket still stuck under the windshield wiper blades from the last failed attempt at shopping, you rear-end a new Lexus ...  

christmas records, hollywood icon style

Posted by Whitmore, December 20, 2007 09:11pm | Post a Comment


Celebrities, actors, politicians, actually any one with an ounce of fame and without an ounce of shame seem to always want to get into the glamorous record business. That is as true today as it has been for many, many a decade. And one of the simplest ways to back into a recording career is to release a Christmas record, either novelty or a heartfelt, weepy ditty. But I have to say it’s very odd when a cultural icon steps into these murky waters.

When Cary Grant recorded “Christmas Lullaby” in 1967 it was just a year after he retired from the movie industry, leaving as one of the most popular and respected actors of all time. Obviously, Grant learned a few things from his occasional, and unintentionally amusing, stabs at singing on screen. Check-out his performance as the Mock Turtle in the 1933 Alice in Wonderland, or his attempt with a ballad in Kiss and Make Up, because in 1967 Grant mostly recites “Christmas Lullaby” in that perfectly invented accent of his. He gently whispers to his sleeping daughter the joys she’ll find on Christmas morning, about the time Grant promises that angels will always be there to watch over and bless her he breaks into song … well sort of … I guess it was easier for the former Archie Leach to invent the actor we know as Cary Grant then it is for Cary Grant to invent a singer. But who cares, it’s still Cary Grant! Like Audrey Hepburn’s line in Charade whenshe asks and purrs, "Do you know what's wrong with you?  Nothing." 

Happy Yule - Turns Out Jesus Isn't the Reason For the Season

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 16, 2007 01:08am | Post a Comment
   

Amongst the Sami, midwinter was an occasion for honoring the goddess Beiwe, who was associated with the sun, fertility and sanity. She reportedly traversed the sky in a craft made of reindeer bones accompanied by her daughter, Beiwe-Neia. Beiwe's followers sacrificed white female animals and smeared their doorposts with butter for Beiwe to munch on during her journey.


Quit fighting, you! At least you'll be out of this blasted cold soon! Plus, I've still got to smear some butter.

Amongst the Germanic peoples to their south, Juletid referred to their take on midwinter festivities. By the late Viking Age the word "Yule" had come to refer to a pan-European bricolage of midwinter observances.


Real Vikings don't use horns (on their helmets)

Yule logs were lit to honor Thor. The feasting would continue until the fires had burned out. Although
in 960, Norwegian King Håkon signed into law that Jul (Yule) was to be moved from the solstice to December 25, to align it with Jesus' birthday party; Icelanders continued to keep it real until the Reformation reached them and ended the fun.

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