Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Luciano Pavarotti or Cher?

Who would you rather hear sing “O Holy Night”? Since I'm a traditionalist, it's not hard to figure out who I'd choose. Of all the sounds of Christmas, this carol is my favorite. Not only is it beautiful melodically, but it reminds me of my father, who loved it too. Whenever I hear it, my thoughts return to Glenwood Road in Brooklyn, to Christmas Eve, to putting up the tree, to Midnight Mass on a cold, crisp night.

Nowadays, every performer worth his or her place on Entertainment Tonight records a Christmas album. But there are those of us who still prefer Bing Crosby's, Johnny Mathis’, Nat King Cole’s or Perry Como’s renditions of Christmas songs. The very first album I ever received was Bing Crosby’s on which he sang “White Christmas.” (I kept it until this past July when I moved back to New Jersey and had to depart with many things that connected me to the past.) [Photo]I still get teary-eyed when I hear “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Though it was written for those men and women serving in the Armed Forces during World War II, it is equally poignant today as a reminder of all those who serve.

I wasn't prepared for the modernization of the traditional carols and holiday songs until one night during the old Sonny and Cher Show. Cher appeared as the strains of "O Holy Night" began. A few moments later I cringed as she belted out this beautiful carol in typical Cher style. From then on, I was forced to accept the fact that nothing stays the same – not even Christmas carols. Fortunately, PBS occasionally airs reruns of Luciano Pavarotti singing his glorious version.

So when my granddaughter asks for a Christmas CD by the Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus, I shudder. But I oblige.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Labels: Christmas carols

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