Alphathon: Meat? What’s that? KIDDING!

There are people in this world who like to tell others “I’m a vegetarian” and brag/complain/rant about how bad meat is for a person and the like. It’s almost bad to admit you like meat in some ways. I mean, people accept that others eat meat, but no one ever seems to admit to loving it more than anything else.

I wonder why that is.

I am, as I often tell people, a meat eater.

I’m a carnivore (well maybe I’m an omnivore, but I’d be happy being a carnivore). I believe I was given certain types of teeth in order to eat meat. I love meat and I’ll never stop eating it.

So move over vegetarians, I’m a meat eater and like you, I’m proud to admit to my dietary needs. No ever puts that on a dietary requirements sheet though, do they?!

However, saying that I love meat, I do have my limites.

I love chicken, I like beef, I’m okay with a bit of lamb and I really do quite like bacon and sausages.

Put a duck or rabbit in front of me and I’ll walk out.

Send veal my way and I’ll literally want to be sick.

I guess, the way I see it, I like “standard” meat and I’m more than happy to munch on it.

Sooo…chicken tonight anyone?

Advent: December 14th, 15th and 16th

I’ve had a busy couple of days and now I’m ill so I’ll just link up the last two days which I posted on LiveJournal (I actually get comments there so it seemed more important to post).

December 14th – Silent Night

December 15th – Modern Christmas Songs by female artists

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas has quite a tale to tell and I’m both excited and a little disappointed to tell it to you. The version we all know and love is not the original, but I think the original version doesn’t exist as a song, from what I understand.

It was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane for the musical Meet Me in St Louis and was sung by Judy Garland. The original lyrics were considered too depressing by the main cast and director and were changed. Notably this verse was amended:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last,
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, pop that champagne cork,
Next year we will all be living in New York.

The video for Judy Garland’s version wouldn’t allow me to embed it, so here’s a link http://youtu.be/jNAyZNzLCuQ

The one everyone is bound to recognise is by Frank Sinatra and was a modified version which has become more popular than the original. It is considered the third most popular Christmas song by some.

Here’s Frank!

A version by James Taylor which I rather enjoyed.

There’s quite a few other versions out there, here’s just a few.

Katie Melua http://youtu.be/VxhS1gYpsxA

I’m not a big fan of Coldplay so I was surprised to actually enjoy this version, I didn’t love it, but it was pleasant enough. http://youtu.be/sMF8KZ5Woyw

A heavier version by John Sloman, though for the most part it’s not too different to other versions. http://youtu.be/Tdj7dPZLeJ8

Beres Hammond’s version which I’m not very sure about, not sure it really works, but it’s worth a listen…maybe… http://youtu.be/j14dy3lmT8o

Advent: December 12th – Santas Claus Is Coming To Town

Wow. This is the first advent song I have written about that has stunned me with the number of artists who have covered it. The list is rather extensive and includes (at least) four different languages, one parody and many, many names you will all know!

Naturally, Bing Crosby has sung a version, as has Dean Martin. Then we have versions by Hilary Duff, Destiny’s Child, Westlife and Miley Cyrus.

The song was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie and it was first heard on radio in 1934.

The versions I’d like to share with you today are from some old and new stars who are famous (or perhaps infamous?).

The version I seem to know the best is by Jackson 5.

Move over Michael, if you want a more modern take on the traditional song, look no further than the most recent young star, Justin Bieber.

And I can’t help but end on a version in a different language, Angelica Maria’s Spanish rendition.

Advent: December 11th – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; everywhere you go…well, now that we’re eleven days into the advent, I think this song is rather fitting. On December 1st only some people decide to put up decorations and start celebrating the holiday season, whilst others wait ‘til closer to the big day itself to get festive.

Which way do you do it?

My family have always waited until closer to Christmas Day, mostly because we buy a fresh Christmas tree (and these days lots of people have plastic ones, at least in the UK) and we don’t want it to die off before Christmas, so we buy it roughly two weeks before the day. Today we took a trip to town where we saw a very festive looking centre – we have a Christmas market this weekend and next so it was rather wonderful.

Onwards to the song, It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas (as it was originally known) was written in 1951 by Meredith Williams. Unlike other songs on the advent, there’s not much background to the song so it sounds like it’s just an older classic that has become a firm favourite. As usual, many artists have covered the song, so I’ve brought you a mixture from Bing Crosby to a guy on youtube.

Bing Crosby

Johnny Mathis

An amazing version, sung by someone most people won’t have even heard of, Brad Doggett.

If you feel like a bit of Michael Bublé, here he is http://youtu.be/EPFPVd3L3Lc

Advent: December 10th – O Tannenbaum

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum, Wie treu sind deine Blätter!

No, I don’t know German. I do, however, know that the Christmas song, Oh Christmas Tree, is actually of German origin. When I first searched Google, instead of finding a Wikipedia entry for Oh Christmas Tree, I found one for O Tannenbaum.

The song was written in 1842, though the lyrics are assumed to date back further to as early as 1550.

Similar to many other Christmas songs there have been many covers of Oh Christmas Tree, from Tony Bennett and Aretha Franklin to Alvin and the Chipmunks and They Might Be Giants, who released a record included a version of O Tannenbaum.

Shall we begin?

Which better version to start with than the original (though it’s not the first ever recording of the song), here is O Tannenbaum.


If you want to hear another version of O Tannenbaum (though it’s also in English!), here’s Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti’s version http://youtu.be/IrFqDzPPGE8

To balance things out a little, we have Boney M.

Finally, to top it off, is the metal version. I’m intrigued by how different it sounds, so I hope you enjoy it too.

Advent: December 9th – The Little Drummer Boy

Carol of the Drum was first published by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941 and was based upon a traditional Czech carol, which has never been identified. It wasn’t until 1957 when Harry Simeone retitled it The Little Drummer Boy.

Over the years there have been, like with other Christmas songs, multiple covers by many different artists, some of which are more known than others. There is a customary cover by Bing Crosby as well as versions by The Supremes, New Kids on the Block and even The Wiggles.

The three versions I’d like to share with you today are three rather different styles. I was going to share the traditional song, but I’m sure you all know what to expect from that.

Sean Quigley

Jars of Clay

Metal Xmas (warning: an annotation on the video has swearing in it)