Sorry for being so absent lately. Not that there’s not alot of music thoughts going through my head, it’s just that something has to give, sometime. With work, hauling down the decorations, decorating, gift searching, gift buying, gift wrapping, cleaning, cooking, college searching, and the various asundry tasks on my To Do list, that there is no “free time” to write the type of meaningful posts that I like to do. And, after all, I can’t give up “The Midgets” on Monday night or Biggest Loser on Tuesday or the host of mindless crap (a quote from my husband) that I consider valued entertainment after 5 p.m. Truth is, after a long day, all I want is mindless crap, but that’s another topic for another day.
While I’ve been busy, I haven’t been void of music and of course my FAVORITE genre of Christmas music. We officially kicked off the Holiday season with some festive tunes on our drive back to Alabama from Louisiana after Thanksgiving and each day, I’ve been sampling my vast Christmas collection and compiling my list for the 2nd Annual Music Maven Christmas Playlist. Be on the lookout over the next week or so for that compilation of Christmas goodness.
I’ve always LOVED Stevie Wonder’s Christmas music, particularly What Christmas Means to Me. It just gets me in the right Christmas spirit and is such a happy song. And, the other night, I was watching the movie This Christmas and heard an old familiar Wonder song that I hadn’t thought of in a long, long time.
The WONDERfulness of Twinkle, Twinkle is the fact that just like the Christmas season it’s joyful, melancoly, introspective and warm….just one of the great tunes of Stevie’s enduring Christmas repetoire.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Me is one of those soulful songs of the period when a plethora of non-traditional Christmas music was introduced, capturing the spirit of Christmas in new ways. In 1967, Little Stevie Wonder having just dropped the “Little” and fresh off of hits like FingerTips, Uptight (It’s Alright), A Place in the Sun and For Once in My Life, Wonder released an epic Christmas compilation, Someday at Christmas and Twinkle, Twinkle was one of the hidden gems on this wonderful collection of the man entering his heyday.
Someday at Christmas is a mix of traditional and non-traditional Christmas songs and was released right after Thanksgiving in ’67 and was, no doubt, well-received. However, I don’t recall hearing much of Stevie’s Christmas music until I was an adult and largely through movie soundtracks. That’s how I got turned on to What Christmas Means to Me, the anchor song on Someday at Christmas.
This song always puts me in such a festive mood. The kind of Risky Business, Tom Cruise in tighty whities, sock sliding across the floor in sunglasses, strummin’ air guitar kind of mood. It is one of my absolute favorite Christmas PARTY songs.
But, Someday at Christmas has a little something for everyone and is a superbly well-rounded record, particularly for a specialty CD. But then, it IS Stevie Wonder, after all. A Warm Little Home on the Hill and Bedtime for Toys bring a sweetness and longing for family, home and hearth. A new find that I am particularly enjoying this year is The Day That Love Began, which is a combination of doo-wop, Motown, and classic Wonder:
I like that one almost as much as the inspiring, soulful One Little Christmas Tree. (NOTE: The video for One Little Christmas Tree was pulled off of YouTube, so the others may vanish, as well…another subject for another post.)
Of course, Stevie doesn’t stray too far away from the standards with traditional takes on The Christmas Song, Silver Bells, Ave Maria, and The Little Drummer Boy…all of which are superbly sublime.
If you’re looking to expand your Christmas collection, Stevie Wonder’s Someday at Christmas CD is a “must have”. Unfortunately, the original album/compilation is no longer available, but fear not…all songs from this CD, plus a couple more are available on iTunes and Amazon via 20th Century Masters under The Christmas Collection: Stevie Wonder.
Click here to order from iTunes.
Many times, when I’m doing research for these posts, I find unanticipated nuggets. This time, I found a wonderful cover of Someday at Christmas, by a very talented young man named Justin Bieber:
Just goes to show that good music endures. BTW, Stevie Wonder re-released For Once in My Life as a single this past Monday…40 years after original release.
Everything old is new again.