Blog Archives

Have A Happy Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated in Ireland, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It falls on December 26th, which is also St. Stephen’s Day.

St. Stephen was a little known saint who achieved eternal fame by being the first Christian to be martyred for his faith, and he met his death by stoning.

Boxing Day is so called because on this day it was the customary for tradesmen to collect their Christmas boxes or gifts in return for good service throughout the year. Also, it included giving money and other gifts to charitable institutions, and the needy.

The holiday may date from as early as the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is not known. It may have begun with the Lords and Ladies of England, who gave Christmas boxes/gifts to their servants on December 26, or maybe by priests, who opened the church’s alms (charity boxes), and distributed the contents to the poor and needy.

In Ireland, this day has become part of the celebrations, of being with family.

A day to visit other relations, and to have a rest from the day before, to play fun games. Some families, buy a new game each year, but still bring out the old favourites :-)

For some it is good to have the 2 days, as on one of the days you can visit with your parents, and the other day your inlaws :-)

St Stephen is the patron saint of horses, so Boxing Day became associated with horse-racing and hunting. Other sports are also held on this day like football (soccer to Yanks) and rugby.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day is the Christmas season for those in Ireland.


It is a good day, to change the pace, have a more relaxing day, especially for the “cooks” in the family. Also a day to have something different to eat, some people have cold ham as the main dish to a cold buffet type meal. This way, putting together a buffet of cold foods, everyone can just help themselves to what they want, and how much they want. Mainly it is a day we try not to cook, as the day before is always very busy in the kitchen, and it is nice not to expect the lady of the house to be in the kitchen on this second day of Christmas, and to spend more time with family and friends.

Have a Happy Boxing Day!!!

The Bells of Dublin is an album of Christmas songs and traditional carols by the Irish band The Chieftains. The album features guest performances by various artists, including Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Marianne Faithfull, Nanci Griffith, Rickie Lee Jones and the actor Burgess Meredith.

Writing in the album’s liner notes, Paddy Moloney said, “These recording sessions hold special memories for The Chieftains and myself, and bring together all the colours of this festive season.”



Christmas Day Music Byte

Like yesterday, there will be no snarky post on this wonderful day. We hope that all of you have a warm and comforting Christmas Day. See you all very soon.

“Merry Christmas, Darling” by The Carpenters was written by Richard Carpenter & Frank Pooler and originally recorded in 1970. At the time, it was only available on a 7″ single from A&M Records (1236) and later in 1974 reissued as A&M 1648 and in 1977 as A&M 1991. The single went to number one on Billboard’s Christmas singles chart in 1970, and did again in 1971 and 1973.

In 1978, The Carpenters issued their Christmas Portrait album, which contained a new remix of “Merry Christmas Darling”. However, the single versions of “Merry Christmas Darling” were of the original 1970 mix, and none of the singles had the newer 1978 mix. The original mix seems to be heard much more frequently these days. The major difference between it and the newer version is a newly recorded 1978 vocal by Karen Carpenter. Richard Carpenter himself calls the original recording one of his sister’s very best. The song has also been covered by Kimberley Locke, Vanessa L. Williams, and most recently Kyle Vincent.

Billboard magazine did not display Christmas singles on the Hot 100 in 1970. This song just missed the top 40 in Cash Box.

“Merry Christmas Darling” is the only Carpenters’ song that has been included on albums that feature songs by many different artists. i.e. Now That’s What I Call Christmas!. Every other Carpenters’ song can only be found on Carpenters’ albums.

Please enjoy this video clip of Karen Carpenter and her wonderfully comforting voice.

Christmas Eve Music Byte

There will be no snarky post today. We do not want to give any of you a reason not to be happy and content for the holiday. Please enjoy this music byte.

The Christmas Song”, commonly subtitled “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire“ or “Merry Christmas to You”, is a classic Christmas song written in 1944 by vocalist Mel Tormé and Bob Wells. According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer. In an effort to “stay cool by thinking cool,” the most-performed (according to BMI) Christmas song was born.

“I saw a spiral pad on his piano with four lines written in pencil,” Tormé recalled. “They started, ‘Chestnuts roasting … Jack Frost nipping … Yuletide carols … Folks dressed up like Eskimos.’ Bob (Wells, co-writer) didn’t think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics.”

The Nat King Cole Trio first recorded the song early in 1946. At Cole’s behest — and over the objections of his label, Capitol Records — a second recording was made the same year utilizing a small string section, this version becoming a massive hit on both the pop and R&B charts. Cole re-recorded the song in 1953, using the same arrangement with a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, and once more in 1961, in a stereophonic version with orchestra conducted by Ralph Carmichael. The latter recording is generally regarded as definitive and continues to receive considerable radio airplay each holiday season, while Cole’s original 1946 recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974. Mel Tormé himself eventually recorded his own versions in 1954 and again in 1965 and 1992.

Please enjoy tonight’s music byte and I sincerely hope that all of you have a loving and comforting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I would also like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. See you soon.

Festivus Night Music Byte

Christmas Wrapping” (sometimes misspelled as “Christmas Wrappings” ) is a Christmas song written by Chris Butler and recorded in 1981 by The Waitresses (best known for the song, “I Know What Boys like), featuring vocals by Patty Donahue. It was first released on the 1981 various artists holiday compilation album A Christmas Record on ZE Records. The group also included the track on their 1981 EP I Could Rule the World if I Could Only Get the Parts. It has since been included on numerous holiday compilation albums, including Now That’s What I Call Christmas!: The Signature Collection.

The song was written soon after the birth of rap music in that style, hence the word Wrapping in the title.

The song has had a huge following in the UK although it only reached number 41 in the charts at that time,being played on all the radio stations, both local and national. However in recent years due to it not having a promotional video it has not received as much airplay. The song also became a classic on the Canadian modern rock radio station CFNY-FM and is regularly played during the Christmas season.

The song is narrated from the point of view of a busy single woman who is adamant that she will try to sit-out the exhausting Christmas period, not participating in the traditional Christmas activities (except for making dinner, see below).

She reveals that, during the course of the year, she has attempted to meet up with a man she encountered in a ski shop the previous year. Despite the couple’s attempts to meet, a succession of mishaps conspires to keep them apart.

Finally on Christmas Eve, the protagonist (after stating that A&P provided her with “the world’s smallest turkey”), in her haste to prepare dinner, realizes that she forgot to purchase cranberries. She runs to a local convenience store, and ends up running into the man. In a wild coincidence, he, too, was making dinner and also forgot to buy cranberries. This coincidence hints that the narrator, and therefore the listener, shouldn’t completely abandon their faith in the magic of Christmas.

I have to admit that this is one of my favorite non-traditional Christmas songs.


Walking In A Palin Wonderland

The Twelve (OK, Seventeen) Days of Christmas Song Parodies continues…

We have two short but noteworthy comments to make today. The first is that the Republican Party has once again sunk to the deepest of Hell’s depths on this Holy week. Prior to the Senate’s vote on Monday to advance its version of the health care reform bill, Oklahoma’s Republican Senator (and gynecologist) Tom Coburn asked the American people to pray that someone would die. Here are his exact words,

What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight. That’s what they ought to pray

This type of hypocricy is typical for the Republicans. Here they are calling themselves the “pro-life” party while at the same time asking people to request that God kill somebody merely to prevent them from casting a vote in the Senate. The comment is particularly damning of Coburn, who as a physician, has taken a solemn oath to preserve lives. If God were to pay any attention to that monster, not only would at least one Senator lose his life but so would many of those presently uninsured sick persons who’s lives will be saved by health care reform. Merry Christmas to you too, Mr. Coburn.

Our second item of interest involves our favorite blog subject, Sarah Palin. The former ex-quitting governor of Alaska wrote in her ghostwritten memoir, Going Rogue:

In that first year, I was alerted to threats against Willow by students at her Juneau school, one particularly disturbing. Someone posted a note on an Internet site threatening to gang-rape her at school. I never felt safe for her after that. Later, the same thing happened to Bristol.

That was obviously an indefensible act of violence proposed against two of the governor’s daughters. Palin had every reason to fear for her daughters’ safety and to remove them from their schools if she found the threats to be credible. She also had an obligation to report the threats to the school administration and to local law enforcement agencies, if not to protect her own daughters, then to protect and warn the other students that remained in those schools. Problem is however, it does not appear that Sarah Palin reported the threats to anyone.

The JuneauEmpire.com reports that former Juneau School District Superintendent Peggy Cowan was superintendent during the period in question and said she never heard of such concerns. They also report that Juneau Police Chief Greg Browning similarly said his department has no record of ever being alerted to such threats. Finally, it was also reported that  the Alaska State Troopers provide a security detail for Palin, but trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said the first they heard about the allegation was from Palin’s book.

This raises the question, just what in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here? Did these threatened gang rapes ever really happen? If so, why did Palin fail to report such a serious situation to any of the proper authorities? If she failed to report the threats in an attempt to protect her daughters’ privacy, then why did she reveal the whole situation in her best selling book? Can anything that Sarah Palin says be believed?

Lastly, as any and all of you self-respecting Seinfeld fans out there already know, today is the holiday of FESTIVUS. You know, “Festivus for the rest of us”. So, without further adieu, Lynnrockets’ Blast-Off would like to wish all of you fellow Rockateers a Merry Festivus!

In honor of the troops, please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with today’s holiday song parody.

Winter Wonderland song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngcAuqshkqE

PALIN BLUNDERLAND

(sung to the Ray Conniff Singers version of “Winter Wonderland”)

Sarah P., are you listening?
Or are you at a Christening?
You are quite a sight
Your hair’s wrapped too tight
Living in a Palin blunderland

Quit your job on July third
You belong where you’re not heard
Go back to Hong Kong
Please take Todd along
Living in a Palin blunderland

You can even bring that “Plumber Joe”, man
He can fly the jet as you leave town

He’ll say, “You still married?”
You’ll say, “No, man!”
But you can have the job
When we touch ground

Later on, you’ll conspire,
To get Tina Fey fired
The price that you paid
To be renegade
Living in a Palin blunderland

Sarah P., are you listening?
Or are you at a Christening?
You are quite a sight
Your hair’s wrapped too tight
Living in a Palin blunderland

You have all the warmth of a fresh snowman
And all the smarts of a circus clown
You sold a book and made a lot of dough, man
It had no verbs but had a lot of nouns

You just love oil well drilling
And your polar bear killing
You frolic and play, the G.O.P. way
Living in a Palin blunderland

Tuesday Night Christmas Music Byte

Nut Rocker” was a single for American instrumental ensemble B. Bumble and the Stingers which went to number 1 in the UK singles chart in May 1962.

The recording was made by the house band of session musicians at Rendezvous Records in Los Angeles, including drummer Earl Palmer and guitarist René Hall, who had already had hits in the US charts with rocked-up versions of “In The Mood” (1959, credited to the Ernie Fields Orchestra); and “Bumble Boogie” (1961), which was credited to B. Bumble and the Stingers, produced by Kim Fowley, and featured pianist Al Hazan.

In 1962, Fowley secured the copyright to an arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s “March of the Wooden Soldiers” from his ballet The Nutcracker, and took this to local entrepreneur and pianist H. B. Barnum. Barnum recorded it under the name “Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks” on the small Del Rio label. However, when Rod Pierce of Rendezvous Records heard it, he convinced Fowley that his label could do a better version with their own band. A new recording was quickly arranged, but on the day of the recording, Freeman didn’t show, apparently due to heavy partying the night before. In his place, guitarist and arranger René Hall rushed pianist Al Hazan into the Rendezvous office, which was rigged up as an improvised studio. According to Hazan, “Rod decided to record the first take while I was still trying to practice the piece with the other musicians. Because I was so rushed to learn ‘Nut Rocker’, I was not happy at all with my performance on that first take. However, in spite of my asking Rod to let me do it over again, he said he liked it just fine the way it was.” Released as “Nut Rocker” in February 1962, the record went to # 23 in the US and # 1 in the UK.

The song is a fast, lively track that is purely instrumental and was the band’s biggest hit. It has been featured in many commercials, movies and television programmes such as Butcher Boy (1998), Big Momma’s House (2000) and ITV’s Heartbeat in 2006.

It was reissued in 1972 in the UK, and again made the charts (No. 20, week ending July 8 1972). It was also a live favourite when performed by prog-rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer – the main keyboard used on their version was not a piano but a Clavinet. In 2009 Trans-Siberian Orchestra released a version of Nut Rocker, featuring Greg Lake, on their album Night Castle.

“Nut Rocker”  became identified with the  NHL’s Boston Bruins ice hockey team as the intro song for telecast Bruins games for two decades. Ironically, tonight’s video-clip is of Emerson, Lake & Palmer performing “Nut Rocker” at the Montreal Forum, home of the Boston Bruins’ greatest rival, the Montreal Canadiens.


Sarah Palin: Liar, Liar Pants On Fire !!!

The Twelve (OK, Sixteen) Days of Christmas Song Parodies continues…

Everybody likes to win an award every once in awhile. Sarah Palin however may not feel the same way about her latest accomplishment. This week PolitiFact.com (the fact checking website of The St. Petersburg Times) awarded the former ex-quitting governor of Alaska’s “death panels” comment regarding the Democratic Party’s health care reform legislation to be the biggest political lie of 2009.

Sarah Palin made the claim on her Facebook page at the height of the debate over President Obama’s plans to reform the US health care system. She wrote,

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

PolitiFact.com reports,

Her assertion — that the government would set up boards to determine whether seniors and the disabled were worthy of care — spread through newscasts, talk shows, blogs and town hall meetings. Opponents of health care legislation said it revealed the real goals of the Democratic proposals. Advocates for health reform said it showed the depths to which their opponents would sink. Still others scratched their heads and said, “Death panels? Really?”

PolitiFact rated Palin’s statement Pants on Fire (its highest grade of dishonesty). In the weeks that followed, health care policy experts on both the right and the left said the euthanasia comparisons were inaccurate. Gail Wilensky, a health adviser to President George H.W. Bush, said the charge was untrue and upsetting. The website’s readers also  overwhelmingly supported the decision. Nearly 5,000 voted in a national poll to name the biggest lie, and 61 percent chose “death panels” from a field of eight finalists.

Democratic Congressman Edward Markey of Massachusetts may have summed up Palin and her Republican cohorts’ position regarding “death panels” the best. He said,

You know, GOP used to stand for Grand Old Party, Now it stands for Grandstand, Oppose, and Pretend. They grandstand with phony claims about nonexistent death panels. They oppose any real reform.

Any chance that Sarah Palin can repeat as the biggest liar of 2010? We consider her to be the odds on favorite.

In honor of the troops, please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune (if you are from Mars) and to have more fun singing along with today’s song parody.

Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pISgVQOj_QM

SARAH THE RED STATE BIMBO

(sung to the theme of “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”)

You know Paris and Lindsay and Charo and Britney
Nicole, Ivana and Jessica Simpson
But do you recall the most famous bimbo of all?

Sarah the Red State bimbo
Had a very strange hairstyle
And she had a way of speaking
That reminded one of Gomer Pyle

All of the other guv’nors
Used to laugh and call her names
Because her stupid glasses
Were all lens but had no frames

Then one balmy summer day
John McCain enquired
Sarah, you’re so “mavericky”
Won’t you please be my V.P.?

Then all the dumb red staters
Wondered who the hell was she
They never heard of Palin
The Alaskan hillbilly

Sarah the red state bimbo
Dressed like a flight attendant ‘ho
And she told lies so often
We could all watch her nose grow

All of the other bimbos
Used to laugh and call her names
They all knew Sarah Palin
Was a gal that had no brains

Then one balmy July day
They heard Sarah say,
“I won’t give up without a fight”,
“Unless I quit my job tonight”

Then how right-wingers loved her
As they shouted out with glee
“Sarah, the red state bimbo”
“you’ll go down in history”

Monday Night Christmas Music Byte

“Sleigh Ride” is a popular light orchestral piece composed by Leroy Anderson. The composer had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946; he finished the work in February 1948. Lyrics, about a person who would like to ride in a sleigh on a winter’s day with another person, were written by Mitchell Parish in 1950. The orchestral version was first recorded in 1949 by Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra. The song was a hit record on RCA Victor Red Seal 49-0515 (45 rpm) / 10-1484 (78 rpm), and has become the equivalent of a signature song for the orchestra. The 45 rpm version was originally issued on red vinyl. This original mono version has never been available on CD, although the later 1959 re-recording is available in stereo. The orchestra has also recorded the song with John Williams, their conductor from 1979 to 1995, and Keith Lockhart, their current conductor.

Although “Sleigh Ride” is often associated with Christmas, and often appears on Christmas compilation albums, the song’s lyrics never specifically mention any holiday or religion. In fact, the mention of pumpkin pie in the last verse might suggest an association with Thanksgiving rather than Christmas.

According to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers [ASCAP] review of Christmas music, “Sleigh Ride” consistently ranks in the top 10 list of most performed songs written by ASCAP members during the Christmas season worldwide. According to author Steve Metcalf in the book Leroy Anderson: A Bio-Bibliography [Praeger 2004], “Sleigh Ride”… has been performed and recorded by a wider array of musical artists than any other piece in the history of Western music.”

Please enjoy the original Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops‘ version of “Sleigh Ride” which happens to be my personal favorite traditional Christmas song.

Health Care Reform, Sarah Palin And The Girlie Republicans

The Twelve (OK, Fifteen) Days of Christmas Song Parodies continues…

Wow, the Sunday morning talking head programs revealed one thing for certain. On the eve of the Senate’s midnight vote on its watered down version of a health care reform bill, every single Republican has his/her panties in a bunch. Have you ever seen a bigger bunch of cry-babies in your life? They simply cannot handle the fact that the Senate Democrats will stick together with a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

Take a look at some of the outrageously ridiculous language used by Republicans on television yesterday. Senator Tom Coburn said, “This process is not legislation; this is corruption.” Failed Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said, “If the members of this Congress will not pay attention to the people who elected them, who hired them and who have the right to fire them, then the people in this country will remind them who they work for when they no longer get to work for them.” The craziest statement of all however, came from Senator Lindsey Graham who said,

’The Class Act’ that allows long term health care insurance to be subsidized by the government and offered by the government is a Ponzi scheme in the first order that Madoff would have been proud of. It’s still in the bill. Any democratic senator that votes for the bill is a coconspirator to one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in Washington.

You would think that these morons were not aware of every poll which suggests that a majority of Americans are in favor of health care reform.

In other news, wasn’t it a laugh riot when Sarah Palin mangled the English language and exposed her stupidity and lack of education yet again when she confused the words “ion” and “eon”? She is the gift that simply keeps on giving and right in time for Christmas also, too.

In honor of the troops, please remember to click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along to today’s holiday song parody.

Here Comes Santa Claus song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5-OC_5rksk

HERE COMES SARAH P.

(sung to the Christmas song “Here Comes Santa Claus”)

Here comes Sarah P., Here comes Sarah P.
Basking in her fame
No education, a fool without peer
Could she be more lame?
Sarah’s singing words so stinging
You can tell she’s not bright
She keeps squawking that she’s the player
That dominates the far right

Here comes Sarah P., Here comes Sarah P.
A “Calamity Jane”
A big windbag that’s filled with noise
Describes the Palin name
Simple language she does mangle
She never gets it quite right
So jump in bed and cover your head
Cuz Sarah P. comes tonight!

Here comes Sarah P., Here comes Sarah P.
She’s an unemployed dame
She doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor
She’ll fleece you just the same
Sarah P. never tends her children
And she thinks that’s alright
As long as her kids are not queer
Who cares where they sleep tonight!

Here comes Sarah P., Here comes Sarah P.
Playing Sarah P. games
When she misspeaks and then gets called out
It’s the media she blames
Sean Hannity she will call
She thinks he can make it right
But let’s give thanks to the Lord above
She’s not on Fox News tonight!

Sunday Night Christmas Music Byte

Father Christmas” is a 1977 single by English group The Kinks. While it failed to make the charts, it is popular even today, especially around Christmas time.

It ostensibly tells of a department store Santa Claus who is beaten up by a gang of poor kids who tell him to give them money instead of toys, as toys are impractical; and asks that the toys are given “to the little rich boys.” At one point, a child asks the narrator to give his/her father a job for Christmas. The song has been covered a number of times by bands including the Gigolo Aunts, Green Day, Warrant and Bowling For Soup. The track appeared on several commercials in the US for the 2006 film Unaccompanied Minors.

The track was included on the Arista compilation Come Dancing with The Kinks and is also available as a bonus track on the CD reissue of the Kinks’ 1978 album Misfits.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 111 other followers