Tag Archives: Music

My favorite Christmas Music

As I suffer through writer’s block (you may have noticed the lack of posts) I do so at least comforted by the joy that is Christmas music.  Now last year my closest friend The Snark Who Hunts Back did her own list of her favorite Christmas Music…and while I agree with most of it, I thought putting out my own version couldn’t hurt to get the creative juices moving.

If I had to give a very broad generalization I prefer the religious music to the newer secular music…but as you’ll see there are exceptions.

Special Mention: The Chaunukah Song–Adam Sandler

Why, because, like Christmas, it’s an American holiday…and it’s really fun.

#21 The 12.5 Days of Christmas–Straight No Chaser

It’s all the songs you love just shoved together with no rhyme or reason…(there are numerous versions of this out there as it lends itself to bizarre variation).

#20  One Toy Soldier –Enya

I have always found the story of the Nutcracker a little disturbed…okay a lot disturbed.  Rat Kings, and toy soldiers, and crazy uncles and sugar plum fairies.  Is it a Christmas story or an acid trip?  However this song, clearly tangentially inspired by that bizarre story, is enjoyable and brings a smile to my face every year.

#19 The Bells of St. Mary’s

This song, or the movie for that matter, don’t really have anything to do with Christmas…yet I only hear it at this time of the year, and I’ve just always held to the tradition of keeping it as a Christmas song. I find it very moving, more Andy Williams’ rendition than Crosby’s, but both touch my soul.

#18 Christmas Baby Please Come Home–U2 and Michel Buble

This is both a slightly depressing song, but it talks about everything that makes Christmas so wonderful so we tend to forget the actual sad story of the song.

#17 The Snow Came Down–Trans Siberian Orchestra

As with so many songs in the TransSiberian Orchestra’s christmas music, this song it tied into a much larger story told in through the whole album, but even if you’re not familiar with the larger story I find the last lines very powerful and symbolic of the power of this holiday:

And on this night of our salvation
Where dreams that have been lost
Can there be found
They walked away together
On that Christmas Eve
While all that night
All that night
The snow came down

#16 If Every Day Was Like Christmans–Elvis

I feel this way sometimes.

#15 The Spirit of Christmas Past–Enya

I find this song, though short on lyrics, endlessly hopeful.

#14 White is the Winter Night–Enya

And another song that lists all the wonderful things about Christmas.

#13 Silver Bells–Various

There are too many good recordings of this song so I just picked one. It’s interesting how much of Christmas music is spent focusing on all the things that are already around us. We can’t get enough of it. Even when we’re not seeing or smelling it ourselves we love to be reminded of all the beauty and joy around us.

#12 Christmas Cannon –TransSiberian Orchestra

Hand it to the Trans Siberian Orchestra to take a classic piece of baroque music like Pachabel’s Cannon in D and turn it into a Christmas Song.

#11 God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen–Various

The original is beautiful and who doesn’t love the Mannheim Steamroller version?

#10 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas–Judy Garland, Ingrid Michaelson

While I never cared for the movie it came from, this song wonderfully encapsulates all the hope and wonder we put into this holiday as every year we hope that “from now on all our troubles will be miles away.”

#9 Music Box Blues–Trans Siberian Orchestra

Another one it helps to know the Christmas Tale the TSO is trying to tell, but I think it’s beauty stands on its own (if I sing along I always find myself crying a little).

#8 Baby It’s Cold Outside–Dean Martin

Yeah I know some find this song a little disturbing but you A) have to keep in mind the time period is was originally written in and B) she’s not really putting up anything but a very weak fight…she doesn’t want to leave either.
…or if you still have problems, try this version…

#7 Carol of the Bells–Various

Don’t lie, it’s always brings a smile to your face too.

#6 Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24–Trans Siberian Orchestra

Carol of the Bells and God Rest Merry, Gentlemen together in piece that doesn’t need lyrics.

These next three are to me part of the core of this holiday. I may not be Christian but there is endless beauty in the story of the nativity. There are so many great renditions I just picked a few.
#5 Hark the Herald Angel Sing

#4 The First Noel

#3 O Come All Ye Faithful, Adeste Fideles

#2 Old City Bar– Trans Siberian Orchestra

The music is not great, but the tale is too powerful to ignore.

#1 O Holy Night Nat King Cole, Celtic Woman (and others)

For some reason this song above all others means Christmas to me.

By no means are these the only songs I listen to, but they are my favorites and get played over and over and over again.

Christmas Tree

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Weekly Meditation: Do it Now

Sorry that this meditation is a little late, I was at an Ingrid Michaelson concert in Tuscon (I wish there was a meditation for learning to tolerate cities you loathe, but I have nothing for that right now)…of course this also meant I didn’t have time to find a line in the holy book I was thinking of doing for this week…but no matter.  I was instead struck by a line of equal depth and wisdom this weekend:

“Don’t waste a minute on the darkness and the pity sitting in mind.”

This line of course comes from Michaleson’s new song “Do It Now”  (If you’re not familiar with the music of Ingrid Michaelson…you life is that much sadder.  I would really suggest you familiarize yourself with her music…even her depressing stuff if uplifting.  I have loved Ingrid’s music ever since I first heard “The Way I Am” on a commercial and have yet to be disappointed by anything she has put out…there is even an oblique reference to one of her songs in Republicans and Reincarnation “if you know what I mean”)  Now while the line itself is almost a little too obvious in it’s call to banish negativity from your mind to justify a whole blog… looking at the whole song does get quite a bit more involved.

“You say that you’ve got nothing left,

there’s nothing left in you to find.

You’ve gonna ride it out, gonna wait it out,

living to die, you’re living to die.

No one’s going to wait for you.

So do it now.

Do it right now.

Don’t waste a minute on the darkness and the pity

Sitting in your mind and:

Do it Right Now.”

Again pretty clear at most levels.  Life moves on while you wait for things to happen, and if you’re just waiting for life to open up and give you everything you need or allow you to do what you want, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.  And the song is pretty clear, since you can’t wait for everything you want, you have to go and get it.  Now this is a basic of the law of attraction, that you have to act first and the universe will respond only after you have started to act…although I am not saying Michaelson is making such a claim, only that it matches up with the overarching beliefs of this blog.

Now I could go on about that need to move in the direction you want to go, to “Do it now”…but while I love the Taoism and Buddhism in many things, simply firing the unaimed arrow that never misses it’s mark sometimes lacks the ability to make the progress we sometimes need to find (there is a time and place for the unaimed arrow, and a time for purpose, I trust your reason to decide what you need right now).  So before we can deal with doing what you should do in life to fulfill your purpose in life you need to know what that purpose is?

So before you can “do it right now” you need to understand what the it is, the purpose of this particular life (as the purpose of life in general is to learn and to be happy…but this particular life that may manifest in any number of ways).

Now if you already know what your purpose in this life is, great for you (please understand you’re probably in the minority).  So this week I would like you to focus on asking the universe what your purpose in this life is.

May I suggest:

Start and end each day this week with  daily prayer to God (or whatever force you believe in). Follow each prayer with at least 15 minutes of meditation.  First clear your mind and chakras of all negative energy, then just clear your mind and after it has been cleared for a minute or two repeat your prayer for knowledge of the purpose of this life (or perhaps of this portion of your life).

As you go through your day also look for signs or repeated occurrences as this is one of the easiest ways the universe does reveal things to you…but you have to be open to seeing them (for instance if you see about ten ads for a cooking course in real life and a whole plot involving cooking on your favorite TV show and…I’m sure you get the idea…and you’ve always want to try being a cook this might be the universe’s way of getting in touch with you).  In fact it helps if your prayer includes a request for God or whatever power you believe in to be as blunt as possible without any subtlety or finesse…it works sometimes.

Finally, keep a journal for each day (or at least mentally review what happened).  Through this process you’ll notice patterns and ideas that may have alluded you at first but which become obvious on reflection.

Next week we’ll obviously deal with how to put any revelations you have this week into practice…but first ask yourself and the universe what should I be doing right now…

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Weekly Meditation: Singing Fifth Chakra Meditation

So this week we’ll continue to deal with the throat chakra. The throat chakra deals with creativity, expression, courage to speak the truth and advocate for yourself. Last week we tried to get the negative energy out by making it easier to actually express your frustration, even to yourself. This week we’re going to work on doing something positive rather than just eliminating a negative.

As with all the chakras, vibrations are very important to the 5th chakra. The advantage to the 5th chakra is that it’s literally right next to the thing that vibrates the most in your whole body, your larynx. One easiest ways to thus to increase the vibrations of the this chakra is to sing.

Yes I said sing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a trained opera singer or me (whose singing should probably be categorized as a WMD), you’re going to have to sing for this meditation. Sing as loud as you can. With all your heart and force. If you don’t want anyone else to hear it, may I suggest singing in the car—it’s well insulated, and you’ll get drowned out by the music. But you need to sing for this meditation.

What should you sing? Well that’s up to you. I would only say that is should not be anything with any trace of negativity. No songs about how she left you heartbroken. No songs about your misery. No songs about how things aren’t working out. In other words, no country music, the music of pain.

However there is a benefit to singing you should consider. Some songs speak more to the energy of different chakras. Thus if you look for a collection of songs that hits every single chakra, you can not only raise the vibrations of your throat chakra but of those other chakras as well. Two birds, one stone.

If you’re having trouble finding songs for each chakra I have provided a few suggestion below. You don’t have to go with those songs, they’re just suggestions that speak to me…go with songs that will make you happy and reinforce the positive energy of your chakras. And sing! If I have ever written a meditation that you should engage in every day of your life it’s this one.

As this is a more complex kind of meditation (since it deals with multiple chakras) I want you to do this every day for the next two weeks. (Yes this means there will be no mediation will be posted next week. (Yes, I am partly doing this because this movie a day thing is very time consuming.)

1st Charka—Energies of abundance, security and safety.

If I were a rich man (the nice part about this is that if you listen to the end what he wants isn’t money, but the freedom it provides)

2nd Charka–Energies of emotional control and desire
You and I–Ingrid Michaelson (honestly this song covers the energies of the first five chakras)

Up on the roof

3rd Charka–Energies of will power and strength
I won’t back down

My Way

4th Charka–Energies of love and compassion

I will love you


5th Chakra–Energies of creativity and self expression

The Impossible Dream

New Soul

6th Chakra—Energies of foresight and being in the flow of the universe

I can see clearly now

Only Time

7th Chakra—Energies of being one with God
Prayer of Saint Francsis

Somewhere over the rainbow/What a Wonderful World–Israel Kamkawiwo’ole

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