23 December 2017

Rocking Around The Christmas MOVIES

Christmas music tends to fall into three categories. You've got the Classic Carols, which actually acknowledge who the birthday boy is and are always playing as we eat Christmas dinner (my mum's old school choir, to be precise! Then you've got the Christmas Crooners, led my Frank and Bing, who epitomise those "cosy-by-the-fire" moments and prove you don't have to go vocal gymnastics to be heard. I could happily listen to Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas all year round and not get board!

Speaking of vocal gymnastics, you also have the contemporary classics from the pop/rock/soul/shriek world. Some of these genuinely are classics; I'm looking at you Slade/ Wizzard/ Wham! And I suppose Buble also deserves a mention, although maybe he's more of a crooner? But one song that WON'T be filling me with festive cheer is Santa Baby; is it just me, or are they the most materialistic, anti-feminist lyrics ever written? Along with Jingle Bell Rock, which is only acceptable when Regina George is present.

Yet there's FOURTH CATEGORY of Christmas Music that always gets overlooked... FILMS. Who doesn't feel uplifted by Kermit Cratchit's duet with Tiny Tim? Or Arthur's theme tune in The Holiday, as he conquers those stairs! Well I am here to make amends, with a playlist worthy of  TINSELSTOWN. After all, what's Christmas without a bit of tinsel? Or Neville waltzing to the beat of his own hum...

*You didn't think I was going to leave you with no Harry Potter now, did you?


    "THE WORLD HAS GOT A SMILE TODAY..."

Sorry Dickens, but there's only one Bob Cratchit. He's green, he sings, he's married to Miss Piggy and he's the magical face of Giant Crumpets. Last Christmas, I spontaneously searched for The Muppet Christmas Carol CD on iTunes and Apple delivered; after failing to find the music for The Grinch and Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas, I couldn't believe my luck!

The Muppets is my favourite festive film, so it was possibly the highlight of my Christmas and such a comforting trowback to childhood. What's more, as I was in hospital I decided to share the nostalgia with my fellow elves and make a Christmas Playlist for the dining room. From what I recall, it was 90% Muppets with a side order of warm Olaf hugs. However, I left it behind so will (hopefully) never find out for certain. Who knows? Anna and Kermit Bob could be singing right now...



"DO YOU REMEMBER, THE ONE YOU USED TO KNOW?"   

I remember Cindy Lou! I just wish iTunes did too, because as I mentioned earlier there is NO COPY of the original The Grinch soundtrack. Just a dozen contenders for "worst cover of the century". Is it just me who always prefers the original versions of film songs? There's so much more meaning when the original character sings, especially when the voice is a child like Cindy, or the two children in The Polar Express. On that note, When Christmas Comes to Town is another staple for the festive playlist.

 
Nevertheless, I was determined to find an 'acceptable' version of the Cindy song and, after searching high who and low, Ashling Doyle saved the day. I think it's because she has a younger, purer voice and doesn't try to be bigger than the song, which is often the issue with film music covers. If you've heard of the Demi Lovato version of Let it Go, you might know what I'm talking about (and this is coming from a long-term Lovatic!)

All that being said, I'm about to completely contradict myself and spotlight a cover version of a very sacred song! First though, I have just one question: Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Yes, someone  went there and her name is Jasmine Thompson; otherwise known as my musical highlight of 2017.  Like her covers of Demons and Titanium, this Frozen rendition possibly could thaw a frozen heart. There is such an understated beauty to her voice and she reminds me a lot of Birdy. Definitely one to look out for!


 

    "RING THE HOGWARTS BELLS"   

As mentioned 19 years earlier (I will try to ramble less in 2018), there's no Bumble & Be blogpost   without a Harry Potter reference and there's also no CHRISTMAS without Harry! In my not so humble opinion anyway.... what would Hogwarts be without levitating Baubles, a Weasley Jumper and McGonogall letting her hair down? I especially love A Window to the Past from the Prisoner of Askaban, which makes me feel like I'm walking through the snow to Hagrid's Hut. But  enough from me... take it away Patrick and John!





 MAESTRO, MCALLISTERS AND  DANCING PRIME MINISTERS     

Sticking with the wondrous world of film scores - because lyrics aren't everything - I wanted to round up this post with four of my favourites. First off, The Holiday, which was composed by HANS ZIMMER, aka the genius behind Inception, The Da Vinci Code and Blue Planet II. What more could you want? Everytime I watch Arthur walks up those stair my mascara is doomed... and the music has a lot to do with that! The same is true of the moment where Grand Santa sacrifices 'Evie' in Arthur Christmas. Unless you're a pre-heart Grinch, it is guaranteed to give you ALL THE FEELS.


Speaking of Grand Santa, it wasn't Bill Nighy's first time in a festive role. Love Actually is another magical score and one of my 2018 goals is to learn Glasgow Love Theme on the piano. As for Bill's rendition of Christmas Is all Around, it has its own kind of magic. I'll leave it at that! Finally, I thought I'd end the playlist with a nod to the universal classic: Home Alone. I'll be honest, the film itself has never featured in my "top festive films" #UnpopularOpinion. For me, it just doesn't have the same magic as Muppets or Miracle on 34th Street (the Mara Wilson/Richard Attenborough version, obviously). Nevertheless, the the finale music is another story and the perfect note on which to end this story....


*edit* an angel from my past just came down and I reminded me of MY CHILDHOOD. So I had to make room for one more (Bethlehem innkeepers take note, this is the true spirit of Christmas!)

What's Your Favourite Christmas (Screen) Song?
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