In the holiday spirit

Xmas 2005-89 by Jack, flickr
Xmas 2005-89 by Jack, flickr

There’s lots to dull and dampen the soul of someone living with PD – as there is for many others in the world. It’s especially acute at this time of year. Time to take a break. Share some joy. Here are some of my favourite holiday tunes through the years. Hope you enjoy. Peace to all.

From one of my favourite Christmas CDs We Three Kings (1990), this trio of sisters from New Jersey preform their version of the Hallelujah Chorus. The video quality isn’t the greatest but their harmonies are!

for more on the roches – click  here

From a small label in Toronto, the album Count Your Blessings,  featured five Canadian female artists live in concert in November 1983. This song,  What is this fragrance? , features Mary Margaret O’Hara.


Perhaps a bit contrived at first, once they start singing, their voices are so pure – classic. Recorded just a short month before Bing’s death in 1977.


Speaking of classics, this chestnut has been done by so many duos but I keep gravitating back to the original (or arguably the original – another version with Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark was apparently released on the same day in 1949). I also like the 1957 playful version by Sammy Davis Jr. and Carmen McRae here.


In 1991, The Chieftains released The Bells of Dublin – a nice collection of Celtic tunes with a number of popular artists including Elvis Costello, Rickie Lee Jones,Marianne Faithful amongst others. This is one featuring Jackson Browne.


I’ve always loved John Prine songs but he’s the last person I think of when I think of Christmas material. Yet this song from 1973 is different.”Wait a while, eternity” – what a picture it paints!


A darker picture from Tom Waits on this version of Silent Night recorded in December 1978.


And finally, here’s one from Joni Mitchell from her 1971 LP Blue. It too is from a darker place but so evocative “They’re putting’ up reindeer, singing songs of joy and peace…I wish I had river I could skate away on…”

Postscript: I began this little foray into holiday spirit with a call for a shot of love and joy and realised I kind of ended on a bittersweet note. Let me correct that with this tune from Canadian folk artist Roy Forbes (formerly known as Bim). He has three different versions of this on his website, and there’s no video on the net for any of these, but here’s a streamed copy of the original from 1979. Sweet 🙂 Enjoy the holidays.

All good things, rk.

Roy Forbes, Mincemeat Tart




























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