Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Thursday, December 8, AD 2016

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sung by Gene Autry.  Rudolph first appeared in a coloring book written and drawn by Robert L. May in 1939 as a Christmas giveaway by Montgomery Ward.  The tale of Rudoplph proved immensely popular with kids, with the coloring book still being in print and sold more than seven decades latter.  The famous song was written by Johnny Marks, a song writer and World War 2 combat veteran.  It was first sung by Harry Brannon in November 1949, shortly before the singing cowboy, Gene Autry, performed his immortal rendition.

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13 Responses to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

  • I used to listen to the Chipmunks album by November and never stop.

  • I am holding out for Chipmunk Gregorian Chant.

  • A bit off topic: the latest media-driven battle in the culture war is over the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. The left is saying it’s creepy, and the right is calling them wusses, and I know which camp I’m supposed to be in…but man, that song is creepy. It’s got a good enough tune, and I bet that it’s fun to sing it as a duet, but it really is a song about wearing a gal down in order to sleep with her. How did that ever make it onto the list of Christmas classics?

  • Background on the song:

    It shouldn’t be on any Christmas playlist. However it was first performed by a married couple as a playful answer and response song some seventy years ago. This was back in more morally sane times when it was not expected that the song was leading up to a sexual encounter. Still not a good match with Christmas. The song on Christmas playlists that sends me up the wall is “Santa Baby” that paean to disguised prostitution.

  • Pinky,

    Donald is correct. Some on the left say it’s a song suggesting rape and drugs, but while performed by a married couple, the context soon came to be a non-married couple, with the man trying to convince the woman to stay the night by saying it’s cold outside as the excuse. By the time later versions came out, that spin was nowhere near hidden and the point of the song was increasingly flaunted. The reason it’s now on the lists is because of the movie Elf. While there are certainly a ton of songs that halve zilch to do with Christmas, this is almost as antithetical to everything that the faith stands for, especially with how it is performed and accepted today, as you can get.

  • My parents used to play the 33 LP Bing Crosby Christmas Album and we’d sing along. We played the tape in the car for our boys. At NAS Cubi Point we’d pull a piano outside and have a squadron family sing a long with all the old favorites, the finale being “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”and afterwards lechon (roast pig) and hot mulled cider in 80 degree weather…..almost 30 years ago.

  • Any version I can find online that wasn’t written recently includes the following:
    My mother will start to worry
    My father will be pacing the floor
    My sister will be suspicious
    My brother will be there at the door
    I gotta get home
    There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
    At least there will be plenty implied
    Those really doesn’t sound like a married person’s reasons for leaving.
    I really haven’t studied Christmas songs, but it seems like the ones from 100 years ago or further were hymns, then more recently songs about Christmastime, then most recently about snow or drinking or grandma/reindeer collisions. Maybe there are always garbage contemporary songs, and it’s only the great hymns that stand the test of time. I don’t know. I know that, as much as I respect the Greatest Generation, they sure churned out a lot more songs about sleigh rides than about the Incarnation.

  • “grandma/reindeer collisions”

    Hold it Pinky! Now you are treading on sacred ground!

  • Oh, I wasn’t referring to that song in particular, just the genre of…reindeer accident themed songs. And sure, 100 years from now, carolers will be singing “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”, the same as we sing “We Three Kings”. No one’s disputing that. Clearly I touched a nerve here, and that wasn’t my intention. I just mean that other songs about grandparents and reindeer maybe don’t reflect the fullest meaning of Christmas the way that “O Holy Night”, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”, and “Joy to the World” do.

  • OK Pinky you win the contest of who could keep their tongue more firmly planted in their cheek!

  • Never pick a fight with the host of a website. Smooth things over as quickly as possible.

Hail Columbia and The Man Without a Country

Saturday, June 15, AD 2013

Something for the weekend.  Yesterday being Flag Day I thought our first, unofficial, national anthem would be appropriate:  Hail Columbia.  Composed in 1789 by Philip Phile for Washington’s first inaugural, and originally entitled The President’s March, lyrics were supplied by Joseph Hopkinson in 1798.  Hail Columbia functioned as the unofficial national anthem of the United States up until the 1890s.   From 1947 here is Bing Crosby narrating a radio dramatization of Edward Everett Hale’s, a great nephew of Nathan Hale, classic story of love of country, The Man Without a Country:

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4 Responses to Hail Columbia and The Man Without a Country

  • For a moment, I thought you were referring to Obama 😉

  • By George, that’s a splendid sacred song! While familiar with the title I don’t remember ever having heard the tune or the words. I have bookmarked it for the future. Thank you.

  • P.S.: I read “Man Without a Country” in grade school in the mid-’50s, crying (I’m female) at the conclusion. Even today, as I contemplate the excesses of our nation, the waywardness of its people, and the tyranny of the government, I could not bring myself to say “Damn the United States! I wish that I may never see it again!” Only now I weep for all of us.

  • While in highschool our entire school studentbody presented themselves every morning before our flag pole for the raising of the flag, present arms, pledge of alligence, Hail Columbia first and last stanzas and the National Anthum. every day !!!!! And yes all our male highschool students were issued their own US cal 30 / model 1903/A3 Springfield rifle.

Freedom Train

Saturday, July 7, AD 2012

Something for the weekend.  Freedom Train by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby and The Andrew Sisters.  In 1947 President Harry S. Truman commissioned a special train, staffed with United States Marines, to tour the country and display precious documents of American history to remind all Americans of their heritage.  The train’s cargo included:  the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, one of the 13 original copies of the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, one of Lincoln’s handwritten drafts of the Gettysburg Address, the large flag raised on Mount Suribachi by the US Marines on Iwo Jima, the German and Japanese surrender documents that ended World War II, and much more, including one of the originals of the Magna Carta.

The train toured the US for two years and was surrounded by throngs of visitors wherever it stopped.  It traveled 37,160 miles, stopping in 326 cities and towns.  Over three million Americans went on board the train, many waiting up to six hours to do so.  A second Freedom Train toured the country during the Bicentennial in 1975-1976.

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10 Responses to Freedom Train

  • Wish we could have a FREEDOM TRAIN now. FREEDOM TRAIN

  • I shudder to think how such a train would be curated under this administration.

  • Wow ! ::: “the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, one of Lincoln’s handwritten drafts of the Gettysburg Address….”

    When I lived in D.C. we went down to the National Archives. Quite a day.

    Bringing these documents out to the people mattered !!

    Btw: the “vampire hunter” version of Lincoln is spot-on as can be. Slavery wasn’t an inch short of sucking blood from humans.

  • Clinton: I had the same thought. I would put only copies of real documents on the train, because they need to be seen and appreciated. In the old days, the Vatican transported the Pieta to Flushing Meadows, New York for the World’s Fair in 1962. The Times Building had copies of all the Sistine Chapel paintings of Michaelangelo that could be seen upclose. Since then, the Pieta has been attacked and must be seen under bullet proof glass. Larger than life COPIES of our founding principles could be easily read and even pamphlets with the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution might be available. Impersonators of Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, the film strips of the movies might be continuously shown. The Lincoln, Jefferson Memorial, pictures of the capitol, the Supreme Court in session. Boy is my age showing. Hey, some people will come for the show who otherwise might not. Civics 101. Perhaps a class credit might be givern to any student who attends. It is very exciting for people who may not be able to visit Philadelphia, Washington D.C. The Statue of Liberty. It is better for the children than condoms.

  • “Btw: the “vampire hunter” version of Lincoln is spot-on as can be. Slavery wasn’t an inch short of sucking blood from humans.”
    How current, the HHS mandate is sucking the life-blood from humans.

  • “I shudder to think how such a train would be curated under this administration.” Obama can get on the train or get off. Obama is becoming very irrelevant.

  • I remember the Bicentennial Freedom Train of 1976 because my family went to see it when it stopped in Peoria, Ill. It was very much like touring a museum on wheels. However, I had no idea until now that there was an earlier Freedom Train in the 1940s.

  • More fun facts about the later Freedom Train: Over 7 million Americans toured the Bicentennial (American) Freedom Train, which included not only historic artifacts such as the original Louisiana Purchase document, but cultural artifacts such as Judy Garland’s dress from “The Wizard of Oz,” Joe Frazier’s boxing trunks, Martin Luther King’s clerical robes, and a rock brought back from the moon by the Apollo astronauts!

  • We would benefit from a freedom train more than ever before!

  • Today’s version would be a “Worship Train” with copies of His Pomposity’s speeches, books and life-sized standup cutouts available for photo opportunities.