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Jeremy Ewen

'modern' Christmas Music

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A few years back I got a bit bored with all the normal stuff I was playing at the Christmas services, so started to make an organ version of the Slade song "Merry Christmas Everybody", but it didn't come to anything because the wife said it was undignified :D . I thought it would go down quite well, at least everyone would know it, even the ones who only come once a year to the carol service.

 

Has anyone ever gone the whole hog and done something like this, not just the odd line in the middle of an improvisation?

 

JE

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A few years back I got a bit bored with all the normal stuff I was playing at the Christmas services, so started to make an organ version of the Slade song "Merry Christmas Everybody", but it didn't come to anything because the wife said it was undignified :D . I thought it would go down quite well, at least everyone would know it, even the ones who only come once a year to the carol service.

 

Has anyone ever gone the whole hog and done something like this, not just the odd line in the middle of an improvisation?

 

JE

 

hehehe

 

If you draw a tierce on its own and play a cluster at the top of the keyboard - the top 4 black ones are good - you get excellent sleigh bells. I have been known to slide in Nokia Tune and The Simpsons on occasions (usually at the crematorium, when the last of the family has gone out) but I don't think I could ever consider doing anything so undignified at the weekends.

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
A few years back I got a bit bored with all the normal stuff I was playing at the Christmas services, so started to make an organ version of the Slade song "Merry Christmas Everybody", but it didn't come to anything because the wife said it was undignified :D . I thought it would go down quite well, at least everyone would know it, even the ones who only come once a year to the carol service.

 

Has anyone ever gone the whole hog and done something like this, not just the odd line in the middle of an improvisation?

 

JE

 

 

I do play the Leroy Andreson Sleigh Ride, but only when the correct weather arrives. Along the same lines is the Troika from Lieut.Kije.

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Guest Andrew Butler
I do play the Leroy Andreson Sleigh Ride, but only when the correct weather arrives. Along the same lines is the Troika from Lieut.Kije.

 

There ia a piece (by Richard Lloyd I think) in a Mayhew Christmas album that I left somewhere and it had gone when I went back for it, that in corporated a 2-bar quote from the Slade song.

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A few years back I got a bit bored with all the normal stuff I was playing at the Christmas services, so started to make an organ version of the Slade song "Merry Christmas Everybody", but it didn't come to anything because the wife said it was undignified :D . I thought it would go down quite well, at least everyone would know it, .

 

I don't, I'm afraid. Perhaps that's because I'm always there, all the bloody time, it seems to me. My children ask who that man is.

 

Our town church organist where I grew up used to play "Pennies from Heaven" on dedication Sunday, but that wasn't Christmas, of course.

 

Oh dear, OT again.

 

Cheers

B

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quote name='Jeremy Ewen' date='Dec 5 2006, 09:37 PM' post='17352']

A few years back I got a bit bored with all the normal stuff I was playing at the Christmas services, so started to make an organ version of the Slade song "Merry Christmas Everybody", but it didn't come to anything because the wife said it was undignified :D . I thought it would go down quite well, at least everyone would know it, even the ones who only come once a year to the carol service.

 

Has anyone ever gone the whole hog and done something like this, not just the odd line in the middle of an improvisation?

 

JE

 

Many years ago I played a disguised (I hope) version of "They can't take that away from me" at an ordination. I also found myself almost unaccountably playing around with "When the red red robin comes bob bob bobbing along" during an episcopal visit. This year's midnight mass will probably end with Widor - it seems to be a St Peter's tradition now, but I think I'll put in Sleigh Ride as well sometime soon - complete with Zimbelstern!.

 

Best

 

Peter

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A few years back I got a bit bored with all the normal stuff I was playing at the Christmas services, so started to make an organ version of the Slade song "Merry Christmas Everybody", but it didn't come to anything because the wife said it was undignified :blink: . I thought it would go down quite well, at least everyone would know it, even the ones who only come once a year to the carol service.

 

Has anyone ever gone the whole hog and done something like this, not just the odd line in the middle of an improvisation?

 

JE

 

====================

 

No, but I'll tell the Francophiles something!

 

I bet you could improvise a wonderful Toccata using the theme "When Santa got stuck up the chimmney" in the pedals.

 

Think about it, because it's as good as anything Vierne or Dupre ever came up with.

 

Don't do French myself.

 

;)

 

MM

 

 

I wonder how many people know that Leroy Anderson, who wrote "Sleigh Bells," was actually a mathematics professor at Harvard University.

 

What a mine of useless information I am.

 

:)

 

MM

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A few years back I got a bit bored with all the normal stuff I was playing at the Christmas services, so started to make an organ version of the Slade song "Merry Christmas Everybody"
I have been known to walk out of supermarkets and department stores just to avoid having to listen to this. Same with that awful Paul McCartney thing. In fact, all the Xmas muzak in these places is invariably teeth-grindingly torturous. I loathe Christmas shopping.

 

Bah! Humbug!

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I have been known to walk out of supermarkets and department stores just to avoid having to listen to this. Same with that awful Paul McCartney thing. In fact, all the Xmas muzak in these places is invariably teeth-grindingly torturous. I loathe Christmas shopping.

 

Bah! Humbug!

 

... and best wishes to you, Ebenezer!

 

To be honest, I have to agree. I also have a bit of a thing about 'silly' voluntaries. Aside from the fact that I am fortunate in that there are a number of people in our church who appreciate good music, I think that it is difficult enough as it is to get others (particularly professional colleagues) to take the organ seriously. Therefore, I am unconvinced that inprovising a toccata on Santa Claus is comin' to town, etc, is likely to improve the situation.

 

Hey, Vox - can I have some of your humbugs, please?

 

:blink:

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Bien sûr, Monsieur. Mint or fruit?

 

Actually, come to think of it, turning these songs into weighty, serious music might be a good way of putting people off them. Hmm... Now there's a thought...

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
I wonder how many people know that Leroy Anderson, who wrote "Sleigh Bells," was actually a mathematics professor at Harvard University.

 

What a mine of useless information I am.

 

:blink:

 

 

 

 

MM

 

 

[i'm fairly sure] so was Tom Lehrer. Some of his songs might be worth a re-arrange for special occasions! Masochism Tango, Poisoning Pigeons in the Park etc.? (Perhaps.)

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A few years back I got a bit bored with all the normal stuff I was playing at the Christmas services, so started to make an organ version of the Slade song "Merry Christmas Everybody", but it didn't come to anything because the wife said it was undignified :blink: . I thought it would go down quite well, at least everyone would know it, even the ones who only come once a year to the carol service.

 

Has anyone ever gone the whole hog and done something like this, not just the odd line in the middle of an improvisation?

 

JE

 

<chuckle>

 

I think I posted these before, but they bear repeating:

http://evensongmusic.net/audio/Fuga_a_la_Noel.mp3

and

http://evensongmusic.net/audio/nasroten.mp3

 

The first one is obvious, the second one not so much if you're not paying attention :)

 

Cheers,

 

- Jonathan

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
<chuckle>

 

I think I posted these before, but they bear repeating:

http://evensongmusic.net/audio/Fuga_a_la_Noel.mp3

and

http://evensongmusic.net/audio/nasroten.mp3

 

The first one is obvious, the second one not so much if you're not paying attention :blink:

 

Cheers,

 

- Jonathan

 

 

I love the second (Rudoph) - a perfect pastiche. The first, it's a pity the fugue subject is stated in the major first....it would have worked better in practice for the melody to be partially disguised at the outset.

Both very clever. If this is your work - well done!

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Bien sûr, Monsieur. Mint or fruit?

 

Actually, come to think of it, turning these songs into weighty, serious music might be a good way of putting people off them. Hmm... Now there's a thought...

 

It is sad that to many people, Christmas music is pop/rock songs and the odd carol played too loudly over a poor PA system. Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer strikes more of a chord to many than Bethlehem Down, sad but true.

 

:):blink:

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[i'm fairly sure] so was Tom Lehrer. Some of his songs might be worth a re-arrange for special occasions! Masochism Tango, Poisoning Pigeons in the Park etc.? (Perhaps.)

 

Or the Vatican Rag?

 

Peter

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Or the Vatican Rag?

 

Peter

 

 

Not one I know. Is it good - I mean 'bad'?

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I love the second (Rudoph) - a perfect pastiche. The first, it's a pity the fugue subject is stated in the major first....it would have worked better in practice for the melody to be partially disguised at the outset.

Both very clever. If this is your work - well done!

 

The first is only partially mine - I found the score on the internet for free, but it only included the first part of the melody, so I expanded the piece and added to it, also bringing the melody in augmentation in the pedals and so forth.

 

The second was written by a friend of mine, and I'll agree it is a perfect pastiche, very nicely capturing the spirit of a baroque c.p.

 

~~

 

I wish I still had contact with a fellow I knew back in 1992 or so - he wrote a set of carol arrangements that intertwined with the preludes from the 8 little of Bach, and they were a SCREAM.... they were performed for our Christmas service/party of the local American Guild of Organists chapter that year, and we all laughed mightily at the simultaneous ingenuity and audacity of his writing. :blink:

 

Cheers,

 

-jonathan

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Got a score of these two ?? wonder if my bishop likes 'm :)

 

Drop me a PM or email and I'll see what I can do ;)

 

Cheers,

 

- :blink:

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Not one I know. Is it good - I mean 'bad'?

 

Yes, good and bad! It is from his 1965 (?)recording That Was The Year That Was, a much more political collection than the stuff he did in the late 50s. It contains such immortal lines as "Ave Maria, gee it's good to see ya"! :blink:

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I thought of another one.....

 

This is not a "popular" piece or pastiche, but it is sort of a naughty rendition of a well-known tune...

 

http://evensongmusic.net/audio/OrwigWenceslas.mp3

 

Jazz chords and crazy 7/8 intrude upon what is usually a straightforward melody :P

 

=======================

 

 

This is appalling. I much prefer the traditional way of doing things in Latin:-

 

http://stbarts.whisperaudio.com/rudolph.htm

 

MM

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====================

 

 

I've just realised, that if you switch the Lemmens Fanfare into a minor key, the start of it would be perfect as a toccata figuration above the theme "When Santa got stuck up the chimney".....obviously taken at quite a slow pace.

 

I knew I should have been a de-composer. .....I can ruin anything!

 

I would love to write a spoof on the "Christmas Oratorio" entitled "Bach humbug," but I have promised to buy myself some P D Q Bach recordings for Christmas, because no-one else will.

 

I must dig out the cartoons I drew, which include a Christmas one featuring Santa Claus stuck up a chimmney of sorts. If I get them scanned, I shall try and post them onto the site.

 

MM

 

If anyone wishes you "Happy Christmas" the best response is "Prove it!"

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I thought of another one.....

 

This is not a "popular" piece or pastiche, but it is sort of a naughty rendition of a well-known tune...

 

http://evensongmusic.net/audio/OrwigWenceslas.mp3

 

Jazz chords and crazy 7/8 intrude upon what is usually a straightforward melody :P

 

Cheers,

 

- G

 

My lot got this today - very well received!!

 

AJJ

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My lot got this today - very well received!!

 

AJJ

 

 

:P

 

Glad they liked it...

 

Believe it or not, this is one of the things I have written that is pretty successful - it's been played all over the globe, from USA to UK to down under. I must confess that although it is nice to make a bit of money at selling my music, it is as much (or more) gratifying to know it is being played and used. :P

 

Cheers,

 

- G

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