25. The Ravens-White Christmas
There is nothing rare or hard to find about this track. In fact, I am certain this is used in a movie soundtrack or two. But as for versions of White Christmas go, this is perhaps one of my personal favorites, and the one that, to this day, remains the version that I prefer just as much to the original classic.
26. Her Space Holiday-Let It Snow
I know I have shared this one on the blog before, as this was one of the My Space finds in December 2007. I wish the sound quality was a tad better...hopefully I will find this on an actual CD release by the band at some point.
27. Findlay Brown-Last Christmas
You know, considering I never particularly liked the original version, I sure do like the various cover versions of this song I come across. And I love cover versions of up-beat 80's bland pop that manage to bring out the true beauty of the original song (not Christmas related, but I have an acoustic cover version of Billy Idol's White Wedding that is stop-in-your-tracks astonishing. Behind all the power pop and awful music of the 80's, there were some darn fine songs being written in that decade that just needed proper production.)
And I know I shared a cover version of this song previously on this same compilation, but the ghostly whistle on this version makes for quite a haunting rendition, as if Scrooge's ghost of Christmas past is singing this from beyond.
I don't remember where I got this...my original MP3 says "unknown album."
28. Sinead O'Connor-Silent Night, Holy Night
Speaking of haunting beauty.... There may be those who don't agree with this woman's politics/religious views, but I sure hope that doesn't detract from the stark beauty she brings to this song. This song is always played plaintively, and with very quiet tones. This version offers nothing new in instrumentation, but certainly brings something in terms of vocal performance that I have not heard in previous versions.
29. Blind Boys of Alabama ft. Chrissie Hynde and Richard Thompson-In the Bleak Midwinter
The Blind Boys of Alabama have been together for an astonishing 69 years. If they want to do a cover version of a Christmas standard, you know it's going to trump any version that came before it, and this is no exception.
30. Bruce Cockburn-Early One Christmas Morn
Not too many versions of this song to go around, unfortunately (though I do have the original.) Like the Blind Boys of Alabama, you know if Bruce is going to do a cover version of a Christmas song, he's going to give it his own personal touch and totally make it his own.
31. The Weavers-Go Tell It on the Mountain
Though I did not take the title of this compilation from this track, this is actually the song I was listening to when I thought of doing this compilation. This may be quite a traditional version compared to some of the versions of other songs I shared on here, but when I first heard this I really was taken by this take. This comes from their album, We Wish You A Merry Christmas. (I'd give a link on more of these, but amazon.com is glitchy right now for some reason and it's not improving.)
32. Felice Brothers-Saint Stephen
I contemplated quite a bit on what song to end this compilation with. I do have other cover versions to share but I recently discovered the Felice Brothers (who has made some AWESOME Christmas music you WILL hear at this blog in the future!) and was quite taken by this song. It is not a Christmas song, but a song that is about the stoning of St. Stephen. Well, I considered two things: 1) There are not many songs about St. Stephen and the title of this compilation is taken from a song about St. Stephen and 2) how many people put out collections of ORIGINAL Christmas music only to have one or two cover versions on it? So I thought I would include one original song on my compilation of cover versions. It seemed to be a fair balance.
And I know I said I would have tray art and disc art ready. I haven't had time to make the files yet for those, but I will update this post at a future date when they are ready. (I like making physical copies of my personal comps such as this, so I guarantee the art work will get made!) I have been busy with other things, and hopefully more exciting things, things I will be sharing here, and hopefully soon. Stay tuned.
Thanks for listening.