Thursday, December 15, 2011

How the Grinch Started My Christmas mp3 Collection

With all the inspirational Christmas music playing on the radio in December, should I be concerned that my kids' favorite carol is "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,"  which is essentially a series of creatively worded insults?  Maybe, but I empathize--I love that song, too.

My kids do not understand how the radio works.  When they hear Christmas music playing, they keep asking me to play the Grinch song.  I tried to explain to them that I had no power over when the DJ plays the Grinch, but finally realized that my kids needed their very own Grinch music to play on demand.

Fortunately, I saw a sign at the library advertising FreeGal, a service in which library card holders can download and keep three mp3s per week.  Awesome!  How long have they been doing this? 

FreeGal is by no means a comprehensive database of all music ever published.  It has serious holes.  But it's free, so what do you expect?  I love the original version of the song with Boris Karloff's voice, but it wasn't in there.  However, there were several other versions of the song.  My kids enthusiastically helped me sample them and we found another version, by Newsong, that we like just as much.

Since I love, love, love Christmas music, but share my kids' tendency to occasionally resent that DJs aren't playing my favorites, I decided to use my December 3/week quota to build my Christmas music library.  Most popular Christmas songs have been covered so many times that there are several options to choose from in FreeGal.  When I pull them up and sample them, I am surprised at how many times I find that my favorite version is by some unknown (to me) artist, over more famous artists and versions.  Of course, lots of extremely famous artists made the cut, too. Here's my collection:

Bring a Torch, Jeanette, IsabellaWorld's Best Praise and Worship album
Carol of the BellsMormon Tabernacle Choir
Do You Hear What I Hear?Destiny's Child
I Wonder as I WanderThe Blenders
The Holly and the IvyRoger Whittaker
Let It SnowHarry Connick, Jr.
O Come O Come EmmanuelMichael Londra
O Holy NightBilly Gilman
The Secret of ChristmasThe Nylons
We Need a Little ChristmasGlee Soundtrack
You're a Mean One, Mr. GrinchNewsong

I can still get one more song.  Any suggestions? I've already tried these below, but FreeGal couldn't help me:

Christmas Children
I like both the Scrooge the Musical version and the SheDaisy version but neither is on FreeGal. It isn't in there at all.  No one else has ever covered this song?  Really?  It's a great song, recording artists!  Put it in your Christmas albums already!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Plenty of Christmas albums include this one, but I felt like I couldn't settle for anything but the Judy Garland version from Meet Me in St. Louis, which wasn't there.

The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth
with Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Not there, either.

Fortunately, I already own Carpenters Christmas album.  It is a shame that they don't have it on FreeGal, though, since it is arguably the best Christmas album ever, or at least, until the 2010 Glee Christmas album, which is available on FreeGal.  The song choices on the Glee album are amazing, except for the unfortunate inclusion of Last Christmas, I Gave You My Heart, which is an okay song, but really has nothing to do with Christmas.

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