"You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why." Everyone knows what comes next in this famous Christmas carol. Dozens of songs have been written over the years for this special time of the year and everyone has their favorites. Some are religious and inspire spiritual thoughts. Others are secular and whimsical, making the Christmas season fun and childlike. In either case, these traditional songs are dear to us and we love to hear them every year.
As expressed several years ago in a prior column from December 2007, what would a movie or holiday be without music? It's the universal language that conveys a wide range of human emotions and stirs up a flood of memories. Indeed, Christmas probably has the most music associated it more than any other holiday. What are your favorite carols and how do you feel when you hear them?
In the fun spirit of the season, how many carols can you recognize with alternate titles? In 2007, the column "Christmas Carols 101 Quiz" tested the knowledge of twenty popular songs. With each worth five points, it's easy to determine a grade from a master to one in need of some serious review.
Photo by Lori Deemer
A past performance of SUNY Fredonia's Lessons and Carols.
1. Quadruped With Crimson Proboscis
2. Five p.m. to Six a.m. Without Noise
3. Minuscule Hamlet in the Far East
4. Ancient Benevolent Despot
5. Adorn the Vestibule
6. Exuberance Directed to the Planet
7. Listen, Aerial Spirits Harmonizing
8. Monarchial Trio
9. Yonder in the Haystack
10. Assemble, Everyone Who Believes
11. Hallowed Post Meridian
12. Fantasies of a Colorless Dec. 25
13. Tin Tintinnabulums
14. A Dozen 24-hour Yule Periods
15. Befell During the Transparent Bewitching Hour
16. Homo Sapien of Crystallized Vapor
17. I Merely Desire a Pair of Incisors
18. I Spied My Maternal Parent Osculating a Fat Man in Red
19. Perambulating Through a December Solstice Fantasy
20. Aloft on the Acme of the Abode
Answer Key for the "Carol Impaired"
1) "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," 2) "Silent Night," 3) "O Little Town of Bethlehem," 4) "Good King Wenceslas," 5) "Deck the Halls," 6) "Joy to the World," 7) "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," 8) "We Three Kings," 9) "Away in a Manger," 10) "Come All Ye Faithful," 11) "O Holy Night," 12) "White Christmas," 13) "Silver Bells," 14) "The 12 Days Christmas," 15) "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," 16) "Frosty the Snowman," 17) "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth," 18) "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," 19) "Walking Through a Winter Wonderland," 20) "Up on the Rooftop."
Of course, there are dozens of other Christmas carols, but almost every source undeniably claims that "White Christmas," originally performed by Bing Crosby, is number one. Stuck with green grass and palm trees, the verses express the desire to be up north with snow, just like the ones from long ago as a child. Histories of some songs are interesting in how the words were inspired. Also shared in the same previous column of 2007, "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" was inspired from the observations of Dan Gardner, a music teacher from Smithtown, Long Island. Many of his second-graders who had front teeth missing lisped their words, especially when he asked what they wanted for Christmas. Rosamond, former columnist, attended Gardner's school and remembers singing this song before it was published.
Several websites have quizzes with these and other holiday songs. One site even had a printable version format that might be fun to use at a holiday party. Enjoy the music while shopping, sitting by the fire, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, driving to work, or "decking the halls" as you decorate your tree. The music will lift your spirit. Thanks for reading and make it a great week.
Send comments on this column to firstname.lastname@example.org