White Christmas, December 15: Andy Williams

I’m sticking with Crooners’ Sunday, so here is my favourite crooner of them all, Andy Williams, whose voice combines the smoothness of a Frank with the depth and richness of an Elvis, and whose version of Sleigh Ride is my favourite Christmas song of all, not counting Mistletoe And Wine. There is NO SPACE for Frank or Elvis in this year’s advent calendar, believe it or not, so this is as close as you’ll get. (I can’t say the same for Cliff, but more on him tomorrow, and I think you’ll be glad you waited.)

But for now, don your Sunday slippers and ideally a cardigan, light a fire, and enjoy some Andy loveliness. The cut-in at 2:05 is cheesy, but I love it anyway.

Happy songs

I listened to Sleigh Ride this morning, because even though it’s not Christmas I was cold and tired and it is a song that never doesn’t cheer me up. It is also the most crazily complicated song in the world – if you are a musician, pick up your instrument of choice and try busking along with it and you’ll see what I mean:

But Dan says it’s too early to listen to Christmas music,  so I turned it off and listened to some show tunes instead, and found myself shivering with glee at the lyrics to Thoroughly Modern Millie. I can’t decide whether my favourite is

Men say it’s criminal/What women’ll do

What they’re forgetting/Is this is nineteen twenty two!


What we think is chic, unique and quite adorable

They think is odd and Sodom and Gomorrable

Both are pretty perfect. What song lyrics make you happy?

Advent song for December 20

This is a slight cheat, because we had it last year. I haven’t run out of ideas, it’s just that this song is so good and makes me so happy that I couldn’t bear to leave it out. To begin with I thought I’d use a different version, at least, but none of them is nearly as good as this. So here’s Andy Williams with the gorgeous Sleigh Ride. Enjoy.

Seasonal songs

I’ve realised, too late, that I should have created my own online advent calendar by embedding a video for a different Christmas song each day. Well, it’s too late to do it from the 1st, but it’s not too late to start now. So from now until Christmas, except on the 19th-22nd inclusive when I will be out of the country and may not have internet access, I will link to a new Christmas song each day from among my personal favourites. We will begin with an item which is neither an embedded video nor even a video at all, really, but it’s one of the happiest Christmas songs there is: Andy Williams singing Sleigh Ride. Make sure you listen all the way through; it gets better as it goes along. Just like advent.