You might think I’m odd to be posting thoughts on a Christmas album on the day after Christmas, but I’m not odd; rather, I’m just lazy. Seriously though, I had hoped to post this earlier, but I’ll bet if cute little Simon had wanted you to play Candy Land and watch him play his game on his new Kindle, you would have passed on the writing too. Besides, if you’re like us, Christmas music holds on until around the 2nd or 3rd of January. If you’re not, there’s always next year for you to consider this gem.
If you don’t like Frank Sinatra’s music, this 1948 release, Christmas Songs, probably isn’t going to change your mind, because it’s all Frank. If he wants to toss in a bit of shimmy, so is it tossed, and if the writer failed to come up with the right word, Frank’s right there to supply it. If you don’t like that, he’ll hit you in the mouth, and if he can’t get it done by himself, he’ll go get Phil Hartman to help.
This is just Frank doing what Frank did, walking into a studio and singing the songs he’s asked to sing. And there isn’t any great mystery about the songs he’s singing. I knew 14 of the 15 tracks, and I’m a guy who never even put up a Christmas tree until I met my wife.
Frank comes out and hits you in the face with nine straight doozies:
”Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!”
“The First Noel”
“I’ll be Home for Christmas”
“Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
“Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”
After that, you get a bit of a letdown, with my least favorite track on the album, “Christmas Dreaming,” and if you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t think I know that one,” you can take that as a sign. The lull continues with Track 11, “Light a Candle in the Chapel,” which hasn’t been quite as forgotten, but I’ll bet some of you won’t know it when you hear it.
After that, Frank finishes with a string of four more classics:
“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”
“The Christmas Waltz’
“Mistletoe and Holly”
“While the Angeles was Ringing”
And then there you have it, Frank brings it to you the way you know Frank’s going to bring it to you. Sometimes he’s cool Frank, and sometimes he’s thoughtful Frank, and sometimes he’s ladies man Frank. He wears all of the faces we’ve come to know him to wear over the years, and they are all friendly faces to have around the house during the holidays. No, this ain’t Hoboken, but Frank seems to fit quite well, and when he sings “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” you think he might have just made it.
Be well, my friends, and I pray your Holiday Season continues to be blessed.