Is Christmas special?
Only to Christians? Only if you believe that a child was born, died as a man in sacrifice to human folly, then resurrected?
It's a critical yes/no question for those who believe in and support the notion that all mythologies regardless of ethnic, religious, political upbringing are meaningful in the best of ways. Don't all mythologies hold merit when expressed in a positive manner with a message of rebirth and salvation?
Regarding the commercialization of Christmas, especially for children, the spirit of giving need not be concentrated on selfish expectations. After all, there's the gift of health and happiness that all can hopefully enjoy regardless the price of toys. Is that not the gift that all parents pray for in their own way?
What about the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Gaia's bounty? Are these not precious mythological gems from the past that we need to preserve so as to motive our progeny to thrive in wonderment and expectation of all that is good and wholesome? A glimpse of Utopia? Heaven on Earth?
And if there is ever to be a genuine expression of Utopia, will Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Gaia and the full pantheon of human mythology be there in celebration?
Discuss. It's a yes/no question...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In Greek mythology, Gaia (/ˈɡeɪ.ə/ or /ˈɡaɪ.ə/; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of Γῆ Gē, "land" or "earth"), also spelled Gaea (/ˈdʒiːə/), is the personification of the Earth and one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess. She is the immediate parent of Uranus (the sky), from whose sexual union she bore the Titans (themselves parents of many of the Olympian gods) and the Giants, and of Pontus (the sea), from whose union she bore the primordial sea gods. Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra.
See Wikipedia and other sites for full details...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A utopia (/juːˈtoʊpiə/ yoo-TOH-pee-ə) is an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia. One could also say that utopia is a perfect "place" that has been designed so there are no problems.
Utopia focuses on equality in economics, government and justice, though by no means exclusively, with the method and structure of proposed implementation varying based on ideology. According to Lyman Tower Sargent "there are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, Naturists/Nude Christians, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian, and many more utopias [...] Utopianism, some argue, is essential for the improvement of the human condition. But if used wrongly, it becomes dangerous. Utopia has an inherent contradictory nature here." Sargent argues that utopia's nature is inherently contradictory, because societies are not homogenous, and have desires which conflict and therefore cannot simultaneously be satisfied. If any two desires cannot be simultaneously satisfied, true utopia cannot be attained because in utopia all desires are satisfied.
The term utopia was coined from Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the south Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South America.
The word comes from Greek: οὐ ("not") and τόπος ("place") and means "no-place", and strictly describes any non-existent society 'described in considerable detail'. However, in standard usage, the word's meaning has narrowed and now usually describes a non-existent society that is intended to be viewed as considerably better than contemporary society. Eutopia, derived from Greek εὖ ("good" or "well") and τόπος ("place"), means "good place", and is strictly speaking the correct term to describe a positive utopia. In English, eutopia and utopia are homophonous, which may have given rise to the change in meaning.
See Wikipedia site for further details...
Initial music selection is courtesy of Robert Harris, Musicologist and Broadcaster, who collaborated with Michael Enright, host of the CBC Radio program The Sunday Edition which airs every Sunday morning from 9 AM to Noon, EST.
Courtesy of the CBC Radio web site
CBC Radio · December 20, 2015
Please visit the CBC Radio site in order to hear the full program presentation including all music selections therein.
The Christmas Music of Black America
All through December, we are awash in a sea of Christmas music -- much of it sentimental, over-wrought and just plain awful. Robert Harris makes the case that black America is one community that has always loved Christmas and respected its music. Artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith, Count Basie, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones and Billie Holiday grew up singing and playing music in church. Robert has chosen some fine examples of gospel, blues and jazz; Christmas music that is original, tasteful and heartfelt.
For more from Robert - including his much-praised series, "Twenty Pieces of Music that Changed the World", go here - https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/20-pieces-of-music-that-changed-the-world-robert-harris-1.2992788
All music selections here below courtesy of YouTube, related artists and their representatives.
Mel Torme - Christmas Time is Here
Mel Tormé - Topic
Published on Oct 19, 2016
Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group North America
Christmastime Is Here (From "A Charlie Brown Christmas") · Mel Tormé
℗ 1992 Telarc International Corp.
℗ ℗ 1992 Telarc International Corp.
Released on: 1992-10-28
Producer: Robert Woods
Author, Composer: Lee Mendelson
Author, Composer: Vince Guaraldi
Music Publisher: Lee Mendelson Film Productions Inc. (BMI)
Auto-generated by YouTube.
BB King - Merry Christmas Baby
Published on Jul 25, 2017
Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group North America
Merry Christmas Baby · B.B. King
Contemporary Jazz Christmas
℗ 1993 Geffen Records
Released on: 1997-01-01
Alto Saxophone, Recording Arranger: Walter King
Tenor Saxophone: Melvin Jackson
Trumpet: James Bolden
Guitar: Leon Warren
Bass Guitar: Michael Doster
Piano: James Toney
Drums: Calep Emphrey
Tambourine: Tony Coleman
Mix Engineer, Recording Engineer: Josiah Gluck
Asst. Recording Engineer: Devin Emke
Assistant Mixer: Ken Quartarone
Assistant Mixer: Rich Costey
Producer: Michael Abene
Associate Producer: Gretchen Hoffmann Abene
Author, Composer: Johnny Moore
Author, Composer: Lou Baxter
Music Publisher: Chappell & Co.
Auto-generated by YouTube.
Fairfield Four - Last Month Of The Year
Published on Nov 9, 2014
The Fairfield Four was disbanded in 1950, but they reunited 30 years later. "Last Month of the Year" is from their 1992 release, "Standing In The Safety Zone" which is filled with wonderful music. Enjoy!
The Fairfield Four - Arrangement Collaboration, Primary Artist
Stuart Duncan - Baritone (Vocal)
Pat Enright - Tenor (Vocal)
Isaac Freeman - Bass, Bass (Vocal), Director, Musical Director,
James Hill - Baritone (Vocal), Management
Gene Libbea - Baritone (Vocal)
Sam McCrary - Tenor (Vocal)
The Nashville Bluegrass Band - Guest Artist
Alan O'Bryant - Vocals
Rev. W.L. Richardson - Vocals
Walter Settles - Vocals
Edward Thomas - Tenor (Vocal)
Wilson Waters - Tenor (Vocal)
Roland White - Bass (Vocal)
Song: Last Month of the Year
Artist: The Fairfield Four
Album: Standing In the Safety Zone
Licensed to YouTube by: Curb Records (on behalf of Word Records); Warner Chappell, and 2 Music Rights Societies
Fats Waller - Swingin' Them Jingle Bells
Published on Dec 25, 2010
Song: Swingin' Them Jingle Bells
Artist: Fats Waller
Album: Vintage Christmas Tree
Licensed to YouTube by: SME (on behalf of Past Perfect); PEDL, ASCAP, UBEM, Kobalt Music Publishing, and 1 Music Rights Societies
Count Basie - Good Morning Blues
Classic Mood Experience
Published on Dec 19, 2012
Classic Mood Experience The best masterpieces ever recorded in the music history.
William James "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By 16 years old, he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924, he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten's death in 1935.
In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie's theme songs were "One O'Clock Jump", developed in 1935 in the early days of his band, and later "April in Paris".
Song: Good Morning Blues
Artist: James Rushing
Album: Kansas City Jazz
Licensed to YouTube by: (on behalf of Hallmark); PEDL, ASCAP, Warner Chappell, UBEM, and 3 Music Rights Societies
Whitney Houston - Do you hear what I hear
Christmas Music Videos
Published on Oct 16, 2016
Category: People & Blogs
Lest we forget artists such as Nat King Cole, Sidney Poitier, Mahalia Jackson...
Nat King Cole - Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire
Published on Jul 18, 2011
Song: The Christmas Song
Artist: Nat King Cole
Album: Merry Christmas - The Rocking X-Mas Edition
Writers: Mel Tormé, Robert Wells
Licensed to YouTube by: INgrooves (on behalf of Zebralution); Kobalt Music Publishing, PEDL, EMI Music Publishing, Warner Chappell, AdShare (Publishing), Sony ATV Publishing, and 1 Music Rights Societies
Lilies of the Field - Amen
Published on Jul 17, 2007
This is the final scene in the film directed by Ralph Nelson. It's the scene where Homer Smith, played by Sidney Poitier leaves Mother Maria, played by Lilia Skala after building them a chapel. After taking one last look at the chapel he built, Smith, knowing that his work is done, slips into his car and drives quietly off into the night.
Category: Film & Animation
Silent Night- Mahalia Jackson
Published on Aug 13, 2016
Silent Night, Mahalia Jackson.
Louis Armstrong & Mahalia Jackson - Just A Closer Walk With Thee - 7/10/1970 (Official)
Louis Armstrong on MV
Published on Feb 6, 2015
Louis Armstrong & Mahalia Jackson - Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Recorded Live: 7/10/1970 - Newport Jazz Festival - Newport, RI
A Canadian in London...
Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah (Live In London)
Published on Oct 2, 2009
Artist: Leonard Cohen
Album: Live In London (Alben für die Ewigkeit)
Writer: Leonard Cohen
Licensed to YouTube by: SME (on behalf of Columbia); ARESA, UBEM, Sony ATV Publishing, CMRRA, SOLAR Music Rights Management, and 16 Music Rights Societies
Finally, in celebration of the Season as personified by a young child...
The Little Drummer Boy (Perfect Version)
Published on Nov 1, 2009
All Rights Belong to Artists Involved.
"The Little Drummer Boy" is a popular Christmas song, with words and music by Katherine K. Davis. Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone have been credited with writing the song, even though they were only the arrangers for their recordings of it.
The lyrics tell the apocryphal story of a poor young boy who, unable to afford a gift for the infant Jesus, plays his drum for the newborn with the Virgin Mary's approval. Miraculously, the baby, although a newborn, seems to understand and smiles at the boy in gratitude. The story is somewhat similar to an old twelfth-century legend retold by Anatole France as Le jongleur de Notre-Dame (The Juggler of Notre Dame), which was adapted into an opera in 1902 by Jules Massenet. In the French legend, however, a juggler juggles before the statue of the Virgin Mary, and the statue, according to which version of the legend one reads, either smiles at him or throws him a rose (or both, as in the 1984 made-for-television film).
Performers: The Harry Simeone Chorale
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1941; USA
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Enjoy the holidays!
Health, happiness and well being to you and yours.
May our world embrace Utopian values so that our children inherit a quality of live worth living!
DISCLAIMER: UFF does not own any of the above works, nor do we claim responsibility or ownership for any images or audio tracks shown in these and other videos UFF has posted. All rights go to their respective owners.
UFF Commentary Notes are the sole responsibility of the President of UFF.
See post of November 29, 2017 for full transparency details.