Friday, December 22, 2017

A Charlie Brown Christmas: the Music

This is such a timeless story for kids and adults. The choice of music by the creators of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' captures the precious elements of melancholy, winter beauty and childhood insight involved with Christmas. I appreciate that Schulz chose to include the Gospel of Luke in the midst of burgeoning secularism. Happy to hear it year after year. Vince Guaraldi's original compositions capture the joy of childhood with such poignancy. My students always express delight when I play this album the weeks before the winter break--even the big, tough highschoolers.

 Being an incurable teacher, here is background for the traditional carols. Just for fun.

Good ole Charlie Brown chooses a scrawny little tree--he always did have a big, empathetic heart. 

This is a traditional, German song which means O Christmas Tree. The custom of Christmas trees started in Germany, and became popular in Great Britain and the US when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert married. Albert, being German, brought the tree custom with him.

A Charlie Brown Christmas - O Tannenbaum 

'What Child Is This' is a traditional English carol set to the older tune of 'Greensleeves.'

A Charlie Brown Christmas - What Child Is This 

'The Little Drummer Boy' is an American carol written in 1941, made famous by the Von Trapp Family Singers.

A Charlie Brown Christmas "My Little Drum"

'Hark! the Herald Angels Sing' is another English song written by Charles Wesley and perked up by George Whitefield in 1739, which was during the time of the Great Awakening in the US.

A Charlie Brown Christmas - Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) was actually written on a hot July day by singer Mel Torme. 

a charlie brown christmas-the christmas song 

 Schroeder, Charlie Brown's friend, loves to play Beethoven, but is badgered by Lucy, who has a crush on him, to play 'Jingle Bells.' The irony is that Beethoven composed 'Fur Elise' for a girl that didn't return the attention, but in this story Schroeder does not return Lucy's attention. And that 'Jingle Bells' was written in 1857 for the holiday of Thanksgiving by an American.

a charlie brown christmas-fur elise 


Schroeder - Jingle Bells


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