Tag Archives: a capella

Traditional Music — Because I Love Christmas — O Come All Ye Faithful

So remember in the last post when I said I hated most Christmas music? That must not be construed with me hating Christmas in general. I actually LOVE Christmas. I know there were so many negative overtones to the holiday spirit in the last post, but really… I mean come on, can’t I be a traditionalist and cynic at the same time?

I grew up in the tradition of celebrating Christ–rather than Winter–on Christmas day, so you can see from whence my negative and sordid attitude comes toward camps that glorify gift-giving and merriment solely because “it’s the holidays.”

In the spirit of the real meaning of Christmas (and I mean this in the real Christian way, not the overly-done 1960s crappy animatronic Rudolph way), I present to thee a cover of my favorite Christmas song, O Come All Ye Faithful. Don’t let me get too sappy here, but I believe this song is a truly great composition that commemorates the most basic tenets of the Christian foundation. This cover does the same, but it does so in a very modern and alternative way that I think Christmas lovers–Christian or otherwise alike–will enjoy. That is, you don’t have to be Catholic or protestant to enjoy this great piece of music.

Having grown up in the church, you’d think that I’ve heard every possible version of every Christmas song ever, but this song proves us all wrong. Pomplamoose Music (which you’ve seen here before with their cover of Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel) takes some very creative steps with this version of a Christmas carol. They introduce the accordion and ukulele to a genre primarily dominated by piano, choir, and orchestra, and the entire song is complemented with a steady percussive beat. However, their alternative steps don’t stray too far from the original tradition. They include a totally a capella interlude that reminds me of the choirs I heard on the stereo on Christmas morning every year, complete with angelic harmonies. Enjoy here:

This song, according to wikipedia (yeah, that’s probably accurate) has unclear beginnings, but here’s one American icon singing this song:
Nat King Cole singing O Come All Ye Faithful” on YouTube.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps

I know what you’re thinking, but just read this post first and I’ll get to my editorial statement at the end.

Even though Lisa wrote a lovely post on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a few weeks ago, Imma give ’em another go. Lisa mentioned that YYY was one the bands that first brought us together, and it was actually this song, Maps, that united us in the first place.

So in honour of that, I’ve got a few great–and really different–covers for you today.

The first comes from the UK youtube duo NickDanMusic. This cover is really simple, but obviously well done and a pleasure to listen to. The two guitars together create a nice sound that you just can’t get with one person doing a cover. Love the falsetto, too. Check it out here:

I find the second cover to be pretty creative and worth a listen. You know I’m a sucker for tabbed guitar, so this one by youtuber electrostripes is quite alright by me. Great vocals, great tab interpretation, a little reworking of the chord progression. View here:

You know what I love even more than tabbed guitar? Folk overtones! The Swedish duo nikiyrla does an interpretation of the song that is very different from the original. While I personally love the added harmonies, it’s a bit too much for some people. What do you think?

And finally, this video takes the cake. This video from primaryern was done entirely a capella by one person, then merged together to form one entertaining video. I liked it and posted this on my facebook a few months ago. I got a range of responses, including “This is the best thing ever!” and “I can only take about 10 seconds of this.” While this version is not as pleasing to listen to, it certainly shows technical skill and creativity in reinterpretation, which is what great covers are all about. Love it or hate it? Lemme know! Check it out here:

Check out the original here: Maps by YYY

And for my editorial: Yes, I apologize for going so long without posting. I’m finally on holiday and have the time to get away from school enough to write again. Sorry for taking so long! I’ve been checking the site stats and have seen that we’ve been getting daily hits, even during our several-week cover drought. So thanks again for reading. We’ll keep ’em coming.