December 23, 2010

Advent Calendar of Non-Overplayed Christmas Songs No. XXI

Gail Collins had an awesome tangent in the New York Times this morning in defense of folk music:

“You can watch your property right here being towed away by the Russians! Back to Moscow!” If the former Red Menace wants to “hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya,’ ” [Senator James Risch of Idaho] added, “Well, that is fine. But give us back our stolen military equipment.”

When was it that the singing of “Kumbaya” became a shorthand for weenieness? “Kumbaya” is an excellent campfire song, especially for groups that border on tone-deafness and don’t know the words to anything. I remember singing it in Girl Scout camp with friends who emerged unscathed and became conservative Republicans. Some may be writing letters protesting the New Start treaty at this very moment. Please, give “Kumbaya” a break.

Which brings us to Nowell Sing We Clear (with Tony Barrand), who put out several excellent albums with traditional Christmas carols in the '80s & '90s. The Rag Dance gets started around 3 minutes into this video:

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