This past weekend, I hung out with longtime friends, Julie Card and Dan Plouffe from mycollingwood.ca along with our mutual friend from Kingston, Ontario – John Hanlon. Even though it was cold, windy and occasionally raining, last Saturday we attended the Thornbury Winter Carnival and just had the best time. Sunday, Dan, John and I were also the ‘test mouths’ for Julie’s Christmas cookie concoctions...my oh my, they were all super dee-lish. We ate and ate and ate. Julie bakes the best cookies ever. It was a fabulous time spent with good friends. All those yummy cookies got me to thinking about food mentions in Christmas songs. And that’s exactly what this weeks’ quiz is about. The songs in question are all classic Christmas fare that you hear every year...some are pop songs, some are traditional carols. There’s no Christmas rap here...unless you spell it wrap. So, put on your thinking toque and have a go.
1. This holiday season song was featured on Phil Spector’s 1963 album, “A Christmas Gift For You”, sung by Darlene Love. Some of the lyrics are: “It’s a yum-yummy world made for sweethearts. Take a walk with your favourite girl. It’s a sugar date, what if spring is late. In winter, it’s a.....”. If you know the next two words, then you’ve got the yummy answer. What’s the name of this food related Christmas song?
2. Here’s a lyric from a very famous Christmas song, “It doesn’t show signs of stopping, and I bought some corn for popping. Since we’ve no place to go....”. Sing the next line and you’ve got the answer.
3. Can you guess the classic Christmas carol that these lyrics come from: “Oh bring us a figgy pudding, oh bring us a figgy pudding, oh bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer”. (HINT: I ‘wish’ you luck with this one)
4. The opening lyrics to this Christmas classic are: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose...”. C’mon you know the title of this holiday hit. So, what is it?
5. “Take a look in the five and ten, glistening once again with candy canes and silver lanes aglow” is part of the lyric for this Yuletide standard. Johnny Mathis and Bing Crosby were but two famous singers who recorded this song. ‘See’ if you can guess the name of this song?
1. “Marshmallow World” is the popular song that’s been recorded by the likes of Dean Martin and Johnny Mathis as well as Brenda Lee (“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”). It was written in 1949 by Carl Sigman and Peter DeRose. Crooner Bing Crosby recorded it in 1950 and took it to # 24 on the pop charts (of course, it was Christmas time). Phil Spector’s “A Christmas Gift For You” album, featuring Darlene Love’s version of the song, was originally released on November 22, 1963, but John F. Kennedy’s death in Dallas overshadowed everything else and the album stiffed. It’s been released many times since and is considered a rock and roll Christmas classic. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it # 142 on their list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.
2. You probably guessed “Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let it Snow! and if you did, then you would be correct. It was written in California in 1945 during one of the hottest days in July by Sammy Cahn and Jules Styne, two legendary songwriters (they also wrote the standard, “Three Coins In The Fountain”). “Let It Snow! Let it Snow! Let It Snow!” has been recorded by a who’s who of pop performers, including Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Michael Buble, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Chicago, country singer Blake Shelton and Andy Williams. The song was featured in “Glee” during the 2010 season, although it was drastically altered. Originally recorded in 1945 by Vaughan Monroe, whose version eventually reached # 1. If you remember the Bruce Willis movies, “Die Hard” (1988) and “Die Hard 2” (1990), Vaughan Monroe’s version was played during the closing credits.
3. You can’t get much more basic than the classic “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. Those ‘figgy pudding’ lyrics are from the traditional olde English version. Bing Crosby is probably the most famous singer of this wonderful holiday ditty. Figgie pudding by the way, is a spice cake made with figs and walnuts. Yum.
4. Nat ‘King’ Cole probably has the most famous version of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)”, but it’s also been recorded by Christina Aguilera, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Clay Aikin, Tony Bennett, The Carpenters, James Brown (I kid you not), The Supremes, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan (seriously), Celine Dion, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Cee Lo Green, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer, Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston and The Jackson 5 as well as Justin Bieber & Usher. Mel Torme and Bob Wells wrote the holiday classic on, you guessed it, a hot summer day.
5. “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” is the song we were looking for. It was written in 1951 by Meredith Willson ( who also wrote “The Music Man”. Remember ”76 Trombones”?) and has been recorded by many artists, including Michael Buble, Perry Como and even the Chipmunks. “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” was one of the songs featured in the 1992 movie, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” starring McCauley Culkin.