She'll Grow Back: Dr. John - Silent Night

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dr. John - Silent Night

Hey hey, folks, it's December again. And though I'm crazy busy now, and going to be even crazier busier in a few weeks, I'm going to try to post every day till Christmas again this year. (I do have a wedding to plan though, so no promises.) I'm working on rezipping and reupping all of last year's posts, but it's not done yet. When it is, I'll post links here.

It's only been six weeks since I promised not to mention Dr. John for a while, but that'll have to do. Here is his upbeat take on "Silent Night." Many of you probably know the history of the song -- the story goes that the church organ was out of commission, so a song was quickly arranged for voice and guitar. Lacking the pomp and majesty of the organ, the hymn focused on a quiet, humble thing. Turns out the organ probably wasn't broken at all (the first mention of that happened almost 90 years later), but that's the story I was told in my childhood, both by John Denver, and in the church play I appeared in as a child, based on this book.

I think a much more interesting story -- and one that has the virtue of being true -- is that "Stille Nacht" was one of the few songs sung by both sides during WWI's Christmas Truce of 1914.

"Silent Night" is, like all Christmas songs, played in a variety of styles and moods, and they're not all reverent and quiet. (In fact, I was thinking about posting my loudest versions here some Monday, but that won't happen this year.) Here, Dr. John, whose onstage persona is more likely to believe in frankincense and myrrh than virgin births, rocks the song up.

Dr. John - Silent Night
mirror 1 -- mirror 2
Buy from Amazon (buy the MP3s here, cheaper physical CD here)

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