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Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!


This is
'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two "Battles" per month, on the 1st and 15th. Six days later (the 7th and 21st), I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.

Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of 'DOG BITE High Gravity Lager' (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!

[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Monday, December 15, 2014

'BATTLE OF THE BANDS: 2014, DEC. 15' (Or, 'THE CANADIAN TENORS VS. SPIRITUS CHAMBER CHOIR')

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Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
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THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
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Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
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Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)
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Alright, let’s get on it...
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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...but first:

So far, I've not had a lot of good luck with my Christmas-themed BOTBs, and it's all FAE's fault! I have always been mad about Christmas music, both the Sacred and the Secular. My BOTB plans, going back to last year, were to present a Secular Christmas song on December 1sts and a Sacred Song on December 15ths, when we're closer to Christmas Day.

Last year, my Sacred song was going to be 'O Holy Night', until I saw that FAE grabbed it up for her 12/01 BOTB. I switched gears, going with the planned Frank Sinatra Vs. Karen Carpenter ('Santa Claus Is Coming To Town') on 12/01 and then using a second Secular song ('Frosty The Snowman' - Jimmy Durante Vs. The Conniff Singers) on 12/15.

This year I planned to use 'MARY, DID YOU KNOW?' on 12/15, but FAE grabbed it up for her 12/01 BOTB. I swear that woman is either psychically reading my mind or reading my mail, but somehow she always manages to beat me to the punch.

'THE FAMILY CHRISTMAS TREASURY' - 1986 Videocassette
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So-ooo-o... thanks to FAE, I've switched my 12/15 BOTB (again this year) to a beautiful Christmas carol that is so little-known I will eat a toxic mistletoe plant and die of the poison if anyone else has also selected it for today's 'Battle Of The Bands' installments! This one's MINE, damn-it! (Bah!) When you can't beat 'em, outrun 'em! In other words, go so far, Far, FAR outside of the mainstream that they can't even follow you there without dropping bread crumbs to retrace their steps back home again, jigiddy-jig.

[FAE, next year I am going to Email my December BOTB song selections to you in November and if you steal one of 'em, Santa-With-A-Chainsaw is gonna come down your chimney cHOp-cHOp-cHOpping and stuff you into 12-Days-Of-Stockings!]
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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In 1987 or '88, I was really in the Christmas Spirit and purchased 5 or 6 professionally produced videocassettes that played Christmas songs accompanied by Winter scenes and whatnot (you know, like those 'Fireplace On Your TV Screen' kind of tapes... only I didn't buy one of those).

Over the next few years I came to realize that I only liked two of the tapes I'd purchased, so I discarded the others but have watched the two I like every single year from Then to Now.

My very favorite one is 'THE FAMILY CHRISTMAS TREASURY' from 1986. ["FUN FACT" (as 6-B of the 'A Beer For The Shower' blog likes to say)... my theme song, "Shoop-Shooby – Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah – Buh-Doo-Wah!", which I have used to lead off every single one of my past BOTB installments is actually my written impersonation of the musical intro leading into the song 'Winter Wonderland' on 'The Family Christmas Treasury' tape I have.]

The second tape that I like almost as much, but not quite, is 1987's 'THE CHRISTMAS CAROL VIDEO' produced by Twin Tower Enterprises in Studio City, California, "Featuring the Choristers & Cathedral Singers of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine." I purchased it at the Wherehouse Records store that used to be on Lincoln Boulevard in Venice (which was vandalized during “the Rodney King riots”), about a 5-minute drive from my house.
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'THE CHRISTMAS CAROL VIDEO' - 1987
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Amidst all the standards, I heard the singers performing a carol that I wasn't familiar with. By about year 3 or 4 it had eventually dawned on me how beautiful the melody was and so I finally decided to look at the back of the box to see what it was called:
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'THE HURON CAROL' - Here's what I've found out about it:

"Jean de Brebeuf was one of the "North American Martyrs" - a French Catholic priest who devised these lyrics to teach the Catholic Faith to the Indian population in North America and Canada in the mid 1600s. His lyric sheet can be seen at the Auriesville Shrine in New York along with some of his relics. Brebeuf suffered a violent and torturous martyrdom at the hands of the Iroquois."

"Father Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit Catholic Priest, who spent over 20 years serving his Huron flock not only wrote this beautiful carol but wrote a dictionary of the Huron Language [which] was not a written language. Yes, he used the tune from an old French song."

I was hoping to find the version by the Choristers & Cathedral Singers of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine at YouTube. It includes the tall doofus who decided to start growing a full beard 3 days before the scheduled filming of the video. Brother Nappy and I make fun of him every single December - it's become a genuine part of our Christmas traditions:
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Unfortunately, no one has posted this (really nice) rendition at YouTube, so I'm going with two others that I also like quite well. Alright, NOW let's get on it:


'THE HURON CAROL' sung by The Canadian Tenors


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And now their competition:

'THE HURON CAROL' - Spiritus Chamber Choir (arr. Bevan)


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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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“You know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. (NOTE: Comment Moderation is activated. All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.) 
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After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)
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Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' by clicking HERE.
@ ‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ALEX CAVANAUGH' (when BOTB falls on a Mon., Wed., or Fri.) by clicking HERE.
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As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

55 comments:

  1. Mission accomplished I'd say. You certainly picked an obscure one that I doubt anyone would have used for BOTB. However, my family and I will be singing this one around the Christmas tree this year and in years to come--it will probably still sound like "Jingle Bells" though.

    I've gotta go with the first version with the updated percussive sounds--well actually more Renaissance sounding perhaps. The second was pretty, but left me a bit cold, which is probably fitting for the season--snow anyone?

    My vote goes to those tenors.

    Merry Christmas to all. What are you getting for Christmas? Looks like my blog got word verification that I can't seem to figure out how to get rid of.

    Oh, and did I say I vote for those tenor guys?

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  2. Both are beautiful, but I like the almost tribal sound of The Canadian Tenors' version best.
    Hope Fae doesn't steal your song ideas next December.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Merry Christmas!!!

    Very cool carol, StevieMac! I don't know if I've ever heard this before. Great lyrics and really nice melody.

    The second version was haunting and beautiful, but I really like the juxtaposition with the feel of Latin-Gregorian chant meets Canadian Indian hunting-song in the first one. It emphasizes the Huron origins much more, I think.

    So put me down for a vote for da Canadian tenors, eh?

    I always enjoy getting exposed to new music through the BOTB. Don't be too hard on FAE -- if it wasn't for her, you'd have stuck with the tried-and-true retreads, and I'm for one glad you went far afield (through harsh Canadian winter fields) to find a cool carol I'd never heard.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never heard this song before today. The Canadian Tenors give it a richness that the the Spiritus Choir misses.The addition of the female voice is too distracting and overdone. My ear wants to pull hard on those high notes, so the words get lost as well.
    So definitely, I vote for the Canadian tenors. The instrumental sounds like Australian Aboriginal. The all male harmony is lovely. Interesting lyrics. Nice choice and challenge. Have a great Christmas and New Year's. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm working on a separate blog to do BOTB on. Have to delete all the political mayhem first. dc - as district of washington retired... well... quit in 2006. People are idiots, and I mean that in a kind way. They don't want to know and I'm not sure they enjoyed me telling them. Then they really pitch a fit when you share prophecy. It felt all uphill, and no one was like me...then. Slowly they're realizing I wan't kidding or making stuff up.
      You know, I think I've posted this in the wrong spot. Not to worry, when people think I'm nuts, It's an advantage.(smile)
      I'll get the blog address to you - hopefully this weekend. Cooking a roast for a neighbor who's oven went out.(She doesn't trust a crockpot - I tried to get her to take mine and use it.) Enough!

      Delete
    2. Blog title:

      dcrelief ~ Battle of the Bands

      url:

      http://cringe53.blogspot.com/

      Let me know if there's anything further I'm supposed to do. I have a test post on there now.
      Chao!

      Delete
  5. I confess I read the four comments that were here before listening to either selection. I have this bizarro compulsion to give my vote to the one who's listening if it's a tie in my own mind.

    Ah... this wasn't a tie.

    The choir did a pretty good job. I think the arrangement just wasn't to my liking. I really can't pinpoint it. Or maybe they don't enunciate well enough for me. I really had trouble discerning the lyrics, which isn't good. Unless the choir is singing in a foreign language, in which case it ceases to be about the lyrics and is solely about the harmonies, blend, etc.

    In my humble opinion, The Canadian Tenors far outshined the choir. I liked the percussion that spoke to the Native American origins.

    As I was reading the intro to this blog, I thought, "Man, I really wouldn't want to be FAE.... chop chop chop." I'm rather fond of my body parts (even when they don't behave as I'd like, and I'm sure she is too)! Of course, the problem here is that you think so much ALIKE! So, it was a compliment in a violent sort of way.

    I don't know which two versions of these songs you intended to use, but I think you could still do them next year if it wasn't an identical match-up to what she posted. Who will remember a year from now???? With luck, you will have new voters who didn't hear the previous battles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really should proof my comments. Did you stumble over this sentence? I have this bizarro compulsion to give my vote to the one who's listening if it's a tie in my own mind.

      Not listening: losing.

      My brain does this uber-strange thing of subbing in words that share just enough consonants as the word I actually want. It used to happen ALL OF THE TIME when my migraines were going full throttle. Now, just occasionally. That is one of the most bizarre cases yet.

      Losing.
      Listening.

      My brain remains a scary place to live.

      Delete
    2. I did read that sentence 2 or 3 times. Finally, I just chalked it up to "a female thing" that I'd probably never be able to understand, and I just moved forward with a shrug.

      Thanks for clarifying that. It makes sense now.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  6. -------- ARLEE BOID --------
    I'm not surprised that YOU already knew this song, but I expect it will be a new one to most voters. Had it not been for the version on that video tape I acquired in 1987, I probably wouldn't know this song today either, because I don't think I've ever heard it sung in a Christmas program or played on the radio. But, boy, the melody sure grew on me over the years, and I also like that the Subject of the song is "the Reason for the season".

    >>... Merry Christmas to all. What are you getting for Christmas? Looks like my blog got word verification that I can't seem to figure out how to get rid of.

    For Christmas, I'm getting the same thing I get every year: a hangover. But I hope the thing fits me this time and comes in a color I like.

    Yeah, I noticed the Word Verification thing the LAST time I posted a comment on your blog, before today's BOTB.

    You might want to change your Comment Section forum to "embedded on whole page" (or however it's actually worded) rather than the Pop-Up Window type of Comment Section. In my years here at Blogspot I've noticed that there are occasional bug outbreaks and when it pertains to the Comment Section, in the past it has been due to the Pop-Up type. That's why I switched from Pop-Up to Embedded Comment Section a few years back. I haven't had a problem since then (knock on my wooden leg).

    Give it a try and see if that resolves your problem. If not, you can always switch it back to Pop-Up again.

    -------- ALEX --------
    Yeah, me too. She's dead meat if she does! Chainsaw Santa don't play that.

    -------- GgC --------

    >>... Don't be too hard on FAE -- if it wasn't for her, you'd have stuck with the tried-and-true retreads...

    True that. Also if it wasn't for her, there would be no BOTB. Good point.

    Also,... it's curtains for her if it happens again. I can hear the "Ggggnaaawwww"-ing of the chainsaw already!

    -------- DIXIE POLKA --------

    >>... The all male harmony is lovely.

    Yeah, I hear ya. ;-)

    >>... Have a great Christmas and New Year's.

    Thanks! If this sobriety will only wear off I'm sure I will.
    And you have a Merry and a Happy, too!

    -------- GIRL WONDER --------
    Wow! I totally missed my guess on your vote this time. That doesn't happen too often, but I missed BIG on this one. Looks like I've got another blowout on my hands.

    >>... So, it was a compliment in a violent sort of way.

    Those be the best kind.

    Yes, in fact I already have my two BOTB songs selected for next December and I do intend to go with the one FAE stole from me this year on the 15th.

    As weird as this may seem, I have my BOTB blog bit for December 1, 2015 already COMPLETELY written and waiting to be posted. That's because this year, on the morning of December 1st, I suddenly decided to scrap the BOTB I had all prepared and switch to 'Sleigh Ride' instead because I wanted to snag the Leroy Anderson and Glenn Miller Orchestra versions before someone else did.

    The BOTB song I was all ready to use on 12/01/2014 is known but not REALLY WELL KNOWN, and unless you use it today, it will wait until next year - already written, i's dotted, t's crossed, punctuation in place - and it's obscure enough that I doubt anyone else will also use it next December 1st.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  7. Alright, that second one hurt my head in the first few seconds of listening. Glad I listened to the first one, first. It was beautiful in all ways; the video, the singing, the music. So Native American. The first one gets my vote.

    And, Mr Sexy: girls gotta stick together with a collective fantasy, lol. Thanks for letting us have our fun :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DONNA ~
      Even if I were gay I wouldn't fantasize about ME!

      Thanks for your vote though.

      Uh-oh. This is starting to look like a shutout in the making. I'm more than quite surprised.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  8. I had to listen to these twice. I expected myself to vote for the Tenors' version, but something made me go back and lsiten again, and darned if I'm not going to vote for the Chamber Choir.

    Huh!

    ReplyDelete
  9. And for the record-that vote was cast before reading these other comments-so it was not to save the shutout....but it came as a surprise to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LC ~
      Well, nonetheless, I'm glad you saved me from a shutout.

      I really like both of these versions - they're quite different from each other and yet I think they're both high quality, so it's surprising me somewhat to see the one take such an early commanding lead.

      A person never really knows for sure when it comes to BOTB. I always believe I've put two versions against each other that will make it competitive. Usually it is, but every so often I'm left scratching my head and wondering why everyone seems to lean so far toward one over the other.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  10. No offence to the choir, but this may have been the easiest BOTB I ever voted on. The Tenors made that SO magical. I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BROTHER MARTIN ~
      I didn't mean to make this so easy but... I am pleased that you so enjoyed the one you did vote for.

      Were you already familiar with this song?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Ahh, well, then I'm DOUBLE-PLEASED that I was able to turn you onto a new song that you loved upon first listen. Cool!

      ~ D-FensDogg

      Delete
    3. Just spent 20 minutes looking for this version on spotify to put it on my list- and found it at last. Thanks!

      Delete
    4. My Christmas gift to ya!
      I shoulda wrapped it better but...
      I'm a "guy".

      ~ D-FensDogg

      Delete
  11. Awesome; I wanna play! I didn't put up a Christmas or holiday themed BOTB, but I've got one all the same :)

    http://thisbellerocks.blogspot.com/2014/12/monday-puts-most-of-us-in-mood-for.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But who are you voting for HERE, Belle?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Sorry; I guess I got a little too excited!

      This was a tough one...I was completely unaware of this song before this post, and I do think I prefer the Canadian Tenors version. I love the strong vocals, and the accompanying music.

      Delete
    3. Sorry for barging in here the way I did. I cleaned my post up a little bit so there's no more misinformation.

      Delete
    4. KIM ~
      Ha! No problem. Barging is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged, at THIS blog... so long as ya vote after barging in.

      Your vote for the Tenors is officially noted. Thanks.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  12. Oh my...this is tough because I would have both in my collection and I have heard this song since I was a kid. I believe I have it in French but I have to listen to my music again:) I fully expected to say the Canadian Tenors and it is beautiful but the Choir was just magical to me and so well conducted! I choose the choir-very much Christmas to me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BIRGIT ~
      Oh, it's nice to see the Choir get a little more love. And I'm going to count your vote TWICE, since you already knew this song. This is known as an "Awareness Enriched Vote" or AEV. It's like getting double value on savings coupons at the grocery store.

      ...OK, I'm totally lying about the AEV, and I'm not counting your vote more than once. But I would if I thought I could get away with it, solely for the sake of keeping this contest a little closer.

      Thanks so much, Birgit, for checking in and contributing again!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  13. This brought back memories of my chamber choir days in high school. I'll never forget when my dad was trying to be nice by saying. "Won't you sing 'Bring In The Fern' again for me?" The song was "Be Not Afraid." The Chamber Choir has my vote.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GEM JULIE ~
      Another vote for The Spiritus Chamber Choir - alright! I thank you.

      I may or may not vote for them myself but, regardless, as the votes kept piling up for The Canadian Tenors - and it seeming to be such an easy choice for so many voters - I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me for thinking that Spiritus Chamber Choir was really good and was some genuine competition for The Canadian Tenors.

      Thanks to LC, Birgit, and you, my faith in my taste in music is slowly being restored.

      Funny story about your Pa's mangled attempt to be nice. But, listen, Julie, take it from me: BE NOT A FERN, because ILUJTWUR. :-)

      Thanks for taking the time to listen and to vote!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  14. This was interesting to learn about. I’d not heard the song before. I listened to both versions several times… not something I do with most BOTBs. It is a lovely song.

    But I have a different take on this “carol” than your other listeners. To me, this is not a Native American song or Huron song… it is a Catholic song. The info you supplied said this, and the song itself screams “Catholic” to me. So, the attempt in the first version to give it a “Native American feeling” is totally affected. I really, really dislike the affected arrangement, and using an Australian Aboriginal didjeridu is a major offender. Wrong continent, buddy! It strikes me as more jarring than anything.

    The second Spiritus version is beautiful and appropriate. It sounds Holy. That one gets my vote.

    >>>Also,... it's curtains for her if it happens again. I can hear the "Ggggnaaawwww"-ing of the chainsaw already!<<<

    Ho Ho Ho! Poor FAE! She must be quaking in her moccasins at your threat! You are gonna grinch her Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~
      She did Email me last night and said she wasn't even going to send me the lump of coal she'd planned on sending me if I didn't stop with the "chop, chop, chop" stuffs.

      She didn't seem to be in the mood for my explanation that chop, chop, chop also included within it a very jolly HO, HO, HO!

      Hmmm... well, leave it to you, SBB-6, to research this thing even further than I did. I take it you found on some website where it stated The Canadian Tenors used an Australian Aboriginal didjeridu. And I'm guessing that's the type of drum we hear in the song(?)

      To tell you the truth, I was under the impression that an Australian Aboriginal didjeridu was a type of very strong drink. I remember I ordered one in a scuzzy Reno bar one night, took one sip and immediately heard a tremendously loud BANG(!) My first thought was that someone had shot me, just to watch me die. And I passed out.

      I came to 6 hours later and found myself lying on a bed in a dingy, little Virginia City, Nevada, motel room. Standing over me, with a bleached-white bone through her nose, was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. But... she was holding a glass of water and some Alka-Seltzer, which she offered me. So I accepted.

      The rest of that encounter... (as Warren Zevon said before me)... "I don't want to talk about it".

      I have always wanted to order another Australian Aboriginal didjeridu since then, but I just don't have the courage, nor the stamina anymore.

      Well, your take on this BOTB was certainly different, but I appreciate it and would expect no less from you.

      Looks like this time I am going to have to vote WITH Arlee Bird, or vote WITH you, as I can't vote AGAINST you both on this one since you went separate ways.

      Ooohh! I'm going to have to agree with one of youze guyz. Maybe my taste in music IS slipping after all! (Ha! That's a joke, son, a joke. Look at me when I'm talkin' to yuh, son. Yuh like baseball? Why sho you like baseball - ever young boy likes baseball! There's sumthin' kind of Eewww about a boy what don't like baseball. Now I wahnt yuh to take this baseball bat an' go over there and paddle that dog with it. Yuh hear wuht ahm tellin' yuh, son? Paddle that dog. Then run like yuh feathers are on fire, boy!)

      SBB-6, I (and Foghorn Leghorn) greatly appreciate your analysis and your vote.

      Yak Later Via E, Son.

      ~ Rupert J. Van Osloan

      POSTSCRIPT:
      Hey, I'm eating quiche for breakfast. But don't tell anyone as it would be bad for my manly reputation.

      Delete
    2. HA! I'm pleased that you are NOT going to tell us the rest of that story 'bout the gal with the bone thru her nose!

      As for the didjeridu, “You’re way off, I say you’re way off this time son!” A didjeridu is that sort or growling horn that you hear starting near the beginning of the song. I didn't need to research it... I've heard these things for years. Virtually EVERY movie or tv show or video that concerns Australia features this long wooden horn. I suppose the Canadian Tenors version COULD be using something that is not a didjeridu but sounds like one... but I'm pretty darned sure that's what it is. If I'm wrong, just post: “Boy’s gotta mouth like a cannon, always shootin’ it off.”


      Delete
    3. Some people learn something new every day. But not me. This boy's, ah say, this boy's so dumb he must learn thirty new things a day. Look at me when ahm talkin' to yuh, son.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal, Ah Say, Loyal Affected American Underground'

      Delete
  15. Totally new Christmas carol to me. Both version were quite nice. I found I enjoyed The Canadian Tenors rendition the best. The drums made the song feel powerful and the strings gave it a gentle lift, but what I loved the voices (non-choir like). Don't get me wrong, I do like choirs, but there's too much of this sound at Christmas that I tend to listen to sparingly. So, please give my vote to The Canadian Tenors! Nice selection!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, CATHY!

      Looks like we got us an Australian Aboriginal didjeridu fan in you. (It's fine to listen to at Christmas, but I don't recommend ordering one in Reno unless you're prepared for a very long night and very long day.)

      [See my reply to Sheboyganboy Six above if that sounded Greek to you, Cathy.]

      Merry, Merry Christmas 2 U.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  16. What a beautiful song. I had never heard it until now. It might be my pro-Jesuit bias, but... wow.

    Both versions are beautiful and I feel badly that I have to choose one over the other. Having said that, I enjoyed the version by the Canadian Tenors better because of the background music, and I'll go with that, with apologies to the Spiritus Chamber Choir.

    John Holton
    The Sound Of One Hand Typing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JOHN ~
      It makes me feel good to know I have turned a few people on to a Christmas carol that I also think is quite beautiful and unjustly unheard.

      Yes, sir, it's a shame that we have to choose one over the other because I too believe BOTH versions presented here are really very good. It pretty much comes down to a preference of arrangement and vocal pitch, for the most part.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  17. Not gonna lie, man, I listened to the Canadian version all the way through and enjoyed every one of its five minutes. Then I played the choir version, and got through about 1 minute before I switched right back over to the Canadian version and just played it again.

    The choir version, to me, lacks flavor. Their voices are beautiful, don't get me wrong, but it really just sounds like something I'd hear in church on Sunday. Not something I'd pop in my "see dee" player and listen to while getting cozy next to the Festivus pole. Uh, I mean Christmas tree.

    The Canadian Tenors, however, create a haunting, beautiful atmosphere with this one. Their voices are not just stronger all around but sound better by giving them individuality, rather than the choir, whose voices are almost muddled and lost among one another. On top of that, the instrumentals coupled with that gorgeous Native American style percussion just knocks this one out of the park.

    If I knew Christmas carols were like this, maybe I'd listen to more. Consider this (the Canadian Tenors' specifically) the best Christmas carol this grinch has ever heard.

    So I don't think you have to bet a Molson on us both voting for the Canadians. Or as my cohort says, voting against the terrible memories brought up by the choir of our misspent days with Father Hitler.

    ~6B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's beginning to look a lot like...
      Tenors, Tenors going to win.

      6-B, my thanks to you and your cohort for the votes. Good memory on the Molson bet, too.

      Wow! Best Christmas carol ever?
      Well, this "Battle" may not have been very competitive, but at least a few of you really enjoyed the song a great deal.

      Have a cool yule.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  18. Okay, brother Stephen, I'm not looking at anyone's post till I chime in with my vote.

    Though both are beautiful, and I do loves me some choir, I have to give a big thumbs up to the CANADIAN TENORS!!
    Really tight, lovely timbre and I even feel the timing is somehow superior.

    Spiritus, God bless you. If I heard you in church, I would be pleased as punch, but a basic choral performance is all I expect there. When it rises above that expectation, I'm elated.

    The Canadian Tenors rose above BIG TIME.

    Also, sorry for the delay! I thought I was a follower here, but I didn't click on the button and so it didn't appear in my feed. I'm on it now! I must have been wandering over from the FFF site.

    Cherdo is now and forever more...dumb. Ciao!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CHERDO ~
      Nobody who knows how to spell "ciao" is dumb.
      I couldn't have spelled it correctly. But then I'd never use it because I think it's an illegal alien that sneaked across our border, and I don't hire illegals.

      Thanks for the vote and the comment. You're a bit of alright, you are!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. But we don't share a border with Italy...do we?

      I think we're good.

      Delete
  19. I have numerous CDs of tenors, mostly operatic works, but as much as I liked the first version, I've gotta buck the current and vote for the second. I love the pure beauty of choral voices blending and harmonizing.

    Merry Christmas, Mr. McC. And all the best in the new year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SUSKI ~
      Thanks for showing the Spiritus Chamber Choir a little love. The suspense over who is going to win this "Battle" is killing me. Ha!

      Thanks for the good wishes!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  20. Al Bondigas here. I guess I go with the Spiritus Choir. A Tough one here. I'm a sucker for choirs, but if Hermie had showed up the Tenor's may have carried the day. That's it. That's my rulin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JUDGE BONDIGAS ~
      Yeah, that's what Ed Asner Elf said too: "That sounded terrible! The Tenor Section was weak!" And Ernie J. Elf replied: "It wasn't our fault, Boss. Hermey didn't show up."

      No wonder Santa's assessment was: "Well, it needs work. I have to go.".

      And by the way, this year, the Postal Service - an official branch of the United States Government - issued first class stamps featuring all of the major characters from 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' (except for Yukon Cornelius). And on those stamps they spelled his name as Hermey. And since the United States Government would never falsify anything, a judge other than yourself has decreed that the elf's name is officially spelled H-E-R-M-E-Y. No lower judge in the state of Texas can overrule a Superior Court judge in New York, so you'll need to have your court reporter correct the spelling in your transcripts, I'm sorry to tell you.

      Nevertheless, your ruling stands.

      Thanks for your input, Judge Bondigas.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  21. As you know I've been here before and done this once, but YOU lost my comment. Keep in mind what Bill Cosby once said to his wife; 'you had it last, so it's your responsibility'. (If you don't know, don't ask!)

    My last comment was long and it was also, very classy, sassy and even a bit smart a$$y. Because I'm just sliding in under the wire this one will have to be short, sweet and succinct!

    When I first listened to this I thought the choir hurt my ears, since then I have listened to both of them many times through (I kept coming back to see if you posted my original comment and what you reply would be) and they have actually kind of grown on me.

    After reading the other comments, and multiple listens, I realize that the tenors have borrowed from so many native groups it's almost hard to place what continent they might be singing from.

    In the end, even though the choir has kind of grown on me and has a profound spiritual feel to it, I do like the sound of the tenors, So place my much purloined vote at their feet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much reply to my BOTB comment. I hope you didn't lost some sleep to make it. OK 4 U?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  22. STMcC’s Vote On ‘BOTB - 2014, December 15,
    - The Canadian Tenors Vs. Spiritus Chamber Choir'
    And The Final Tally:


    Alright, this was a 2 to 1 blowout where I expected a fairly tough "Battle". In fact, this was one time where I did not mentally predict the winner because I thought it could just as easily go either way. (Robin the Girl Wonder is right: BOTB can be entirely unpredictable. I like to think that I usually have a pretty good idea what to expect, but when I'm wrong, I'm BIG-TIME WRONG!)

    In my comment at Robin's BOTB installment I wrote: "I don't usually like soprano lead singers. I like soprano voices in a choir to add texture and more sonic harmonic elements, but not as the featured vocalist in a song."

    In THIS "Battle" we had Tenors going against Choir. I genuinely like BOTH recordings. However, the Spiritus Chamber Choir sings the song in a manner very much like how I first encountered it by The Choristers & Cathedral Singers of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine on my 1987 videocassette 'THE CHRISTMAS CAROL VIDEO'.

    I acknowledge (as mentioned in a comment or two above) that when it's sung by the choir(s), the words are not nearly so discernible. That's why when the song first grew on me, sort of infiltrating my mind, it was a result of the melody being presented with multi-layered "sonic harmonic elements". (The truth is, I didn't really even know what the words were until I saw them presented on the Canadian Tenors' video.)

    So... I like the Spiritus Chamber Choir best - it sounds beautiful, Spiritual, reverent. It sounds the way I first heard the song. I don't really know - I would probably need to hear them both back-to-back with my eyes closed to be sure - but I think I might even like the Spiritus Chamber Choir version better than the version by The Choristers & Cathedral Singers of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.

    At any rate, my vote couldn't do anything to keep this BOTB from being a rout. However, when you consider that The Canadian Tenors jumped out to a SIX to NUTTIN' lead in the voting, it was a noteworthy comeback the Spiritus Chamber Choir staged, even though they still got trounced.

    The Canadian Tenors = 14 Votes
    Spiritus Chamber Choir = 7 Votes


    Two things especially pleased me about this edition of "BATTLE OF THE BANDS":

    1) Even though it wasn't much of a "Battle", I was pleased to be able to present so many listeners with a Christmas carol they were unfamiliar with. And I was double-pleased that so many of you seemed to like it at least as much as I do, and some of you maybe even more so (judging from your comments).

    2) I was ecstatic about the voter turnout! A total of 21 votes submitted, which I am nearly certain is my all-time personal BOTB record. (I think my previous high was 20.) And that I received so many votes late in December, so close to Christmas, when I would naturally expect the least number of BOTB visitors and voters due to all the Holiday-related activity, really warmed my heart and buttered my rum!

    Thanks to all y'all for making some time in your busy December schedules to come by here, listen, and submit your votes and feedback. It was and is greatly appreciated!

    I hope to see ya again when the next BOTB blog bit goes up on the first day of 2015. (It looks like we have a new BOTB participant in DCRelief, so be sure to come by and see what sort of music the newcomer will be offering.)

    I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas (or ________ Celebration) and a Wonderful New Year. Yak Then...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  23. Whatever you lack in comments you seem to make up with long comments and lengthy ongoing discussion. That to me trumps votes.

    I'm not overly surprised the way your contest turned out. I've found that more classically oriented selections tend to get rejected to a greater extent more than what is most familiar to pop oriented ears. Also the choir was more generic. No doubt it was beautiful, but it lacked much distinction compared to other great choirs performing the same piece.

    I'm often surprised by the ways my Battles go. My current Battle did not go the way I had expected, but I'll have my results up tomorrow (Monday) for all to see.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LEE ~
      I thought this choir was probably as good, if not better, than the one I heard professionally performing the carol on the Christmas program tape where I first encountered it.

      Also, before putting this BOTB together I listened to every (or very nearly every) performance of it I found at YouTube, and I felt these two were the best.

      If you can point me to a better choir performance of it anywhere I would be greatly interested in hearing it. I don't mean that in a snarky, challenging way - I mean that sincerely, because I love this relatively unknown song, and thus far, the 3 best versions of it I've found are by the Spiritus Chamber Choir, The Choristers & Cathedral Singers of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, and The Canadian Tenors.

      If there are singers or choirs who do it even better, I'd love to hear 'em.

      Merry Christmas, my buddy Boid!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. I made my statement awkwardly. What I meant is that one good choir--and your example was a good performance--will be rather similar to another good choir. There may be nuances between one or another that are slightly better, but over all they will be putting forth something very similar which is the nature of classical music. Stylistically the tenors display overt differences that stand out with a passing listening.

      It's kind of like the performance of a symphony by a number of high caliber orchestras. Most will be very similar. Sometimes one or another may stand out not so much because it is better, but because it is more unique. The ear of the hearer who is not very familiar with the symphony may not notice any difference until there have been many listenings.

      The choir whose recording you used was outstanding for what it was, but I think in a sense was somewhat generic to the casual listener. By comparison the tenors stand out as different and more contemporary.

      Hope that makes better sense.

      Lee

      Delete
    3. Oh, OK, I understand your meaning now. Thanks for clarifying it.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    4. Great battle! Thanks for sharing!

      Delete

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