Saturday, 12 December 2009

O tannenbaum, o tannenbaum

We're starting to get into a Christmas mood. Madrid is looking pretty, with lights strung out over the streets and little markets popping up all over the place. We've got what must be one of the smallest Christmas trees ever: it's a cypress tree we picked up at the Rastro last weekend. We didn't want to buy a fake one, and we couldn't find a real fir so this was the closest we could get. Still it looks very pretty.We'd already been availing ourselves of the piles of Turron and Panettoni beginning to make their seasonal appearance in the shops, and yesterday we stuck all our Christmas cards in the post. Plus, we embarked on a mammoth Christmas-music playlist compilation on Spotify yesterday to ensure our first Madrid Christmas is suitably sound-tracked.

Naturally we've gone for the cheesy party tracks - The Pogues, Boney M, Band Aid - but for when we just want to chill we've found some lovely versions of some traditional hymns; Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band singing "I saw three ships" and an instrumental version of "The Holly wears the Crown" by Martin Simpson - weirdly we couldn't find a decent vocal version of "The Holly and the Ivy" though there were loads to choose from - they were all too slow. We found a cracking Dolly Parton version of "Go tell it to the Mountain", there's some Jethro Tull, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong (controversially, perhaps, we've gone for his version of "White Christmas" rather than Bing's). Speaking of Bing Crosby, his duet with David Bowie was annoyingly prefaced by 2 minutes of chatter, so we picked the Jackson Five for "The Little Drummer Boy" instead. There's Handel, Troika, Gaudete and the Snowman in our playlist, but what's really making me nostalgic and bringing up memories of Christmases past is Nat King Cole singing "Holy Night" and "O Tannenbaum"; it reminds me of Christmases in Kenya as my parents would often play it back in the days of cassettes. Once we moved back to England and bought a CD player he disappeared from our Christmas soundtracks. I'm glad he's back.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget I like Turron! Gros bises mum xx

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