Here's the third of three holiday music mixes that cover Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, the winter solstice and Kwanzaa in various places. The first mix was more of the secular type of music; the second mix features humorous or odd pieces (with some explicit content); and this mix covers the more spiritual side of things. The link before takes you to iTunes, where you could buy the entire mix or individual tracks for about $1 each.
Mental Nomad Mix 6: Holiday Reflections
"Gabriel's Message," Sting -- Amazing vocal work from Sting here.
"Christmas in Prison," John Prine -- A recommendation; this offers a perspective you rarely hear, but who needs cheer more than those behind bars?
"The Atheist Christmas Carol," Vienna Teng -- Lovely vocal work on this song, which was recommended by a friend.
"O Little Town of Bethlehem," Frank Sinatra & Orchestra And Chorus Of Gordon Jenkins -- As said earlier, Sinatra may have been a gruff guy, but he had a real gift for these tender songs.
"Winter Solstice," R. Carlos Nakai -- Nice instrumental jazz piece.
"The Cutty Wren," Jessica Radcliffe, Lisa Ekström & Martin Simpson -- A recommendation here, focusing more on the ancient roots of holiday traditions later adopted by Christianity.
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan -- Hopefully the Bob Rivers song yesterday won't ruin this one for you.
"Nothing But a Child," Steve Earle -- This tender nativity song comes at the end of Earle's Copperhead Road album; you've got the title track about dealing in illicit substances, the Reagan-bashing "Snake Oil," the veterans' ode "Johnny Come Lately" (with the Pogues) and this -- quite a range on one album.
"The Little Drummer Boy," Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band -- One of the best moments to come out of the A Very Special Christmas albums.
"Melekalikimaka," The Beach Boys -- By request, but I'd have kicked myself if I'd left this off.
"Oiche Chiun (Silent Night)," Enya -- Beautiful vocal work.
"Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)," Vince Gill -- Another perspective you don't often hear.
"Shir Amami," Jane Siberry -- From an album of Hanukkah-themed music.
"Ave Maria," Luciano Pavarotti -- As Elizabeth Donald says, the mixture of his voice and the music makes this song is a religious experience. (And I say: Go buy her books.)
"Patapan Anon," The Deller Consort -- More with the Yule, a recommendation from a friend.
"Happy Happy Kwanzaa," Bunny Hull -- And Ye Olde Podcaster feels really bad that he ended up with just one song in here representing this cultural festival. I'll try to do better next year.
"O Holy Night," Tracy Chapman -- Beautiful vocals from someone you hear too little.