John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

Advent 2008: Sleigh Ride

As a former member of various concert bands, there are three Christmas songs I've played more than any other. One is Leroy Anderson's A Christmas Festival, with which I kicked off this project on November 30. Another is Alfred Reed's Russian Christmas Music, which I featured back on December 12. And I'm ending the project with the third, which like the first is by Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride. How often have I performed Sleigh Ride? Often enough that when I hear it and hum along with it, I cannot help but hum the French horn part. Which is a ridiculous thing to do, because it's a really, really boring part. But I can't help it! It's that ingrained in my psyche.

Sleigh Ride was composed as an instrumental work, but the celebrated lyricist Mitchell Parish wrote words for it in 1950. This will seem a silly thing to say, but I don't really consider this to really be the same song. It's like that old Saturday Night Live sketch with Bill Murray singing the Star Wars theme song. Accept only the original! Which is right here:

Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops - Sleigh Ride (MP3, 2.8MB)

Previous Advent posts:

2004: We Three Kings
2005: Los Reyes Magos
2006: Three wee kings
2007: Twelfth Night
2008: Columba Altarpiece

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