Turntable Talk – Sing A Song of the Season

It is time once again for another edition of Turntable Talk hosted by Dave of A Sound Day. The topic he assigned this month was an easy one. He says, “just pick a Christmas/holiday song that you like or is special to you, and write a bit about it. Could be its history, could be why you particularly like it. And, can be a new one, a traditional one, classic or obscure.”

When I read his email, one song immediately popped into my head. I was sure that was going to be the one I wrote about. Then I was listening to my iPod and heard one that I felt really needed some recognition, because it get’s me in the “feels” every time I hear it. That led to me remembering another powerful song of the season. When I couldn’t decide which one to pick, I asked Dave if I could write about both. He responded, “Sure! It’s Christmas. Why not?”

I hope you will enjoy these as much as I do….

I was familiar with many of the Elvis Christmas songs growing up. My dad had one of his Christmas albums and played it every year. Prior to DJing a Christmas party, I stopped at my local record store to pick up some Christmas music. I spotted the above album, which had many cuts that I had never heard before, including the title track. I popped it into the car’s CD player and it was the first song on the CD. I was blown away by it. What an amazing message.

I didn’t know much about the song at all, but thanks to Wiki I found out that it came from Elvis’ personal friend. Around August of 1965, Presley’s friend and bodyguard Red West wrote the song “in about an hour.” He recorded it and released it the same year under his own label for the 1965 Christmas season, with very little success. The following year, he gave the song to Presley to record, as Elvis had been wanting to record a Christmas song.

The backing track was recorded on June 10, 1966 at RCA Studio B in Nashville, with background vocals provided by Millie Kirkham, The Jordanaires, and the Imperials Quartet. Two days later, on June 12, Presley’s vocals were added. According to West, the vocals were sung and recorded in a hotel room after an enthusiastic Presley heard a copy of the just-recorded backing track on a two-track tape recorder. The song was released on November 15, 1966 as an RCA Victor 45 single. The single reached No. 2 on the Billboard “Best Bets For Christmas” survey in 1966, and returned to the chart in 1967, spending a total of eight weeks in the chart.

When I think about the message of this song, I am reminded of Bill Murray’s speech at the end of Scrooged. He is talking about Christmas Eve and he says, “It’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer; we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more.  For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be.” I think, you can expand that into the entire holiday season. People are just nicer to each other. It really is the time of year that exemplifies what the rest of the year should be like.

Imagine if every day were like Christmas! Elvis’ vocal, the arrangement, and the lyrics of this song bring my to tears almost every time I hear it. Give my first song a listen here:

If Every Day Was Like Christmas

I hear the bells
Saying christmas is near
They ring out to tell the world
That this is the season of cheer

I hear a choir
Singing sweetly somewhere
And a glow fills my heart
I’m at peace with the world
As the sound of their singing fills the air

Oh why can’t every day be like christmas
Why can’t that feeling go on endlessly
For if everyday could be just like christmas
What a wonderful world this would be

I hear a child
Telling santa what to bring
And the smile upon his tiny face
Is worth more to me than anything

Oh why can’t every day be like christmas
Why can’t that feeling go on endlessly
For if everyday could be just like christmas
What a wonderful world this would be

In his short career, Bobby Darin only recorded one Christmas album. The 25th Day of December was released in 1960 and is full of standard hymns and a few other songs. Despite a thorough search of the internet, I cannot find a whole lot about the album or the song that I selected as my second for this blog – Christmas Auld Lang Syne. As a matter of fact, the song wasn’t even on the original album. One review of the album I did find states: In addition, the label has expanded the original LP with one bonus track, the mono single of “Christmas Auld Lang Syne” with new lyrics by Frank Military and Manny Kurtz. When Darin starts to sing of mistletoe and tinsel glow, it’s both refreshing and disconcerting following the frequently-solemn album. The 25th Day of December remains a moving and singular creation by one of popular music’s most enduring vocalists, and one of the most unusual Christmas albums to be recorded by a mainstream superstar. As such, it’s worth a spin this Christmas season.

A search of what “Auld Lang Syne” means brings about many interpretations, but most of them all say that when translated literally it means “old long since,” but the meaning is more like “old times” or “the olden days.” In a way the phrase goes perfectly with my blog as I spend a lot of time looking back at the past.

This was one of those songs I remember hearing as part of some “oldies” Christmas special. I’ve always been a fan of Bobby Darin, but had never heard the song before. Melodically, the music is note for note “Auld Lang Syne.” Lyrically, it is something deeper. Every New Year’s Eve, we look back on the year and hope that we can all be together again. This song applies it to Christmas.

New Year’s Eve, to me anyway, is not really about family. Christmas, however, is ALL about family. When you take these lyrics and think back on those who are no longer with us, or think about those who may not be with us next year, it packs a pretty emotional and powerful punch. Again, it always gets me in the “feels.” Two places in the song never fail to give me goosebumps. When Bobby tosses out his quick holiday wish , as awkward as it may be, it still gets me. Then there is the last “thank the Lord,” where he holds the note. Gets me every time.

You may not be familiar with it, but I will forever be a favorite of mine. He is the audio and lyrics:

Christmas Auld Lang Syne

When mistletoe and tinsel glow
Paint a Yuletide valentine
Back home, I go to those I know
For a Christmas Auld Lang Syne

And as we gather ’round the tree
Our voices, all combine
In sweet accord, we thank the Lord
For a Christmas Auld Lang Syne

When sleigh bells ring
And choirs sing and the children’s faces shine
With each new toy, we share their joy
With a Christmas Auld Lang Syne

We sing His praise, this day of days
And pray next year, this time
We’ll all be near to share the cheer
Of a Christmas Auld Lang Syne

Merry Christmas, everybody, and a Happy New Year

In sweet accord, we thank the Lord
For a Christmas Auld Lang Syne

Ok, just one more – my original choice, because I need a fun one!

My first pick was Marshmallow World by Dean Martin. Yes, I am aware of the MANY other versions of the song. Although Darlene Love’s version is a close second, I personally believe that Dean’s version is THE ultimate version of this song! It is the PERFECT song for him and he delivers it in his very own style.

The song had been around long before Dean recorded it in 1966. It was written in 1949 and while the song is about winter and is commonly regarded as a Christmas song, the lyrics make no mention of the holiday. The song compares a snowfall to marshmallows covering the ground. It also describes the snowfall as whipped cream. The singer “waits for it the whole year ’round.” It was first a hit for Bing Crosby in 1950 reaching #24 on the charts and done by many others afterward.

The song can be found on the only Christmas album that Dean did for Reprise Records. The Dean Martin Christmas Album was the fourth of five albums Martin released in 1966. The release of The Dean Martin Christmas Album in October and and Dean’s TV show in November in November 1966 were accompanied by what Billboard described as a “merchandising avalanche.” Billboard described Martin as running the “hottest streak of his career”, and said that Reprise planned to sell $4 million of his records over the Christmas sales period. Billboard later reported that Martin had sold 850,000 albums in December 1966.

Ricci Martin, Dean’s son, wrote in a biography of his father that The Dean Martin Christmas Album was the only one of his father’s albums that was played in the Martin household; his parents seldom listening to Dean Martin’s music.

A Marshmallow World

It’s a marshmallow world in the winter
When the snow comes to cover the ground
It’s time for play, it’s a whipped cream day
I wait for it the whole year around


Those marshmallow clouds being friendly
In the arms of the evergreen trees
And the sun is red like a pumpkin head
It’s shining so your nose won’t freeze

Oh, the world is your snowball, see how it grows
That’s how it goes whenever it snows
The world is your snowball just for a song
Get out and roll it along

Oh, it’s a yum yummy world made for sweethearts
Take a walk with your favorite girl
It’s a sugar date, what if spring is late
In winter it’s a marshmallow world

It’s a marshmallow world in the winter
When the snow comes to cover the ground
It’s time for play it’s a whipped cream day
I wait for it the whole year around


Those are marshmallow clouds being friendly
In the arms of the evergreen trees
And the sun is red like a pumpkin head
It’s shining so your nose won’t freeze

Oh, the world is your snowball, see how it grows
That’s how it goes whenever it snows
The world is your snowball just for a song
Get out and roll it along

Oh, it’s a yum yummy world made for sweethearts
Take a walk with your favorite girl
It’s a sugar date, what if spring is late
In winter it’s a marshmallow world

As a bonus – here is Dean singing the song on his show – solo and with Frank Sinatra!

Thanks again to Dave for allowing me to be a part of Turntable Talk. I really do enjoy taking part in it every month.

Thanks for reading! I’d like to take a moment to wish Dave, the rest of the participants, and YOU a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season. May your days be merry and bright! Pass the egg nog, and turn up the sounds of the season….

15 thoughts on “Turntable Talk – Sing A Song of the Season

      1. Oh speaking of rare…have you ever seen the Christmas film “Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.1964”?
        It’s so bad it’s good….if you ever get the chance or I will send it to you…either way

        Liked by 1 person

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