Canada has the terrain and climate that is picture perfect for snowy Christmas scenes but it also punches above its weight in the music stakes. And that translates to a winning collection of festive tunes that originate from that part of North America. The big hitters are here of course in the shape of Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Brian Adams and Michael Buble. Their influence has extended way beyond Newfoundland and Montreal and so songs such as ‘Christmastime’ and ‘Mistletoe’ enjoy heavy rotation each December. But if you thought that the great Canadian Christmas songs were the preserve of their international stars you probably haven’t ever heard Ron Sexsmith's canon of festive numbers. We all know that his ‘Maybe This Christmas’ is a triumph but he also charged the air with Christmas magic in 2008 with ‘Something To Hold On To [at Christmas]’, a sincere and balanced summation of the hope of a modern man who wants old fashioned values to have true relevancy today.
Gordon Lightfoot wrote ‘Song For A Winter’s Night’ in 1967 and its endearingly simple style has meant that it has been much covered (including one version by fellow Canadian Sarah McLaughlan which featured on the 1994 remake of ‘Miracle on 34th Street’). There are vestiges of Elvis’s vocal intonation in Lightfoot’s telling of his story of winter where only the hearth can dilute his sense of loneliness. Although it is shorn of many of the trinkets of sound that we associate with Christmas (sleigh bells, church bells) Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ has attained a sense of yuletide gravitas since its emergence on an album of hers (1971's 'Blue') that was otherwise non-festive in orientation. Matching the Carpenters’ ‘Merry Christmas Darling’ for the sheer power in its lyrics ‘River’ is an example of the many Christmas greats Canada has produced over the years.
Published by SpiritOfXmas | g+ profile