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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Holiday songs ..OT
Holiday songs ..OT
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414 posts
Dec 08, 2022
2:43 PM
We got asked to do some Holiday/Christmas songs at a couple of assisted living places.
Thinking about 20 songs for each place . It turned out I don't know 20 songs right off the top of my head so have been hard at it learning a bunch of them.

Old standards that we know from childhood etc.

Any of you have some tunes that you play around this time of year. I would be curious which ones you do.
Even if it's just for family & friends.
144 posts
Dec 09, 2022
9:41 AM
The most common songs for me are Joy to the World and the Little Drummer Boy. I'm sure others are popular and possible. I'll try to think of some more.
498 posts
Dec 09, 2022
12:09 PM
"Jingle Bell Rock", by Bobby Helms, would likely work for that audience.
Phil Pennington
415 posts
Dec 09, 2022
12:57 PM
Thanks both of you.
Some songs have got me on by toes. It's like you know them right up till you go to play em and find all the weak spots in my playing that's for sure.
Drummer boy has me playing on a hand held drum a first for me.
Talking to a 97 year old friend (I'm 70 ) she started naming off songs I had never heard of.

So yikes I figured I better ask folks what they know.
10413 posts
Dec 09, 2022
1:40 PM
I was in a choir that did a wonderful arrangement of Hark Silver Bells and We Three Kings overlapping each other.

I Wonder As I Wander...

Most of the ones I know are more from my choir singing days. Google Christmas songs and you'll get some great lists.


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First Post- May 8, 2009
3089 posts
Dec 10, 2022
6:47 AM
Xmas tunes can include Santa Songs (Here Comes SC, SC is Coming to Town, Rudolph, Frosty, etc) and the traditional carols (We Three Kings, God Rest Ye, Greensleeves, Angels We Have Heard on High), as well as what I will call Comtemporary (tunes by Mariah, Stevie, McCartney) and the older one of that same ilk (White Xmas, I’ll Be Home for Xmas, Mery Xmas Baby, Santa Baby).
Mary Did You Know was written by Buddy Greene, a harmonica player of some renown.
416 posts
Dec 10, 2022
6:48 AM
Thanks I'll check them out.
I've been checking out google and you tube etc.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Konstantin who post here had 5 songs all tabbed out which is nice of him.

Been checking things out anywhere from Charlie McCoy to Elvis .
One of the biggest surprises that really floored me was the duet of David Bowie and Bing Crosby. Could of knocked me over with a feather when I saw that one.
Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy
3090 posts
Dec 10, 2022
9:25 PM
Lots of wassail songs!
3091 posts
Dec 10, 2022
9:34 PM
Here’s a Macaronic Carol (English and Latin mixed).
Works on harp in first position.
The Chieftains baby!
417 posts
Dec 11, 2022
7:53 AM
Thanks all for the ideas. Turns out one of the gigs is for the employee's Christmas. I figured these people are mostly 30 years younger than we are, but was relived to see many of the newer well known musicians were doing their renditions of the old songs so that was comforting to know.

With the older folk I think if we do any Mariah Carey songs they might throw their dentures at us. (a little humor there )

Two of the 3 gigs still require wearing a mask.. no not the darth vader kind
So even the simple songs can be quite a challenge.

So far I am doing all the songs in 1st position and have found paddy tuning to be a big help esp when doing a couple of octaves to bring some of the tunes up and down an octave for variety.

Thanks again and of course would love to hear of other tunes that maybe would be good for future endeavors.

All in all after 2+ years of virus shut down The people are more than ready for some holiday tunes.

Last Edited by Spderyak on Dec 11, 2022 7:57 AM
56 posts
Dec 11, 2022
6:20 PM
Mary Don't You Know was written by Gaither Vocal Band members Mark Lowry & Buddy Greene.
I think 100% of the publishing money would be way too much money for a harmonica player to legally make from music... (it is still a lot)
Michael P. — Merry New Year Y'all
3092 posts
Dec 13, 2022
6:47 AM
I was unaware that this was so old--

Up On the Housetop

Incidentally, Jingle Bells was originally a Thanksgiving song!

Jingle Bells

Last Edited by Gnarly on Dec 13, 2022 6:50 AM
1788 posts
Dec 13, 2022
5:08 PM
God Rest ye Merry Gentlement lies very well in 4th position, no bends if you start on Draw 6.
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418 posts
Dec 15, 2022
4:51 AM
Well the holiday songs have turned out to be quite enjoyable and a good challenge as well.
I love the history of some of the songs and some songs like rest merry gentlemen that I have not heard in quite some time.

Jingle bells is a long time favorite esp around here as it was written fairly close by. True it was written for Thanks giving, back when there was actually snow that time of year "back in the day"

Thinking of learning more holiday songs as the year goes by so next year I'll be more prepared with a greater diversity for the season.

It's been perhaps more enjoyable than I first thought and I'm not as much of a humbug as I could be about learning Christmas songs

Last Edited by Spderyak on Dec 15, 2022 4:59 AM

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