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4th Sunday of Advent Christmas Guessing Game

It's Advent. You're entitled to a few distractions from the supposedly serious matters of life. This is one of those. Distractions, I mean. The following Christmas song is sung by one of my favorite female voices of all time. Who is she?

Oh. No cheating, such as clicking on the "watch on youtube" link. I know this will be difficult for some of our liberal readers, but if it's any help against temptation, just know that I'm praying for you.

Comments (39)

Delightful voice, and I definitely recognize it, but for the life of me I can't place it! Grrrr.


I've no idea who the singer is. I don't know whether Andy Williams is still around. He used to sing this Christmas song.

You're entitled to a few distractions from the supposedly serious matters of life.


I think it may be Judy Garland. There, I admit, I'm going partly by past knowledge that she was the first to record it, but I didn't cheat or look anything up now. It also sounds a bit like her to me. But what do I know? It would also be cheating to listen to some Judy Garland now just to check the voice. The story I seem to recall was that there were some more depressing words at one point in the song (something about "muddling through somehow"), and Judy lobbied for changing them so they weren't so depressing. It was during WWII, I believe.

Yes, I'm pretty sure it's Judy Garland too. I figured out right away it must be a 40s crooner, then thought back to some of the Gershwin stuff Judy's done and thought it sounded very similar. I wasn't sure at the end, but kept listening to the end and felt more confident.

(Going to look up my guess now.)

The Elephant

Nope. Judy Garland's voice drives me nuts, btw. I like this gal much better. I'll give the answer by tomorrow if no one gets it.

Alex is correct that Andy Williams used to do this song, which you can find somewhere in this 14 minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Inv8fw56TAw

Step2, I'd already seen that video because someone posted it at another site. I just wish the sound quality were better.

And I think Williams is still around and still performing, at least until recently. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November and is undergoing chemotherapy. http://www.andywilliams.com/

It sounds like Doris Day to me. In fact I would say that it is "unmistakably" Doris Day except that no one else has guessed that yet and one person mistook her for Judy Garland.

A clue for gen-X 'ers: If the voice doesn't sound a lot like Liza Minelli's it certainly isn't Judy Garland's.

I thought it might be Judy Collins. I don't know that she ever sang this, but she sang comparable stuff and her voice is (was) a something like this. But toward the end I decided that it wasn't her. I never did listen to the 40's and 50's crooners, so I would be out of my depth if it's one of those.

Step2, can you explain the apparently ongoing fascination for making home videos designed to look as it the event was a spontaneous bursting into artistic expression when the entire scenario and all the participants were choreographed?

Not Garland - no lisp or fast vibrato. Doesn't sound quite nasal enough for Doris Day, but that's definitely closer. Not Clooney, Shore, Streisand, Lee, London....quite the mystery. Ronstadt?

Eydie Gorme?

I think Eydie Gorme is a great guess. Big voice, but controlled. The arrangement is too dated to be Ronstadt.

I agree, Frank, it can't be any of the others mentioned. Nor is it Patty Page, or Patsy Cline, or Wanda Jackson. Guess we'll find out in the morning!

Jeff Culbreath wins the prize. Problem is, there's no prize.

Swear you didn't peek, Jeff? Because you spelled her name correctly.

Haha, Bill. Here's the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I suspected Eydie Gorme but lacked confidence. So I did a Youtube search and listened to one of her songs (not this one). My confidence was elevated but still not totally secure. It helped that the singer couldn't have been any of the others mentioned here. And yes, I initially spelled her name wrong.

Jeff, I'm shocked! If I'd gone and listened first to other songs by Judy Garland to refresh my memory, I probably wouldn't have suggested her. :-)

No harm in making a wrong guess, Lydia. ;-)

Jeff, I'm shocked!

Me too, Lydia. It's like finding out there's no Santa Claus. I need an egg nog.

Hey, I arrived at my guess honestly! (But there still isn't a Santa Claus.)

Yeah, but there's egg nog, and I'll be making a lot more of it.

"The following Christmas song is sung by one of my favorite female voices of all time."

Who are your others, Bill? Just curious.

Oh, really there are a bunch, across all kinds of music.

Two that come to mind are Marilyn McCoo - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8w-2skZp-Q - and Marilyn Horne: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm5vnlOU81k

I think mine tend to a more "alternative" direction, although I certainly appreciate some more mainstream singers. I like both Patti Page and Doris Day, for instance. But my favorites would be Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) and Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance). Fraser, especially -- I think she's amazing.

Kate Bush is also good. And Sandy Denny.

I got some catching up to do. Ain't never heard of none of those.

I'll post some links with characteristic examples when I get the chance...

Two from Cocteau Twins (Liz Fraser) -- she can do the growly, the jazzy/sultry, and the ethereal all equally well, sometimes in the same song. Needless to say, she does all the harmonies/voice parts on all their songs.



Lisa Gerrard...a dream in life for me is to hear her sing Gorecki's 3rd. The audio and video in this clip are slightly out of sync, but no matter -- it's still flippin' amazing.


A lovely tune from Kate Bush, typical of her quieter stuff:


And the late Sandy Denny, one of the best-ever voices in British folk:


I have a couple more coming, waiting for approval...

They were all pretty good, but Lisa Gerrard was most impressive. A truly heroic voice.

Indeed. I've never really heard anything quite like it.

I love Marilyn McCoo!

The Elephant

Since this is turning into a music thread, I'm going to start with an amazing piece of music (at least to me):

Then a somber lyric with a pop rhythm from a young Australian, Missy Higgins.

Next, we shouldn't forget the incredible Laura Nyro:

Then, one of the few talents to shine through the 80's wasteland of pop music, Toni Childs.

Last two, I promise! Sara Bareilles doing what she does best:

The daughter of a preacher man, Diane Birch has a great feel for music.

Nice Marmot: Lisa Gerrard: Wow. I'm hooked. She'd be perfect for Gorecki's 3rd.

You all really should click on that first link Step2 provides.

All the others are good, Step2. I didn't listen to much music in the 80's, so I missed that Tony Childs but that's quite a voice. And Laura Nyro is indeed incredible, but we can't forget this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfW41eKUkKE&feature=related

Three Dog Night made it famous, but I'm pretty sure it was her song.

I love Marilyn McCoo!

Yeah, me too, but she's been married to the same guy for the last 45 years or thereabouts.

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