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The Meaning Of Christmas

 
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Charlie Chalk
Golden Festival


Joined: 19 Aug 2011
Posts: 8327
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:58 am    Post subject: The Meaning Of Christmas Reply with quote

The Gleaner:

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20171210/story-song-christmas-given-meaning-letter-letter#.Wi5LlxNzO1Y.facebook

Story Of The Song | Christmas Given Meaning, Letter By Letter

Published:Sunday | December 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

The Meaning of Christmas came easily to Barrington Gardiner, the acrostic song flowing "through my brain, into my hands, on to the paper," as he tells The Sunday Gleaner.

So he wrote a line for each letter of the time of year when little children glow with anticipation, shopping malls overflow, parties are many and merry, and frustrated drivers honk maybe as frequently as revellers toot their horns to welcome the New Year as the season closes.

However, The Meaning of Christmas does not get into the hustle and bustle of shopping or the glee of partying. The ballad, instead, speaks to the general feeling of well-being in late December, as well as the significance of 'the season of good cheer', which lasts long after the food has been eaten and the presents become ordinary.

Barrington Gardiner wrote:

"'C' is for Christmas, the

season of good cheer

'H' is for happiness, to last

throughout the year

'R' is for respect, which each

and all must show

'I' is for indulgence, to know how far to go..."

He did not set out to write a Christmas song when The Meaning of Christmas came at the end of summer 1960.

"It was a day like any other day, but I got an inspiration. I was writing other stuff, but the Christmas carol came to me," he said.

He did not have to do any rewrites and editing as "it came to me one time, exactly as it is today".

HIT ON THE CHARTS

Gardiner did not have to go very far to find someone to sing The Meaning of Christmas, his brother Boris providing the vocals, and his band, The Rhythm Aces, doing the music close to Christmas 1960 for Island Records. As Barrington described the natural flow of the song, from mind to paper, and then brother to brother, it was the same thing. "He knew exactly how to sing it."

The Meaning of Christmas soon made its way on to the charts. Gardiner said it peaked at number two on the then Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation's countdown; however, he laughed as he said, "financially, it was a disaster".

Gardiner said that when he was writing the song, he "knew it was good, but I did not make any predictions".

Now, he notes that "it has outlasted many songs I thought would have lasted", and there is even a new interpretation, with the same melody, but different meanings, given to the days of Christmas.
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Charlie Chalk
Golden Festival


Joined: 19 Aug 2011
Posts: 8327
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Rhythm Aces - C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fCkUbSdNa4

Boris Gardiner - The Meaning Of Christmas (1972):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFTma-Xo-Ys

Boris Gardiner - The Meaning Of Christmas (1986):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6JGY8b9kOM
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Dr. Sploom
Golden Festival


Joined: 25 Dec 2007
Posts: 29580
Location: Commonwealth of Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my favourite Jamaican carols. Top shelf, for my ears. Ta, Andy! Cool Cool
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Andy C
I Am The Winner


Joined: 25 May 2004
Posts: 433
Location: Dartford

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never heard that 1972 version. I bought the 86 version on 12" even though I don't care for reggae Christmas songs. Either an impulse buy or because my mum liked Boris, I can't remember LOL.
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Charlie Chalk
Golden Festival


Joined: 19 Aug 2011
Posts: 8327
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must admit, I heard the 1986 version first. I like all three versions though.
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