Thursday, December 8, 2016

Glory Sasikala writes

Hello December!

sets in on
a cold dark day
within my blankets
dreaming coffee
nat king cole
carols in christmas
the dickens way
and i smile happily
this has always been my month
the best part of the year
elves and gnomes
packing gifts for children
hanging out stockings
dim lights through fogs
giving way to mistletoe
on a doorway
and the cozy warmth
of inside where
aromas waft from a kitchen
and laughter rings in
a New Year.

 Image result for christmas interior painting


  1. Nat "King" Cole was an American singer who first came to prominence as a jazz pianist. A populr favorite over three decades, he led his fist band at 17, in a touring revival of Eubie Blake's all-black Broadway revue "Shuffle Along." His older brother Eddie soon joined as a bass player, and they made their first recording in 1936, under Eddie's name. At around that time he acquired his nickname, "King" and formed a trio, King Cole Swingsters (renamed the King Cole Trio), a revolutionary piano- guitar-bass set-up in the era of Big Bands, and he began to sing between instrumental numbers. In 1943 the group signed with Johnny Mercer's new Capitol Records and became its biggest star after he sang his own composition, "Straighten Up and Fly Right;" the company's new headquarters near Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles (the world's first circular office building) was dubbed "The House that Nat Built." But he also appeared (as "Shorty Nadine") in the first Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts, as "Aye Guy" with the Lester Young Buddy Rich Trio, and elsewhere (under exclusive contract with Capitol, he couldn't play under his own name). In 1946, the Cole trio paid to have their own 15-minute radio program on the air, "King Cole Trio Time," the first radio program sponsored by a black performing artist. In the late 1940s, Cole began recording pop-oriented material for mainstream audiences, such as "The Christmas Song" (1946) "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" (1946), "Nature Boy" (1948), "Mona Lisa" (1950), "Too Young" (the number 1 song in 1951), and "Unforgettable" (1951), which his daughter Natalie Cole transformed into a duet with her father in 1991. In 1956 "The Nat 'King' Cole Show" appeared on NBC, one of the first TV programs hosted by an African American, but never found a national sponsor. Because stars like Mel Tormé, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, and Tony Bennett agreed to perform for free or for industry scale rather than their usual fees, the show survived with regional sponsors until Cole decided to call it quits after just over a year. Referring to the American center of the advertising industry, Cole quipped, "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark." However, his personal success as a recording artist continued until his death at 45 in 1965.

  2. Cole recorded "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" four times: first as "The Christmas Song ("Merry Christmas to You)" on 14 June 1946, though it was not released until 1989; despite Capito;'s objections, Cole insisted on rerecording it on 19 August with a small string section, a harpist and a drummer; using the same arrangement, as Nat "King" Cole he recorded it again but with a full orchestra in 1953; and again with a different orchestra, in stereo, in 1961. According to the collecting society for composers' copyrights Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) the song is the most-performed Christmas song. It was written in the summer of 1945 when Mel Tormé saw some lines on a spiral pad on Bob Wells' piano; in 40 minutes the song was written, though Wells didn't think he was writing a song lyric -- he was just trying to cool off by mentally immersing himself in winter.

    [In 1970 Tormé added a seldom-heard opening verse:
    All through the year we waited
    Waited through spring and fall
    To hear silver bells ringing, see wintertime bringing
    The happiest season of all]

    Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
    Jack Frost nipping at your nose
    Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
    And folks dressed up like Eskimos
    Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
    Help to make the season bright
    Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
    Will find it hard to sleep tonight

    They know that Santa's on his way
    He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
    And every mother's child is gonna spy
    To see if reindeer really know how to fly

    So I'm offering this simple phrase
    To kids from one to ninety-two
    Although it's been said many times, many ways
    Merry Christmas to you

    So I'm offering this simple phrase
    To kids from one to ninety-two
    Although it's been said many times, many ways
    Merry Christmas
    Merry Christmas
    Merry Christmas to you

    [Tormé also usually added a coda adapted from the traditional Christmas carol (ca. 1850) "Here We Come A-wassailing":
    And to you your Christmas too
    And God bless you and send you a happy New Year
    And God send you a happy New Year]

  3. Charles Dickens was the most popular English writer of the mid-19th century. Among his enduring works was an 1843 novella entitled "A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas," a tale of the redemption of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge after harrowing visitations from his and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by his late business partner and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. "A Christmas Carol" has never been out of print and has been adapted many times to radio, film (at least 28 versions), television, stage, opera, animation, and other media. It appeared at a time when the modern notion of Christmas was emerging, with new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees, a renwal of the tradition of singing carols, and, in the US, the arival of Santa Claus (which eventually took over the identity of Father Christmas in the UK); as a result of the novella, "Merry Christmas" became the standard holiday greeting. At first he had intended to publish an inexpensive political pamphlet, "An Appeal to the People of England, on behalf of the Poor Man's Child," but decided a sentimental fiction could make the point more effectively and predicted that reformers "will certainly feel that a Sledge hammer has come down with twenty times the force—twenty thousand times the force—I could exert by following out my first idea." He had been deeply influenced by Washington Irving's "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent." (1819–1820), which included accounts of earlier English Christmas traditions that had been suppressed by the Puritans in the 17th-century, and both authors believed that such celebrations could restore a lost social harmony. Among Dickens' earliest publications, his "A Christmas Dinner" from "Sketches by Boz" (1833) he had adopted Irving's approach, and in "The Pickwick Papers" (1837) he offered an idealized Christmas with Mr. Wardle's account of Gabriel Grub, a mean-spirited sexton who underwent a Christmas conversion after being visited by goblins who showed him the past and future. It took him six weeks to write "A Christmas Carol" and published it at his own expense and declined a lump sum from his publisher Chapman and Hall in favor of a high royalty, expecting to earn some £1,000, but due to high production costs in the first year it only earned him £230 (though all 6,00 first-run copies sold out in 5 days) and in the second only £744 (even though all seven runs had sold out). "Parley's Illuminated Library" immediately pirated it, causing Dickens to sue, but even though he won "Parley's" simply declared bankruptcy to avoid settlement and Dickens was left to pay £700 in costs. Nevertheless, William Makepeace Thackeray set the tone of the critical response, calling the book "a national benefit and to every man or woman who reads it, a personal kindness." Three separate stage adaptations opened on 5 February 1844, with the one by Edward Stirling sanctioned by Dickens running for more than 40 nights, played in New York during the Christmas season of 1844 and was revived in London the same year; by the end of February eight rival theatrical productions were playing in London. Dickens wrote similar Chrristmas tales over the next five years ("The Chimes," "The Cricket on the Hearth," "The Battle of Life" and "The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain"); in 1849, while writing "David Copperfield," and had no time to do another Christmas book but decided to propagate his "Carol philosophy" through public readings -- until 1870, he year of his death, he read the tale in an abbreviated version 127 times. And he continued to refine the phrasing and punctuation of "A Christmas Carol" through 24 editions.


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