Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sesame Street Christmas Sing-Along (LP 1984)

I adore this album, so I saved it for last. This was a ridiculously large part of the holidays of my childhood, maybe only eclipsed by John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together. This is a much more solid work, though, every song here is good. There's such energy and good cheer here, I just grin whenever I hear it.

The structural premise is simple enough: it's a sing-along. So you sing. Along. Got it?

Song List:

  • Christmas Sing-Along / Deck the Halls
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • Counting the Days
  • Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Jingle Bells / Silver Bells
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Keep Christmas With You
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas


The first song introduces the Sing-Along, welcomes us all in, and includes some blank Fa La La La Las in the Deck the Halls portion to encourage said singing along.

All these tracks do a great job balancing just doing a good version of the song, and adding in little character moments. For example, I usually don't much like Santa Claus is Coming to Town, but all the little lines done by Muppets just work. Cookie Monster, Grover, Bert, Ernie, etc; each sings just the right line. This version also adds in a nice bridge that I think fills out the tune.

Counting the Days, written for Sesame Street, should be on everyone's favorite holiday song list. It's a fun doo-wop style number with energy and heart. Plus Oscar gets his own verse.

The lyrics to Let it Snow, Let it Snow are tweaked just a little, but I really like the choices. What is “goodbye-ing” anyway? “Snowflakes multiplying” is a better rhyme.

This version of Jingle Bells is the one that I knew as a child, and Oscar's commentary is absolutely why I have always remembered that the lyric is “upsot”. The Silver Bells (Ernie and Bert sing this) portion of the song isn't perfect, but the delicate harmony is very nice.

Grover leading Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is pretty cute, and that track includes a time through with call-and-response, in case anyone somehow doesn't know these lyrics.

I'm not too fond of Frosty the Snowman, but this calypso-themed take isn't half bad.

Keep Christmas With You is the classic Sesame Street Christmas song, so of course it's here. And, I admit, I'm a total sucker for this particular sappiness.

Best Song: Counting the Days

Worst Song: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I guess, only because it's not quite as unique and wonderful as the other tracks. It's still pretty good.

I wholeheartedly recommend this album; I think it's ridiculously cute, and fabulously fun. Come on, it's Sesame Street! What's not to love?

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