Here we are, it's the 21st of December and I'm about to post the results for the final BATTLE OF THE BANDS for 2013. These past five months have really flown by, as is what usually happens when you're having fun, and BOTB has really been fun for me. I hope you all have had a good time also.
There have been so many interesting comments. It is apparent most of you have some sort of musical background. I don't like to talk too much about myself, but I'm gonna do it here for a little bit anyway. This is some totally non-interesting FAE trivia (store it away, maybe there will be a test - someday). I play the piano and obviously can read music. I've sung in choirs and 'the chorus'. I've even sung a duet or two (YIKES!). I don't consider myself to have a 'good' voice, but I do know something about music. BUT, more important that whatever silly or trivial musical knowledge I might have, I know what moves me, and that is what I expect from a really good piece of music whatever the genre. THAT, is also how I vote, both here at my own site and in the other BATTLES.
Now, on with my vote, but first the reason I decided to pit Mahalia and Sinead against each other.
I wanted to use 'Silent Night' as the song, because, well, let's face it; when it comes to Christmas carols it is THE song. Rather than use another 'Bing' version or something that was overdone with a lot of backup and new fangled arrangements, I wanted something that was more simple, sung from the heart, something that felt really, Really, REALLY moving (at least to me). That led me to choose Mahalia right from the start...but who to put up against her? I listened to a lot of versions of 'Silent Night', most fairly obscure (mainly because I already knew the popular ones wouldn't stand up to MJ). Then I found Sinead.
Three of you stated outright that you really weren't a fan of Sinead (interesting that all three of you did vote for her) for various reasons. She certainly is NO stranger to controversy, from her shaved head to her religious and political commentary. She announced to the world that she suffered from mental illness and goes out in public to prove it. Her music tends toward the edgy and downright strange, BUT sometimes she seems to let her Spirit free and that is when her voice soars. I think that happens here on 'Silent Night'. (I must admit that the only other song of hers that I think this happens with is 'One More Day' - The Funeral Song. You can check it out at YouTube. BTW, it was the inspiration for a very moving scene in one of my stories - maybe I'll tell you about it one day.)
I DO like both of these version, BUT my vote goes to Mahalia Jackson. I grew up hearing her music and it never fails to move me at the very foundation of my being. She believes it, she lives it, and you know it, when she sings it. This woman knows Jesus Christ on a very personal level. I can feel that in my soul.
In the end my vote isn't enough to give this BATTLE to Mahalia. The final tally is:
Mahalia Jackson 4 votes
Sinead O'Connor 10 votes
Finally, I want to leave you with a song that kind of embodies my Christmas Battle of the Bands. If you've been coming around here for more than the past six months, you know that I spent the last three Christmas' in the Caribbean. Down in de land of de blue waters, they sing everything with a little different beat. At first it was strange to me and then I kind of got used to it. This Christmas, although I DO love the blue waters of Lake Tahoe, I find that I miss the music of the Caribbean a little bit. So here is Miss Gladys Knight with a Caribbean version of 'Silent Night/O Holy Night'.
I don't plan to make an appearance here in this space again until after Christmas so I want to wish each and everyone of you the Merriest Christmas, and extend my prayer that you remember the Reason for the Season. I also want to thank you for your continued support of this dumb blonde who might be able to read music, but still doesn't know exactly where the commas go.
Come back on January 1, 2014, when I'll start the New Year off with another BATTLE OF THE BANDS!