Yuletide UFOs

I’d like to share another obscure Christmas song. I always enjoy finding Christmas songs that not many people know, and I’d wager many people have probably not heard of this one, but it’s one of my favorites. It was written by Chris de Burgh in 1975, and it’s called “A Spaceman Came Travelling.” It enjoyed some popularity in the UK in the 70s and 80s.

However, it’s not so much De Burgh’s version that I like, but a cover by a German choral group called Gregorian. This group does some remarkable chant-style remixes of popular songs, and they included this song in a Christmas album. The basic premise of the song is that the angel Gabriel could have been an intergalactic traveler, and the star of Bethlehem guiding the shepherds was actually his spaceship floating in the sky.

Crazy, sure, but maybe a little thought-provoking that someone would travel light years through space to deliver the news of the Savior’s birth.  The whole idea may be a little strange, but Gregorian’s cover of the song is beautiful. It’s one of those songs that really grows on you the more you listen to it, so give it a listen here. I’ve also included some of this group’s other non-Christmas songs below.

Nothing Else Matters
(original by Metallica)
With or Without You
(original by U2)
Sweet Child of Mine
(original by Guns ‘n’ Roses)
Lyrics of “A Spaceman Came Travelling”

A spaceman came travelling on his ship from afar,
‘Twas light years of time since his mission did start,
And over a village he halted his craft,
And it hung in the sky like a star, just like a star…

He followed a light and came down to a shed,
Where a mother and child were lying there on a bed,
A bright light of silver shone round his head,
And he had the face of an angel, and they were afraid…

Then the stranger spoke, he said “Do not fear,
I come from a planet a long way from here,
And I bring a message for mankind to hear,”
And suddenly the sweetest music filled the air…

And it went La La…
Peace and goodwill to all men, and love for the child…

This lovely music went trembling through the ground,
And many were wakened on hearing that sound,
And travellers on the road, the village they found,
By the light of that ship in the sky, which shone all round…

And just before dawn at the paling of the sky,
The stranger returned and said “Now I must fly,
When two thousand years of your time has gone by,
This song will begin once again, to a baby’s cry…”

And it went La La … This song will begin once again
To a baby’s cry…
And it goes La La… Peace and goodwill to all men, and
Love for the child…

(additional lyrics from original)
Oh the whole world is waiting, waiting to hear the song again,
There are thousands standing on the edge of the world,
And a star is moving somewhere, the time is nearly here,
This song will begin once again, to a baby’s cry…

Irish Christmas Songs

I’m amazed at the response this blog has gotten already. I only launched this three days ago, and already it’s received 111 visitors and 53 song requests. I don’t think I have that many friends in real life, so I guess my geekdom has paid off; my accumulated network of e-friends came in handy.

Some of the requests have been interesting — Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo?”  Seriously? I love this song, but it’s a masterpiece performed by a 60-piece orchestra. I’m willing to tackle whatever everyone ends up voting for, but keep some limitations in mind: I’m only giving myself ONE day on each track.  Within that one day, I’ll probably only have an hour or so max to figure out for sure how I’m going to play it, then record it.  I’m basically just a step above the guy playing the piano in the mall who takes song requests; at least I’m giving myself a  LITTLE extra time to arrange it.  Maybe if I have more time I’ll spend a few weeks working on some of the more complex requests when this project is over.

Basically it boils down to this: If you want some fun tunes that sound at least somewhat decent, suggest simpler stuff. If you want to make Justin pull out what’s left of his hair and probably won’t sound anything like the original tune, suggest more Trans-Siberian Orchestra. That being said, if it’s the latter you want…..BRING IT ON!!!!!

In the meantime, check out these clips of “Fairytale of New York.” It’s an Irish Christmas song by The Pogues. I’ve included the original by The Pogues with the vocals, and their instrumental version. I’d never heard of this song before it was requested here, but after looking it up, I admit it’s grown on me. There’s nothing like some good ol’ Irish vulgarity to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Lyrics of “Fairytale of New York”

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won’t see another one
And then he sang a song
The rare old mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They’ve got cars big as bars
They’ve got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It’s no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

You’re a bum
You’re a punk
You’re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it’s our last

The boys of the NYPD choir
Still singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone
I’ve built my dreams around you

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing “Galway Bay”
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day