Traditions

The little boy within the Beard that is Fearsome loves A Charlie Brown Christmas. Therefore we continue the tradition of our yearly Christmas Eve post.

Peace and goodwill toward all.

May the light, love, peace, happiness and joy that is the spirit of which our winter holidays are intended be yours.

Merry Xmas!

 

Slay Bells

We here at Fearsome Beard love our Drag Queens, and Manila Luzon never lets us down. She simply outdoes herself with her sickening version of Slay Bells!

Manila Luzon – Slay Bells – 2015

Damn she’s beautiful!

May Peace Be With You

It’s a beautiful winter solstice evening here in San Diego California. We’ve just returned from a 4.7 mile walk as the sun set over the Pacific ocean to our west for its final time before our earth begins its tilt northward marking the beginning of winter. Today was a stunningly beautiful 75 degree F day here with crystal blue skies, warm but with a refreshing nip in the air. Simply the optimum Southern California winters’s day, kind of a cordial welcome to longer days that are on the horizon as we march toward spring.

Moments after arriving home we found this a cappella recording of Veni Veni Emmanuel. It’s simple yet refreshingly stunning. We found it an appropriate to welcome winter.
Enjoy!

The Gesualdo Six – Veni Veni Emmanuel – 2014

Happy Winter Solstice…

May peace be with you.

That Hippo Song

Long time Fearsome Beard readers pretty much expect this one to pop up somewhere in the Fearsome holiday play list. It’s a tradition as well as a favorite!

Take it away Gayla!

Gayla Peevey – I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas – 1953

I Still Believe

Dolly has been a guiding light throughout my life.

I still vividly remember the very first time I heard her sing Jolene through the speaker of the AM radio of my mother’s white 1967 Buick Electra 225 as we drove through the back county of Tennessee late at night on the way to my uncle’s house in Missouri. I also remember being at my friend Melissa’s house when she played Dolly’s new 45 of Two Doors Down as we danced to it in the living room of her mother’s small apartment, as well as hearing Dolly and Kenny Rogers sing Islands In The Stream while running the cash register at my very first “real” job at the corner convenience mart gas station.

I consider her a blessing to not only my life, but to our society as a whole. She’s a kind and giving soul. May her message of hope light up your holidays as it is lighting up mine.

Dolly Parton – I Still Believe – 2020

I still believe in Dolly Parton.
Peace.

To Take Our Sins Away …AyyAyyyy…

I was introduced to Mahalia Jackson by a previous lover. He adored her. I found her very talented, yet very campy. Her voice is amazing, her timing perfection and her style classic high church drama.

Even though I prefer more contemporary mid century holiday classics and am not too keen on the christiany carols, I can listen to her every year and her CD is a staple in my Xmas playlist.

So we present to you our favorite of her repertoire, Sweet Little Jesus Boy.

Mahalia Jackson – Sweet Little Jesus Boy – 1962

Get a load of that organ accompaniment, pure perfection.

A Silent Night, Clown Style

My YouTube feed has pestered me with suggestions of a clown covering songs for at least the past two years. Some clown called Puddles Pity Party. I hate clowns. They just simply freak me out. So I have avoided clicking on any of those suggestions and a couple times thought about clicking the button to remove any suggestions of his channel to me period.

It was contempt without investigation. All because clowns just give me the heeby jeebies.

Then recently one day the suggestion was Ozzy Osborne’s Crazy Train, which I love, but by this Puddles clown guy. I finally gave in and was pleasantly surprised. This clown was good. Really good. I subscribed after just that one video,

So what did my YouTube feed suggest this week? Puddles singing Silent Night.
“Oh shit” I said to myself. Not only do clowns give me the heeby jeebies but Silent Night is like almost my least cared for Christmas tune ever…period. I just don’t like that tune. We sang it and sang it when I was a kid and I’ve never liked it at all.

I almost ignored it and then remembered that this guy is good, really good. So I clicked play and wow, just wow. I can listen to this version of Silent Night over and over.

Did I say this clown is good? Oh I did and I meant it. Enjoy.

Puddles Pity Party – Silent Night – 2020

Lemonade out of a Lemon

I grew up in a pageant family. My mother had been a title holder back in her day and had gone on to teach baton twirling as her career in life (and yes, in case you are wondering, I do know how to twirl). So pageants were a staple and we never missed one.

As I grew older into young manhood I wasn’t as part of the pageant circle as I had been at my mothers side as a youth, but I still was aware of who Miss America was back in 1983 when Vanessa Williams won her historic title becoming the first ever Miss America of color. Her official title was Miss America 1984, however she wouldn’t keep her title because in July 1984 Penthouse magazine announced that they were releasing nude photos of her in their magazine. Vanessa, after some pressure from Miss America, relinquished her title to the first runner up.

The history of most Miss Americas is they fade away after serving their one year term. Vanessa Williams didn’t even get to finish her reign, however Vanessa wasn’t only stunningly beautiful but extremely talented. To say that having to relinquish her title after being the first ever black Miss America made her just a little more famous than the average Miss America would be an understatement.

Pairing the fame with incredible looks and talent would become her catapult into mainstream show business. Vanessa didn’t let the setback break her but she saw the opportunity and ran with it. Since that time she’s had number 1 hit records, been in Emmy award winning tv shows and won awards for her motion picture work.

When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.

I had missed this recording of her singing one of the most loved Christmas tunes from my childhood. I found it today and am happy to share this jazz interpretation of a classical standard. Her talent really shines.

Vanessa Williams – What Child Is This (Greensleeves) – 1996

Tradition

Beware! Small soapbox ahead…

Xmas time is here.

Yes I spelled Christmas just like that, Xmas.

I was reprimanded in the past by a one time commenter about just that. Imagine.

A little history while we are on the title subject of tradition:

As a child in the 1960s and 1970s I was taught by my mother that Xmas was a perfectly acceptable way to write Christmas. She was not only a church going woman but a member of the choir, in good standing I might add. She wrote “Merry Xmas” on all of her cards when signing them, I noticed many cards we received were the same. I had never been told otherwise so when I was reprimanded via this here blog thingy’s comment section early in my blogging days I decided to investigate this hubaloo…

See this SMALL excerpt of what I find:
“The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used. “Christ” was often written as “Xρ” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ (Ch) and ρ (R) used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for “Christ”),.[1] The labarum, an amalgamation of the two Greek letters rendered as ☧,[note 1] is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.[19]

The labarum, often called the Chi-Rho, is a Christian symbol representing Christ.

The labarum, often called the Chi-Rho, is a Christian symbol representing Christ.

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and the OED Supplement have cited usages of “X-” or “Xp-” for “Christ-” as early as 1485. The terms “Xtian” and less commonly “Xpian” have also been used for “Christian”. The OED further cites usage of “Xtianity” for “Christianity” from 1634.[1] According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, most of the evidence for these words comes from “educated Englishmen who knew their Greek”.[11]

In ancient Christian art, χ and χρ are abbreviations for Christ’s name.[20] In many manuscripts of the New Testament and icons, Χ is an abbreviation for Χριστος,[21] as is XC (the first and last letters in Greek, using the lunate sigma);[22] compare IC for Jesus in Greek.”

The relief I feel for not actually removing Christ from Xmas is absolutely liberating!

I can now continue my family’s tradition of writing Xmas.

I can also start a new tradition by re-posting one of my favorite performances of one of my favorite Xmas season holiday tunes ever…yeah!