Nov 292009

Shuffle Sundays is a weekly feature in which we feature a cover chosen at random by my iTunes shuffle. The songs will usually be good, occasionally be bad, always be interesting. All downloads will only be available for one week, so get them while you can. After you listen, discuss this week’s tune in the comments.

Just two weeks ago I was bitching about how much iTunes was trying to jeopardize this feature and now I’m eating my words. Damn you Steve Jobs! The timing for this song is perfect.

Thanksgiving has ended and Christmas decorations are going up everywhere. So what could be more appropriate than a song about…Christmas decorations! Sure, neon lights have replaced boughs of holly, but being jolly never goes out of fashion.

“Deck the Halls” comes to us from Wales by way of Mozart. The song’s feel-good melody was first recorded (as in written down) by harpist John Parry Ddall (nickname: Blind Parry of Ruabon) in the mid-18th century, though its roots may be centuries older. It soon spread throughout Europe though when Wolfgang “Amadeus Amadeus!” Mozart used the tune in his 1788 Sonata in G.

The lyrics we sing today first appeared in a New York newspaper in 1881, but how they got attached to the Welsh tune is unknown. By the turn of the century though, “Deck the Halls” as we know had become a staple of carolers nationwide. Ironically, in Wales the tune has become “Oer Yw’r Gwr” (Cold Is The Man), which is actually about New Year’s Eve.

Ohio pop-punkers Relient K first released this cover on their 2004 Christmas album Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand. The album was re-released with some new tunes three years later as Let It Snow, Baby…Let It Reindeer. Before you get on them for having too many Christmas albums though, remember that these guys got their start on the Christian rock circuit. At any rate, it’s hard to bash a well-done pop-punk cover though and these guys do smirk-rock with the best of them.

Want more Christmas covers? Follow us on Twitter, where Cover Me will be posting a new Xmas cover every day of Advent!

Relient K – Deck the Halls (Trad.) [Buy]

What do you think? Discuss this song in the comments section below.

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