Tag Archives: Paul McCartney

Christmas Song of the Week!

This week, The Annual offered Annual reader Chuck Moulder, retired community college professor, Rolling Stone subscriber and armchair musicologist, the opportunity to choose our The Christmas Song of the Week. We caught up with Chuck in his Frederick, Maryland home to listen to, and discuss his choice.

The Annual (Bill Shy): Chuck, I see you are in your armchair next to the Christmas tree-

Chuck Moulder: Yep. Got a Christmas beer here.

TA: Looks like part of a seasonal six pack, Chuck.

CM: Everybody gives ‘em to me. Holiday booze sets. My current wife. The kids. The neighbors. Friends. That one is Linda, my lovely wife’s present to me. The whiskey miniatures are Jude, my oldest. The stouts are Martha, my dear youngest. Rita and Michelle went in on the Sam Adams twinpack.

TA: Is everyone home for the holidays?

CM: Oh they’re doing their own thing.

TA: I see you have a beer in each hand.

CM: I’m ready. Shoot.

TA: Chuck, what Christmas Song would you like to select for The Annual’s Christmas Song of the Week?

CM: Let’s take it one line at a time.

TA: Oh. No, you can just-

CM: The moon is right!

TA: Ah, Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful-

CM: The moon is right!… Have you ever seen the moon, Bill?

TA: Well, yes, but-

CM: The moon is right! The question is: Is there a better first line to a Christmas song? The answer is: No. You don’t think of the sun at Christmastime, do you?

TA: Can’t say that I-

CM: The moon. Mother Mary’s womb. The halo of the Christchild like the very prenumbra of our lunar friend. The. Moon. Egg-like, a subtle reference to Paul’s relationship with the Eggman, John Lennon. Am I wrong?

TA: Um-

CM: The moon is right!

TA: I’m worried, Chuck, a little concerned, that this interview is going to exceed my word limit if you go through the whole-

CM: The spirits up!

TA: If you go through line by-

CM: Don’t crowd me. I’m rolling here. I’m vibing on this, here, okay? Do you know the term ‘vibing’?

TA: Yes.

CM: The spirits up. Concise. Eloquent. A story in one line. Pure Paul. Good ol’ Paul, right there. Is it secular? Is it religious, this spirit? Yes and yes.

(Pause)

CM: We’re here tonight!

TA: I’ll put it on. I’ve got it on my phone-

CM: Not yet! We’re here tonight, Bill. You and me and Christmas. The wife? No. What’s she doin’? Something. Where are the kids? They’re grown, but they don’t call. We’re here tonight!

[The Annual Reporter mutters something indistinct]

[Editor’s Note: 35 minutes later]

[Sound of a bottle opening.]

CM: McCartney’s Christmas is everyone’s Christmas. The kids practicing some crap all year long, you don’t know what it is. They don’t know what it means. Ding dong! Doesn’t matter. It’s just that feeling, y’know? Y’know, the feeling? It’s indistinct. It’s simple.

TA: Simply-

CM: HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME!

TA: Right, right. So, for you, this song distills what your Christmas is all about into-

CM: Oh Bill. Bill, Bill, Bill. Let’s go deep.

TA: Deep?

CM: Paul and I, I feel like I can call him Paul, y’know? Paul and I go way back.

TA: When was the first time you heard-

CM: It’s more than that Bill. Paul McCartney and I share so…so much.

TA: You haven’t actually…? Have you met-

CM: Have you had a one-legged woman break your heart and steal your money?

TA: What?

CM: Paul and I have. Mm, mm, mm. Paul and I have. Second wives man. We’re just simple men. SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME! Then, she’s young, she has your kid; it’s better without that extra woman leg crowding the bed, am I right? Then: POW!

TA: Wait, what?

CM: Heather Mills and my second ex, Millie Herzberg! Let it wash over you. The haze. The Christmastime. What is it about? You can’t know. Lift a glass. Don’t look down. It’s good, you’ve gotta keep it light and hazy. That’s the best way to Chriss’miss [sic]. You’re alone. The choir of kids, where are they? Jingle them bells and don’t look down. LIFT A GLASS!

TA: Chuck.

CM: We’re here tonight. And that’s enough.

TA: Thank you, Chuck. I think that is enough.

Interviewer: Bill Shy

 

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Christmas Song of the Week!

As the holiday season approaches, we at The Annual are dedicated to keeping you in Christmas spirit by highlighting a classic Christmas Tune every week. Here’s our second hit!

Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time was released years before I was born, making it as timeless a classic as Rudolf The Red-nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Do They Know It’s Christmas Time At All? I’ve been listening to it my whole life and I can’t imagine a single Christmas without it.

As soon as Black Friday comes around, I start cranking up that sweet sweet synth. “Bow-bow-bow-bow/wowowowow, Bow-bow-bow-bow/wowowowow” a sound as festive as sleigh bells. It has been so engrained as a holiday tune that I’ll often hear other songs featuring bells and a synthesizer (Always Something There To Remind Me by Naked Eyes) and feel as if snow ought to be falling and I ought to be shopping.

Of course, the song rings true for my own childhood, as I was once a Christian child on Christmas eve, singing songs with all the other Christian children. It’s very likely that we practiced all year long, and if we didn’t, it at least felt like it as I was never a comfortable or confident singer. While McCartney didn’t quite trust his choir of children with anything more than onomatopoeia, it was true that the youngest of children’s choirs could scarcely be trusted with actual lyrics, something we made up for with our absurd cuteness. That said, the few lyrics the children’s choir did have were often memorized, a cut above the skills of the adult choir. So there!

This week, let us all gather ’round the hearth and sing that classic song! DING-DONG-DING-DONG-DING-DONG-DING! ooOOO! oooOOOOOOO! DO-DO! DO-DO! DO-DO-DO!

Kevin Cole

Christmas Song of the Week!

As the holiday season approaches, we at The Annual are dedicated to keeping you in Christmas spirit by highlighting a classic Christmas Tune every week. Here’s our first hit!

Christmas time. Christmas-time. Christmastime. A time of year when families come together, when people celebrate one another, when gifts are given to show that you care for someone other than yourself. What words could be used to describe it? Joyous. Happy. Wonderful. A Wonderful Christmastime.

One of the best Christmas songs – and subsequently, one of the most over-played Christmas songs – is “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney, and for good reason.

When you turn on the 24/7 Christmas radio station (97.1 Wash FM, for DC locals) each holiday season, what are you looking for? Perhaps, a reminder of good times past. Paul McCartney has certainly passed the height of his popularity, but Wonderful Christmastime reminds us of how good he used to be, and how good The Beatles used to be, and how their songs were really good so, so long ago, and their solo stuff was not and is not very good. Christmas is all about reminiscing, and this song drives that point home succinctly.

The song is very catchy and easy to remember. There are only 45 different words in the entire song, with the chorus repeated six times. SIX! If you aren’t having a Wonderful Christmastime by the time the song is over, put it on repeat, and turn up the volume; your bells will be jingled after the fourth or fifth repetition. Plus, it has that early 80’s synth-style beat, making you feel like you are about to watch a buddy-cop action movie. And the sleigh bells! A staple of all classic Christmas songs; if you don’t have the sleigh bells, you don’t have a hit! Give the people what they want, Paul does.

Christmastime is about family, and what says family more than children? The choir of children singing in Wonderful Christmastime invokes a feeling of togetherness. Do you hate family? Do you hate children? Do you hate other people being happy? Well then go celebrate Festivus you jerk! McCartney doesn’t even let them sing for very long; a total of 17 seconds if you count the “harmonizing” that is attempted. You can’t even listen to these kids long enough to hate them. Paul brings up the children later, saying they “practiced all year long,” and doesn’t let them sing again RIGHT AFTER THAT or in the rest of the song. I mean, those kids practiced all year long to sing the words “ding-dong” and “oooo” and you can’t let them have that? God, what kind of monster are you? You can’t spend 17 SECONDS of your precious Christmastime on these children who worked so hard to make you happy? That’s cold, man. That’s really cold…

Any who, while you are creating new memories with your friends and family this holiday season, or when giving gifts with loved ones and co-workers, or while sitting along in your studio apartment watching those rascally Home Alone robbers get all beat up and mangled by a child, try to remember what this time of year is all about – listening to the same 12 or 15 Christmas songs every time you get in the car or turn on your iTunes playlist. Make sure Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney is one of those non-stop repeating titles, because it isn’t Christmastime unless it is Wonderful.

Unless you hate kids. You jerk.

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney – probably playing right now on 97.1 Wash FM, DC’s only station for non-stop Christmas music.

TM Scholtes

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George Martin Was Great But We All Know He Was The Eighth Beatle

This week saw the passing of legendary Beatles producer George Martin. Martin, who had been with the group since the beginning made countless contributions to the band’s discography and it’s for this reason that so many publications (including the BBC) rushed to label him “The Fifth Beatle.” Heartfelt as it is, this label undercuts the work of three prominent unofficial Beatles, leaving George Martin with the distinguished title of “Eighth Beatle.”

The first, and most notably the actual fifth Beatle, is Dead Paul McCartney. It’s common knowledge that the original Paul died in a car crash shortly before the band wrote Sgt. Peppers, though the story veers into fiction when The Beatles are tasked with finding a look-a-like to replace him. In actuality, the real Paul was killed in a car accident with a man named Paul Rabinowitz, who knew he would be murdered by upset teenagers if they ever found out he had killed their idol. Rabinowitz, having miraculously survived the accident took McCartney and fashioned a suit out of his own skin, which he still wears to this day. He then adopted the stage name of Paul McCartney, though his legal name remains the same (fame is funny like that). Dead Paul cannot be overlooked for his many contributions to the pre-Peppers Beatles, the band just got lucky that Rabinowitz was as good, if not a better songwriter/singer than the original.

George Harrison’s Sitar was commonly known amongst the group as the sixth Beatle. The mystical instrument became an unofficial member of the group while Harrison was vacationing in India. According to Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, George had just left an unfulfilling meeting with Maharishi when a strange space craft descended from the sky and “little green men” gifted him with the sitar. With it’s simple design and hidden future-tech, the sitar is responsible for giving a voice to the quiet Beatle, writing most of his songs and in some instances actually speaking for him. Now enjoying a life out of the spotlight, the sitar resides in sunny California with Harrison’s widow Olivia, they have three children.

Lastly, George R.R. Martin holds a prominent place as the seventh Beatle according to Yoko Ono’s book Stories John Definitely Told Me in which she reveals the master list of unofficial Beatles. George R.R. Martin was a troublesome character in John Lennon’s youth, like a rebellious older brother who would have introduced Lennon to Led Zeppelin had they existed but instead introduced John to the Tibetan Book of the Dead and Aleister Crowley. Without George R.R. Martin, The Beatles would never have hit it big with their Revolver track Tomorrow Never Knows. Following George Martin’s death, George R.R. Martin had to deny his own death as a result of his own misplaced narcissism. Claiming responsibility for Tomorrow Never Knows, George R.R. Martin often referred to himself as the fifth Beatle and even does so in his author bio for A Song of Fire and Ice. He’s off by two Beatles, but the actual band members rarely let the unofficials know their standing in the group.

In eighth place, referenced by Yoko Ono and cross referenced by Martin Scorsese, is George Martin. A man with so many credits to his name, Martin will also be remembered as the second Peter Sellers, the ninth member of Cheap Trick, the black James Bond and Elton John’s first wife.

Kevin Cole