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Smackdown: White Christmas vs. Silent Night

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some dream of a "White Christmas"...others prefer a "Silent Night."  Jody Rosen of Slate.com and Rolling Stone debates WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon over which classic Christmas tune really puts the shine on Santa's shoes.

Guests:

Jody Rosen and Jeff Spurgeon

Comments [11]

Evelyn Summers

I was driving during this show so I have a
question. What was the name of the choral group that sang "Silent Night" during the show. It sounded like a men's group and they were from somewhere in Germany.

Dec. 24 2010 12:38 PM
Eddie C from Bronx

I've got to go with the Temptations for my favorite version if "Silent Night." They add so much to the intro but after that the song just turns so beautiful.

Dec. 22 2010 10:47 AM
Linda Kohler-Trott from California

@ Dan Rosler from NYC -- your wish HAS come true. Blix Street just released (December 2010) Eva Cassidy singing "Silent Night". It's available as a single on itunes. It's a gorgeous acoustic rendition. A new acoustic album called "Simply Eva" will be released in January 2011.

Dec. 22 2010 01:10 AM
Amy Nolan from NJ

Please tell me who made the recording of Silent Night that you and Jeff Spurgeon played early in the Soundcheck show on 12/21/10? I did not catch the name of the group but it was so beautiful! Thank you

Dec. 21 2010 04:58 PM
Don Rosler from NYC

I'm not sure I can add a favorite version of "Silent", but was just wishing Eva Cassidy had recorded it. Sinead does a nice one. I lean towards "Silent" because it can be sung communally by pro singers, local choirs, or just around the piano, and when it is, it seems more often than not, singers tend to tone it down, keep it simple, plaintive and it's becomes a more moving experience. It's a song that resonates earlier in life, all the way through. "White Christmas" is a lovely song but "Silent" usually moves me more. But maybe the ultimate test is to see which one survives the Walter Brennan versions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdMerkMKPU4 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdMerkMKPU4

Dec. 21 2010 04:42 PM
Don Rosler from NYC

I'm not sure I can add a favorite version of "Silent", but was just wishing Eva Cassidy had recorded it. Sinead does a nice one. I lean towards "Silent" because it can be sung communally by pro singers, local choirs, or just around the piano, and when it is, it seems more often than night, singers tend to tone it down, keep it simple, plaintive and it's becomes a more moving experience. It's a song that resonates earlier in life, all the way through. "White Christmas" is a lovely song but "Silent" usually moves me more. But maybe the ultimate test is to see which one survives the Walter Brennan versions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdMerkMKPU4 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdMerkMKPU4

Dec. 21 2010 04:41 PM
hugh hales-tooke from Jersey City

This is the first smackdown I have heard where the contributors have had anything interesting and surprising to say about the topic. I would never have expected it to be about 'White Christmas' and 'Silent Night'. Both participants made some great points which told me a lot that I didn't know about both songs. Excellent.

Dec. 21 2010 02:24 PM
a g from n j

being pelted with snow flakes is more stirring than this particular smackdown.
pretty interesting though.

Dec. 21 2010 02:17 PM
Elaine from Hoboken, NJ

I like both songs although White Christmas always wears on the nerves near the end of the holiday season. But my all-time favorite version of Silent Night has always been John Denver & The Muppets.

Dec. 21 2010 02:16 PM
kp from nj

White Christmas all the way....Silent Night sounds too much like you're at a funeral (a lullaby, really...). If you want a great non-secular carol, try Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

Dec. 21 2010 02:15 PM
a g from n j

being pelted by snow flakes is more stirring than this particular smackdown.
but it's kind of interesting none the less.

Dec. 21 2010 02:14 PM

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