Save a Seat for Faith and Tim

Upon hearing my accent, no one will mistake me for a New Yorker. While I don’t apologize for that, I do make a point to use good grammar especially when I’m speaking with people who ain’t from ’round here. In those same situations, I also try to keep my mouth shut when I can’t add to the conversation. It’s not a vanity thing. It’s just me trying to help dispel a Southern stereotype or two when I can.

honey boo boo 1

No relation. I’m positive.

I have a need to do my part to prove we’re not all related to the Honey Boo Boo family. (I’m fairly sure they have a real last name, but I refuse to google it.) Thanks a lot, Georgia. But I digress.

So let me set the scene for you: Radio City Music Hall, Midtown Manhattan on Christmas Eve morning. We were sitting there waiting for the Rockettes’ Christmas Extravaganza to start when this retirement-age couple sat down next to us. As soon as I heard her talking, I knew she didn’t make too long of a commute to get there. She sounded a little like Carrie on King of Queens.

Radio City Music Hall, second row.

Radio City Music Hall, second row. I can’t wait to tell Faith Hill about these seats!

She struck a conversation with us. They were from New Jersey. We talked about when and where we got our tickets, and how much we paid for them. I found out quickly that I got the special “tourist rate” on the ticket price, but who cares. It’s Christmas, after all; and we were on the second row. Soon, she couldn’t resist; and she asked me the question I’ve heard 5,000 times:

“Where are you from?”


And then right-smack-dab in the middle of of Radio City Music Hall she honestly asked me:

“Do you ever see Faith Hill?”

I didn’t miss a beat.

“No, but she and Tim live in Franklin there on Highway 96 next door to Kenny Chesney. We’ve driven by their house.”

At that point I’m pretty sure she pictured me driving a Bondo’d ’82 Camaro, belting out “Mama Tried” to my Merle Haggard 8-track, blowing the horn at Faith who was Weedeating her ditch while Tim and Kenny sat on a couch on the front porch swigging PBRs and smacking ‘skeeters.

I wanted to ask her if she ever saw Snooki, but I saved that one just in case she asked me if I ever saw Honey Boo Boo. After all, turnabout is fair play. And I’m certain people from New Jersey know that.

Favorite Christmas Songs

Favorite Christmas Songs
From Handel’s “Messiah” to
“A White Trash Christmas”

Jimmy Buffett

Who also has a Christmas Birthday? This guy. (Image via US Navy, public domain)

Well, this will be the last Music Musings column before Christmas and what better topic than Christmas songs. I was creating my Christmas playlist on the iPod the other day and realized that I have a large number of Christmas songs that run the gamut from classical/traditional to modern. The list below (in no particular order other than my random thoughts) includes individual songs, albums, shows, etc.  For what it is worth, here you go:

  • Merry Christmas Alabama (Jimmy Buffett) – While this song includes the word “Alabama,” it is still one of my favorite songs and is on his Christmas album – Christmas Island. Jimmy basically chronicles “…all the places, and faces” that he has lived and known through the years. Ironically, JB’s birthday is on Christmas Day.
  • Guitar Christmas (Steve Wariner) – This instrumental album is a hidden gem. Have a party going on & need some Christmas music in the background? Then this is your choice. Steve displays his Certified Guitar Player designation on Christmas favorites. As with Buffett, Steve has a Christmas birthday.
  • A Baby Changes Everything (Faith Hill) – Yes, I have a Faith Hill Christmas album loaded in my iPod. Actually, it is my wife’s CD. This single talks about Mary and “How A Baby Changes Everything.”  Of course, Faith could sing the phone book and it would sound great. Both song and rendition are great on this one.
  • Lost Christmas Eve (Trans Siberian Orchestra) – The TSO fuses rock music with orchestra instruments. Their take on some classic Christmas songs and their original songs are over the top. The musicians in TSO are uber-talented and their stage show rivals any rock show that I have seen.
  • Hallelujah Chorus (from Handel’s Messiah) – This classical piece always gives me goose bumps, whether I am listening to it or singing it. I have the opportunity to sing with a choir and when we do this, it is special. I also love the tradition of standing whenever this is played or sung.
  • A Very Special Christmas – Volume I (Various) – Originally released in 1987 as a fundraiser for Special Olympics, this album featured various popular artists singing traditional as well as original Christmas songs. It runs the gamut from Run D.M.C.’s Christmas in Hollis to Stevie Nicks’ Silent Night. While there have been numerous others and approximately $100 million has been raised for Special Olympics, this one still holds a special place that none of the sequels do. 
  • White Trash Christmas (Zach Tison) – If you can find this, go get it now. Heard this originally on the Rick & Bubba radio show years ago.  It is a catchy tune which talks about buying Grandpa a “carton of cigarettes,” “Momma’s the Queen of One-Stop Shopping,” “take shelter under the double-wide,” and a cousin who likes to hold his sister. If there ever was a theme song for Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation, this is it.
  • O Holy Night (Martina McBride) – A former radio personality in Nashville once described Martina as “two lungs and a larynx.”  If anyone can do this traditional hymn justice, it is Martina.

As you can see, my list is varied. Our individual moods vary, so why can’t our music?  So as I put the iPod on shuffle, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. Finest Craft Beers from America’s Best Micro Breweries- 728x90 banner