12 December, 2010

Advent Calendar in Song: Children Go Where I Send Thee

Natalie Merchant was the lead singer of 10,000 Maniacs, and has had a reasonable career as a solo artist. She is a fantastic vocalist, and surprisingly electrifying when seen live. This is a gem rescued from one of those Christmas pop compilations that started regularly cropping up in the marketplace post Band Aid. What this usually means are covers performed by various artists often with music largely in the public domain (to cut down on royalty costs) the for benefit of a charity.

Of course the upside of these albums is that they promote and fund a charity. The downside is that the quality control, particularly in pairing of artist with material, can be hugely variable. For every good track like this one you get a Puff Daddy, Snoop Dog take on Santa Baby, or Whitney Houston eviscerating with too much soul diva for its own good Do You Hear What I Hear. They are not as consistent, as say, the Hal Wilner produced covers albums on the themes of Disney, Weill, or Nina Rota, Stay Awake, Lost in the Stars and Amacord Nina Rota, which have very few dud tracks between them.

Children Go Where I Send Thee covered by Natalie Merchant is taken from a series of albums made to benefit the Special Olympics, A Very Special Christmas, and is on the third iteration released in 1997.

Since this one was sublime, I'll just include the ridiculous (there's an equal time law, apparently). From the same charity album a track by No Doubt, a cover of their sometime touring mates, The Vandals' Christmas song Oi! To the World:

Oi! To the World - No Doubt

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