We continue our month-long celebration of the holidays with five more “Holly Jolly” videos submitted by Ukulele readers, including two cool original numbers and three from outside of the U.S.!
‘Walking in the Air’ by Mike Haysom
This lovely fingerstyle instrumental is the main theme from the popular, award-winning animated Christmas television special The Snowman, first shown in the UK in 1982 and based on the globally successful children’s book of the same name written by Raymond Briggs published in 1978. The 26-minute film won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award and in the U.S. was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 1983. The music for the film was composed by Howard Blake.
This ukulele arrangement was conceived and performed by Mike Haysom, who lives in the south of Scotland, and tells us, “Watching The Snowman, as well as Raymond Briggs’ other animated stories, is a bit of an annual tradition for many here in the UK, but I only recently found out that he isn’t so well known across the pond! I’m guessing ‘Walking in the Air’’’ didn’t hit the Billboard charts! Anyway, I’ve always loved the tune and thought it would sound nice on the uke!”
‘Winter Wonderland’ by the CC Strummers
You might not think of Los Angeles as a “winter wonderland,” but there’s still plenty of holiday spirit to go around in southern California, as you can see from this brand-new video, recorded on a warm, sunny afternoon and submitted by Barbara Fleeman and her project partner Lyn Gardner on behalf of the the CC Strummers ukulele club; 24-strong here. The classic song was written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard Bernhard Smith, and has been covered by countless singers and bands since it was published, including Artie Shaw, Guy Lombardo (who had the first hit with it), Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Darlene Love, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Chris Isaak, and even the Eurythmics! Barbara says, “This arrangement is by our wonderful CC Strummers leader, Cali Rose. We hope you will enjoy as we ‘frolic and play the ukulele way.'”
‘When Christmastime Is Over’ by Baba & Grandpa
OK, there’s always room for a little humbug at Christmastime, right? And for us that comes courtesy of this import original from the UK, with words and music by Harry Parker (Grandpa) and Svetlana Ikponmwosa (Baba)—with a clever musical assist from Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters on the bridge. It’s all in good fun ad Harry assures us it’s “just a bit of British irony—I love Christmas!”
‘Silent Night/O Holy Night’ by the Ukulele Buddies
This arrangement of two Christmas favorites by Ukulele Buddies Gideon Santiago and Vilita D’cuhna comes to us all the way from Bangalore, India—our most distant submission! Gideon is a multi-instrumentalist who lays down some nice ornamental figures and ethereal backing vocals behind Vilita’s lead vocals and uke strums.
‘Reindeer Knocking at My Front Door’ by Jim Fowler
Here’s a fun original from Jim Fowler of Brambleton, Virginia ( a suburb of Washington, D.C.) “about how Santa’s reindeer work together to help him out of a tough spot” on Christmas Eve. Fortunately all ends well! Jim notes, “I have posted many other videos of original songs and tunes (as @shoutmusicjim) performed on tenor, baritone and bass uke.”