Category Archives: Music

A playlist of Thanksgiving-perfect songs

You know what goes great with a Thanksgiving meal and get-together?


A soft backdrop of positive, beautiful music sets a gracious mood and enhances conversation, not takes away from it. It is calming, and a proven mood-lifter and stress-buster. Music has been shown to help you slow down and really enjoy food, as well as make healthy eating choices.

There are some great songs about gratitude and togetherness. I put some together a list of 18 songs that seemed to work well together for the occasion. These songs feature some feel-good, familiar tracks, plenty of acoustic guitar, and sweet lyrics. New songs include Jack Johnson’s tender holiday song, “New Axe” and Andrew Bird’s “Manifest.” Familiar hits include Natalie Merchant’s “Kind and Generous” and Taylor Swift’s anthem to her mother, “Good Day.” If you’d like to take a listen, check out the YouTube playlist.

Which songs would you select for your Thanksgiving meal or get-together? Other suggestions?

Cool Yule Thanksgiving Playlist

  1. Andrew Bird – Manifest
  2. Avett Brothers – Better Here
  3. Bon Iver – Faith
  4. Kelly Clarkson – Thankful
  5. Foster the People – Sit Next To Me
  6. Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats
  7. Jack Johnson – New Axe
  8. Lumineers – Ho Hey
  9. Phillip Phillips – Gone, Gone, Gone
  10. Natalie Merchant – Kind and Generous
  11. Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait
  12. Phillip Phillips – Home
  13. Sixpence None the Richer – Breathe Your Name
  14. Ed Sheeran – Autumn Leaves
  15. Taylor Swift – The Best Day
  16. James Taylor – Shower the People
  17. 10,000 Maniacs – These Are Days
  18. Wilco – You and I

Cool Yule Karaoke: Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne just means in the old days.

This is my favorite version of this song. The singer is Rufus Wainwright.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Cool Yule Karaoke: We Wish You A Merry Christmas

This is a fast version, so get ready to sing!  And Merry Christmas to you and your kin 🙂

Cool Yule Karaoke: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

The Jackson 5 sang it best!

Cool Yule Video: Nutcracker Ballet Pas de Deux (Videos)

Here are not one, but two, choreographed versions of the pas de deux in The Nutcracker.

The first video (1968) portrays a classic version featuring the phenomenal Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev as the Nutcracker Prince and the very great Merle Park as Clara. At the time, they were both dancing for the Royal Ballet of London. Her performance in The Nutcracker earned her international acclaim and assured her a place among history’s greatest ballerinas.

What I appreciate about this flawless performance, in addition to its beautiful choreography (by Nureyev) and emotional quality, is the athleticism and laser precision of the dancers. 

The second video (1977) is Mikhail Baryshnikov’s version for American Ballet Theatre in which he performs with Gelsey Kirkland. It created a sensation when it was presented at the Kennedy Center in 1977. This highly artistic and deeply psychological interpretation adds all kinds of novel elements.  For one, he puts Clara in the pas de deux, whereas in other versions she is merely a spectator of this dance.  Then he also adds Herr Drosselmeyer into the dance, which adds all kinds of layers of meaning and a novel dimension, really creating a pas de trois!

With its fluid choreography and drama, and the wispy costume and flowing coiffure of the delicate Ms. Kirkland, the intensely emotional, dream-like performance is full of mystery and beauty, conjuring up all kinds of musings about love, coming of age, strength and vulnerability, and even desire and sensuality.  (The pas de deux begins at 3:43 in this video.)