A Personal Christmas Collection

Jerry Vale

1995: Sony/Columbia CK 66147

  1. White Christmas
  2. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  3. O Holy Night
  4. Silent Night, Holy Night
  5. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
  6. Blue Christmas
  7. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  8. Silver Bells
  9. The First Noel
  10. Oh Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
  11. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  12. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  13. Santa Mouse
  14. (There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
  15. He

I bought this in the mid-2000s specifically because of one track and to hear a little more of Vale’s voice. I had been a somewhat-smitten fan of it since I was a kid: his recording of “Home for the Holidays” had appeared on Album 7 of the Goodyear Great Songs of Christmas series, and I had long responded to it both as a Christmassy/sentimental touchstone and with regard to his very handsome (if a bit squawky) voice. To this day I have metaphoric impressions of both Christmas cookies and a whiff of cologne when I hear that track…such is the power of music on the psyche. On the other hand, either his enunciation or the limitations of a vinyl LP on my family’s little stereo resulted in me thinking, for many years, that the end of the song stated that “for the holidays, you can’t be home sweet home” (rather than “can’t beat, there) with the side effect of me thinking of the song as far more bittersweet than it actually is. Hmm.