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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Celebrating Christmas in Florida Part 7 - Carols and Christmas music

We love to spend Christmas in our beautiful home in Orlando, Florida, but we usually have to visit before the holiday season as our villa quickly gets booked up. There are many traditions which we enjoy in the UK which we will find in the USA, so we need not miss out on them. In fact, with such a multicultural melting pot as Florida, we can add some new traditions to the list to enjoy.

One of my favourite aspects of the lead up to Christmas is hearing Christmas music, both traditional carols and modern popular tunes. So you can imagine my pleasure when I discovered that our favourite radio station in the Orlando area, Magic, 107. 7FM, abandons all music except Christmas music as the holiday season approaches. This great radio station usually has a variety of ‘middle of the road’ music available – much of which is very familiar to us ‘Brits’ - so when we pick up our hire car one of the first things we do is retune the radio to this station.

If you are in Orlando in December you will find a huge array of Christmas music on offer – far more than we hear back in the UK. Of course there will be the usual favourites – ‘Driving Home for Christmas, ’ ‘Do They Know its Christmas? ’ By Band Aid, the first of the many fund raising pop songs, my own personal favourite, ‘Fairy Tale of New York’ by the Pogues, and ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, ’ feature heavily.

But all the old traditional tunes are played too, such as Nat King Cole’s ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, ’ ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ (originally by Judy Garland in 1944), ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town, ’ ‘Silver Bells, ’ and ‘Little Drummer Boy’ performed by the Harry Simeone Chorale. Many have been updated and re-released by new and more modern artists.

Celine Dion, for example, re-released ‘O Holy Night’ a carol composed way back in 1847, on her 1988 collection of songs entitled ‘These are Special Times, ’ and this has been a great success year on year. Mariah Carey, who has visited Disney World at Christmas and performed there at this holiday season, released the song ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ in her hit 1994 album, ‘Merry Christmas. ’ It has become a contemporary holiday favourite, selling over 4 million copies worldwide.

Country Music is, of course, one of the most popular musical genres in the USA, so naturally there are a large number of Christmas tunes which get played. Many we have never heard before, but some are really beautiful, and a great edition to the songs we traditionally hear at Christmas.

So if you want to sing along to some Christmas music then tune into Magic 107. 7.
Rita Fraser

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Page added on: 18 January 2013
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