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Do you ever want to hear those dogs barking "Jingle Bells" again? Neither does Christine Lavin - this "comic observer of human manners" (The New York Times) says she "just couldn't find a good Christmas/ Kwanzaa/ Solstice /Chanukah /Ramadan/ Boxing Day album, so I had to make one." So she rounded up seven other vocalists, assembled a sackful of characteristically humorous, offbeat, and occasionally moving seasonal songs, added a couple of original stories, and created this lighthearted a cappella alternative to the usual cloying Christmas-season songbook, a fresh delight for children and adults alike. On The Runaway Christmas Tree, there are tales of Christmas miracles gone wrong (in "Polkadot Pancakes"), what sound like munchkins on helium ("Elves"), and choral complaints and celebrations regarding food ("Scalloped Potatoes" and "Tacobel Canon," respectively). The title track, with its echoes of Dr. Seuss, is a bedtime story Lavin wrote for her niece to explain why people decorate their Christmas trees (to weigh them down so they can't escape, of course!). Interspersed with these unorthodox holiday excursions are a handful of somewhat more conventional hymns to the peace and joy the end of the year represents - the lovely "Dona Nobis Pacem," "A New Year's Round," "Lamb and Lion," "Allelujah/Amen," "Good Night to You All" and the very slightly twisted "A Christmas/ Kwanzaa/ Solstice/ Chanukah/ Ramadan/ Boxing Day Song" and "The All Purpose Carol" (which ends with a resounding "Oy, mon!"). A truly fun and enjoyable recording.
Listen to Tacobel Canon in RealAudio.
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