Help me find nonreligious music for the winter
October 29, 2008 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Help me find non-Christmas music for a winter craft fair

I'm looking to supply a craft fair I'm doing at work with non-Christmas, but winter-themed music, preferably a whole album's worth. Do you know of any albums out there that are pro-winter, snow, etc., but non necessarily Christmas-y?
posted by izatchu to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Although not necessarily winter-themed, Burl Ives evokes that sort of spirit.
posted by cazoo at 11:31 AM on October 29, 2008

Probably specific only to me so take with a grain of salt...filter: Maybe it's just because I grew up in the south, but at every winter-time craft fair I went to they played dulcimer music. Not anything in particular. Just...dulcimer. And now whenever I hear a dulcimer I think of winter and crafts.
posted by phunniemee at 11:42 AM on October 29, 2008

One of my favorite ever compilations was from Pier 1 imports (from, like, 1995), and was called Holiday Eclection. There were a few Christmas songs, but a bunch that weren't including:

The Holly and the Ivy - Alex De Grassi
Crystal Palace - Oystein Sevag
Hymn - Adiemus
Carol of the bells - Russ Freeman
Walk and talk like the angels - Toni Childs
Ave Maria - William Galison and Toninho Horta
Never Ending Winter - The Daou
The Dove's return - Aine Minogue
Stardust and Snow - Once blue
posted by kimdog at 11:44 AM on October 29, 2008

anything by trans Siberian orchestra seems wintry to me
posted by no bueno at 12:02 PM on October 29, 2008

George Winston's "December" album.
posted by Doohickie at 12:06 PM on October 29, 2008

For the record, Kimdog,, I think that "The Holly And The Ivy" and "Ave Maria" count as Christmas music after all...

"Winter Wonderland", "Sleigh Ride," and "Jingle Bells" aren't Christmas-y as such, though. So too "Frosty The Snowman." George Winston's album December is nearly a cliche at this point, and does include a couple Christmas songs, but it's all solo piano so even those may slip under the radar (his original triptych "Snow/Midnight/Minstrels" is especially pretty).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:07 PM on October 29, 2008

The label is a bit new age-y and occasionally kitschy, but anything released under Windham Mill's Winter Solstice series (there are volumes) would work. Despite the occasional lapse into Christmas territory.

I am also VERY fond of the entire soundtrack of Raymond Brigg's The Snowman. I think I'll go watch the entire thing on youtube right now.
posted by kitkatcathy at 12:43 PM on October 29, 2008

Some that are often included on holiday compilations but are not actually about Christmas: Let It Snow, Winter Wonderland, Sleigh Ride, Baby It's Cold Outside, Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells
Joni Mitchell's River
In the Bleak Midwinter
posted by libraryhead at 12:44 PM on October 29, 2008

Here's a few more: Innocence Mission has a beautiful, cold-sounding "Snow"
I've always been partial to Trip Shakespear's "Snow Days"
"I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" (Ella does a nice version)
posted by libraryhead at 12:57 PM on October 29, 2008

This John Legend album has mostly songs that are not actually about religion/the holiday itself. "It Don't Have to Change" says " . . . and I pray to God" and sounds like a hymn, but is not actually about RELIGION, it's about family.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:58 PM on October 29, 2008

If you're willing to do a little hunting and downloading, the Holiday sharity blogs are where it's at for me. Basically, I'm referring to a loosely-knit community of bloggers who celebrate the season (starting right about now) by crate-digging (or collection digging) for holiday vinyl from the 50s and 60s. These albums are ripped with care and posted in whole or in part.*

Yes, some are going to be religious in nature, but the stronger spirit that pervades these wonderful posts is that of nostalgia in all its heady glory. Your standard holiday songs are there, but often done in a style you didn't expect (Arthur Lyman, for instance) or performed by one of those shiny harmony choruses you only hear in old movie soundtracks.

Here is a small list to get you started:
- A Christmas Yuleblog
- Santas Working Overtime (an off-shoot of Senses Working Overtime
- Check The Cool Wax (last December's Archives)
- Twelve Months of Christmas

From there, follow the links in everyone's sidebars and see where they take you.

* - Admittedly, there is a nagging question of legality here. With only the rarest exception, these albums have been almost entirely forgotten and the material therein is no longer available for purchase in any form, physical or digital. There have even been cases where the poster has gone to the trouble of contacting the original artists to acquire their blessing.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:06 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I love the Charlie Brown Christmas album. Most of the music is readily recognizable to anyone who grew up watching it and while is feels Christmas-y (because of the affiliation with the show), most of the music is actually not. Most are just jazzy works by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
posted by murrey at 3:51 PM on October 29, 2008

Solstice Bells by Jethro Tull
posted by Melsky at 6:35 PM on October 29, 2008

I remember the soundtrack for Edward Scissorhands being nice winter themed music.
posted by nickthetourist at 9:50 PM on October 29, 2008

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