The lyrics of the Dylan’s song Ring Them Bells are dark, to me, they are much darker than the melody reveals. The Melody sounds sombre but uplifting in its own dignified way. I can understand why so many artists have made their own interpretations of the song. I have picked a few that I like especially good.
Let us start with Sarah Jarosz’s acoustic performance of Ring Them Bells for Vanguard and Sugar Hill Record’s The Americana Sessions recorded and taped at Minutia Studios in Nashville, TN. It is taken from Jarosz’s 2011 album, Follow Me Downavailable on Sugar Hill Records.
Sarah Jarosz – Ring Them Bells:
My second choice is quite different but equally good.
Our fifth offering is from the nice people at Paste Magazine, and it’s a fine compilation they are giving us.
“Fortunately, some of our favorite Paste artists have chosen to freshen the genre with new releases, whether they’re original compositions or unique takes on old holiday favorites. If you’re looking for the perfect playlist for that tired office Christmas party or just hoping to amp up your holiday spirit in a new way, look no further than the Paste Holiday Sampler.” (read more)
Now, we get another one (via Paste), and it’s safe to say that it is something different. The Title track of the compilation is a cover of an old Johnny Marks Christmas song, it is a nostalgic 8mm home movie style film with footage of Sufjan’s nephew Gavin running on a beach, playing with a kite. It’s a lovely video. The lyrics are in stark contrast to the pictures.
“Mr. Frosty Man” by Sufjan Stevens from the upcoming “Silver & Gold” box set
Animation by Lee Hardcastle.
Those of us that preordered Sufjan Stevens’ new christmas box set got the following mail today:
“Halloween is just around the corner. How better to celebrate the ghoulish occasion than with a new Sufjan Stevens Christmas clay-mation video for “Mr. Frosty Man,” a fast and furious tableau featuring a renegade snowman’s battle against flesh eating zombies.
It’s a veritable Christmas bloodbath (made especially not for children) by the infamous clay-mation master Lee Hardcastle, displaying all the gore of a classic horror flick: zombies interrupt an otherwise normal family Christmas dinner but are thwarted by a rebel snowman wielding a chainsaw, a shotgun, and chip off his shoulder. Children (and spoilers) beware: Mommy gets mauled under the mistletoe and Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick gets a hard-knock lesson in weight loss, but, rest assured, Mr. Frosty Man doesn’t go down without a fight. He’s a real American Christmas hero!”