I bought this album years ago. I’m pretty sure it was one of those golden thrift store finds, but I’ve always had one question.
I guess that’s beside the point, but it is completely valid. This year I decided to bust out this vinyl and finally give it a good listen. I’m going to be honest, I love Dolly, but I have never been a fan of Kenny. So I went into this album knowing Dolly was going to save this album and in many ways she did, but I was pleasantenly surprised at how much I enjoyed Kenny’s solos.
The album opens with the Parton penned “I Believe in Santa Claus.” This is one of my favorite Christmas songs now. She speaks of how the belief in Santa can translate to hope in everyday life. Santa is for the grownups too. Her voice also glistens perfectly over Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”
Rogers gave great renditions of “The Christmas Song” and “Silent Night,” but the real gems on this album is their duets. Another song written by Parton is the final song “Once Upon a Christmas.” The song tells the story of Jesus brilliantly over Roger’s story telling voice and Parton’s passionate vocals. Then they add in a choir and I’m gone. Beautiful.
This record reminded me of why I like country music so much. In country music, or at least what used to be country music, it’s ok to say Jesus Christ. The songs are sung because they’re traditional and they don’t beat around the spiritual bush. They are not demanding you believe, they are just nice country folk who want you to experience what they do; hope and salvation through the birth of the world’s Savior, Jesus Christ.
So here I am not really excited for this Christmas, but Kenny and Dolly reminded me the reason for the season…..
and that there are awfully large wreaths out there.