Loretta Lynn releases
her first Christmas album since 1966.
Just up the hill but down the mountain is a little area known as Butcher Holler. The folks here are mighty proud, hard working, Christian folks. They ain't got much, but what they have is all they need.
Like any where in the world, Christmas is a joyous season here in the Holler. She can remember it like it was just yesterday - Daddy and her would take the ol' mule out and hook him up to a big ol' sled that Daddy had made out of wood. Together they would walk that ol' mule up the mountain a bit to find a pine tree to cut for their Christmas tree. It was a special time for her as it was time well spent with her Daddy.
Daddy would cut that tree down with the axe and together they would lift it up onto the sled. They'd turn the mule around and head back home. All the way home she would sing Christmas carols. Daddy never joined in, but she would often catch him smiling as he enjoyed her singin'.
As they got closer to home, they could hear one of her brothers yell "the tree is here...the tree is here..." The others would begin to chant along with.
Now that tree was never too big to fit into the house. Once inside Mommy would have a pail of dirt sitting in the corner and Daddy would place the tree in the pail. The entire family would gather around and start decorating.
She remembers seeing the first Christmas tree that was decorated in them electric strings of lights. As pretty as that tree was, it never matched up to the one they had at home.
All during late summer and throughout fall, she and her brothers and sisters would forage through the woods near their house looking for pine cones, nuts, berries and dried flowers to hang on the tree. Throughout the year, Momma would save all the candles that were too low to burn in the candle holders to place upon the Christmas tree. They always had popcorn that Momma would pop for us to string on the tree. At one time, someone had some extra paper and made a star to go upon the top.
Holler folks never bought presents for each other. They'd always give gifts that they made. Toys were whittled out of fallen branches. Dolls were made out of used warn scraps of clothing. We didn't have much but we had each other and that was all we needed...
She sits in the studio singing as the memories of her childhood come flooding into her mind's eye. Oh, how she misses those simple Christmases up there in Butcher Holler.
It has been fifty years since Loretta Lynn has recorded and released a Christmas album. On October 7th, Legacy Recordings released a new Christmas album by Ms. Loretta Lynn called White Christmas Blue. The album features twelve studio performances.
Among the cuts on the album you will find timeless classics like "Away In A Manger," "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful," and "Silent Night." Ms. Lynn performs each of the songs in her notable down home Kentucky accent. The album also features several contemporary pop standards like "Winter Wonderland," "Frosty The Snowman," and Jingle Bells."
Loretta gives her fans a new rendition of "Blue Christmas," a song written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson that was first recorded in 1948 by Doye O'Dell but was made popular when Elvis Presley recorded it in 1964. Ms. Lynn's version is quite exceptional as it is performed in a traditional country, Grand Ole Opry mentality.
Ms. Loretta Lynn gives us three newly penned Christmas carols. The first one we come across is the title track. Co-written with Shawn Camp, this beautiful high-spirited ballad speaks about missing a loved one at Christmas. This is the first of two songs from this album that will hit our list of Top Songs of 2016 while earning nominations for the Spirit Award's Song of The Year and Spirit of Christmas awards.
It wouldn't be a Loretta Lynn album without a sassy song. Ms. Lynn wrote a song called "To Heck With Ole Santa Claus." Performed in a traditional country cheery feel, this one speaks about being mad at Santa Claus for not getting a present from him.
The second and final song to hit our list of Top Songs of 2016 and earning a nomination in the Spirit Awards is "Country Christmas." It has been a long time since we have heard such an honest song that captures the Spirit of Christmas as this song does. Written by Ms. Loretta, this contains a frolicsome melody that is mixed with a story about celebrating a 'good ole country Christmas...' This song is sure to become a timeless classic for generations to come.
Ms. Lynn closes out the album with "'Twas The Night Before Christmas." Bryan Sutton plays the background music using an acoustic guitar as Ms. Loretta tells the classic tale.
This album is a delightful, delicate and alluring collection of Christmas songs. It's Ms. Lynn's country vocals that bring new vibrations to old warn out carols. It's her honest, intimate, folksy mentality that brings new songs into our lives and homes this Holiday season. Celebrate the simplicity of Christmas as we honor the talents of a little girl from the holler.
As the years go by, it seems like Christmas comes faster and faster. In her mind, it was just yesterday that she walked the mountain ridge with her father looking for their Christmas tree.
Today's Christmases are too commercial. All those fake plastic trees decorated in fancy lights that blink red and green; ornaments that cost more than a sandwich; the star that is so flashy that it looks like it belongs in Las Vegas... but worst of all are all those presents under the tree! Who needs ten gifts?
Oh, how she wishes that she could go back home to the holler! A simple tree tucked in the corner. Its branches are not perfect, but that's what makes it so special. Popcorn, nuts, berries and dried flowers create a sense of artistry among the branches of green. A candle here or there, that is all that is needed to shed light on this masterpiece. But most important of all are the few meager presents that sit patiently. Presents that were made with love, given with love and received with love.
"Merry Christmas, its a good thing that Christmas don't come but once a year. But no matter how busy I am. I couldn't let that stop me from letting you know I'm thinking about you and wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Love you, your friend Loretta Lynn.”
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