Open Mic Adventures XVI: “Please Come Home for Christmas”

I finally got around to writing the detailed review (it’s around 2200 words!) of my school’s Christmas Concert this year.  The full review is over at my SubscribeStar page, and includes the video for this performance andO Holy Night,” which I wrote about last week.  It was a really stellar performance, and I am super proud of the kids.

This week I’m featuring the video of our grand finale, “Please Come Home for Christmas.”  Most readers will be familiar with the version by The Eagles, which was the version my High School Music Ensemble used as its primary reference.  The song goes back to 1961 and Charles Brown, a blues pianist.

It’s also quite challenging, with a lot of secondary dominant chords and a slightly irregular structure.  For example, sometimes students would hang on the B7 chord for four beats before resolving to E major, which shifted after two beats to a delightful E augmented chord.  Other times, though, the B7 would only play for two beats, followed by E major (or E7), before resolving to the tonic, A major.

A number of my private lessons leading up to the concert involved diving into some of the nuances of the piece in more detail (naturally, quite a few of the students enrolled in High School Music Ensemble also take private lessons with me after school).  The barre chords are challenging for guitarists, and the different ways of playing that fun little E augmented chord also provided some educational mischief.  For my bassists, we worked quite a bit on the various walkdowns, such as the opening A->Amaj.7/G#->A7/G sequence.  That’s not hard to play, but there’s a lot a budding young bassist can do with it.

Regardless, as you’ll hear, this piece brought the house down, and the young man singing it was a hero the rest of the day—I heard him greeted to wild applause and cheers upon arriving to his first period class after the morning concert.  The video here is from the same mother who took the “O Holy Night” video, so if you see her lingering on a particular guitarist/bassist for an extended period of time, that’s why.

But enough of my yakking; here’s the performance:

It seems I have a young Elvis on my hands.  Thank you, Lord!

Here’s hoping you’re not alone this Christmas, pining for your lost love.  If you are, maybe this blues song will make you feel a bit better… or just bring you down further.  As Bleeding Gums Murphy once said, “The blues isn’t about making yourself feel better; it’s about making other people feel worse, and making a few bucks while you’re at it.”

On that note… Merry Christmas!

—TPP

Other Editions of Open Mic Adventures:

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