Sunday, December 1, 2013


I mentioned in my last Battle of the Bands posts that we had a turntable in our living room and it played Christmas carols from Thanksgiving until Christmas.  My mom would put on the LPs and wrap gifts.  The wood stove burned, my mom wrapped, and song filled the room.  It was the best place in the house to be during the Christmas season.

One of my favorite songs was always Do You Hear What I Hear.  Mom owned a record with Johnny Mathis singing carols and this is the one I think of when it comes to this song.  However, doing some research prior to this match-up I discovered that Bing Crosby is probably the person MOST people think of... and for good reason.  I actually preferred it over Johnny Mathis, changing the match-up completely for this battle. 

Here is the iconic Bing Crosby:

versus a two woman group who go by Celtic Woman:

Other blogs featuring Battle of the Bands:

I hope you will take a moment and visit them and VOTE.

Now that you have heard both versions, which one do YOU like better?  Will it be Bing Crosby or Celtic Woman?  Place your vote in the comments and tell me why you preferred one song over the other. 


  1. As I noted a couple of blogs ago I have never been a huge Bing fan, so while I have heard other versions I like better (Whitney Houston's version is nice), I'm going with the Celts on this one!


  2. The Celtic Women do a nice job with it. Think it's one you'd really have to work hard to mess up.
    I'll go with Bing on this one. My reason? The scene from Gremlins when mom dispatches the gremlins to that tune. Enough said.

  3. The Celtic Woman sing this very nicely, but it does drag a bit for me. I grew up with the Crosby and Mathis versions and have always liked them. Gotta go with Bing on this contest. Bing gives the song more energy while keeping the beauty of the song. Nice production on this arrangement as well. Bing Crosby's version is classic and wins my vote.

    Tossing It Out

  4. Well, just a few notes and the second one gets my vote. It's gorgeous.


  5. I didn't think this would be a contest but I have to go with the second one. It's beautiful.

  6. ROBIN ~
    As I said on FAE's blog, I've never been a Bing Crosby fan (I don't even particularly like his world famous version of 'WHITE CHRISTMAS'), and his version of 'DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?' isn't my favorite take on this song.

    However, this is a song about GREAT NEWS and I feel it should be sung with some POWER. The Celtic Woman rendition is much too high-pitched, light and feathery for my tastes.

    And as Arlee Bird said, the Crosby version included "nice production on this arrangement as well". I liked the way the music and background vocals were utilized on the track.

    Obviously then... I am casting a vote here for BING CROSBY.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  7. I have got to go with Bing on this one. Nice arrangement, nice clear tones and Mr. Crosby's mellow voice. Those Celtic women kind of put me at risk of diabetes after the first few notes. A little too sweet for my taste.

  8. Both are great, but I definitely prefer Bing. :)

  9. I'm... thinking Bing this time. Love both, though. :-)

  10. Replies
    1. I don't know how I missed your comment. Yes, I agree. They have beautiful voices. Got you down for Celtic Woman:)

  11. LC ~ Got it. No Bling... I mean Bing, for you!

    Alex ~ Gremlins... hahahaha! Interesting method for narrowing it down when you're on the fence!

    Arlee ~ I think people do tend to vote for the version that they are most familiar. Christmas songs SHOULD SOUND a certain way... and that way is however you grew up hearing them. It can take a while for another arrangement to grab onto you. And sometimes... it never does.

    Robyn ~ Yes, it is lovely.

    Susan ~ It's always surprising when we TRULY ENJOY something we didn't expect to...

    Stephen ~ I could have pitted the version I am most used to (Johnny Mathis) against Bing, but I think that they are too similar. However, they are both sung with GREAT POWER as you say... so maybe that would have been a better contest?!? I chose the Celtic Woman version because it was different from the others. I also had The Carpenters version in it right up until the last minute. Maybe it should have been The Carpenters vs Celtic Woman???? I thought about that hard. But then I would have gotten comments saying that the song has to be sung by Bing or Johnny and would have gotten Oddball votes.

    farawayeyes ~ I like both versions, but I understand why you are choosing Bing. Got you down.

    Lynda ~ I really like both, too. Bing it is.

    Misha ~ So glad you dropped in. I know you're busy. Got you down for Bing!

  12. As a child I remember the Bing Cosby version playing at Christmas time, so I am going with Bing!


  13. I have recognized I Give You Hear What The Hear, because I had previously listened to him with the voice of Susan Boyle, that I listen gladly, and I piaque much...I had never thought that it was an old edition of the years 60 "thanks to this post."

    has always been one passion of mine the Celtic music...(and also the Celtic Woman)...but it needs to recognize that it is a particular music...I consider "folk" ... the song in this post (although is not a "Celtic") .. is very nice.

    If I must express a preference ..I am undecided, maybe Celtic Woman .
    But I was always interested in the vision of these "old" editions, highlights the difference of previous generations ... simple style, beautiful scenery, actors, singers, dancers, music publishing .......very nice.

  14. Oh, ya really want to make this one a tough pick, dontcha? I like Bing's mellow voice, but I really love the Celtic sound, too. ARRRRRGH! I've gotta go with the Celts. (Sorry, Bing, for not going your way...)

  15. Their voices are really pretty, but I prefer traditional when it comes to Christmas music like this. Bing Crosby gets my vote.

  16. ROBIN ~
    No, I think this was a good match-up because, as you said, they are both considerably different, and you've got male vs. female (that's certainly not necessary but it does add another level of difference).

    I grew up listening to Johnny Mathis' Christmas songs and own 3 of his Holiday CDs, so I'm with you on that. I also have The Carpenters' version of this song, and like it.

    The Carpenters Vs. Celtic Woman might have made for an interesting match-up. But there's NUTTIN' AT ALL wrong with the match-up you chose. Both competitors are getting votes - always a sign that the contest you devised is a good one.

    I listened to several versions of this song at work last night (including again, Mathis, Carpenters, and a couple others) and came to realize that the Bing Crosby version here stacks up against any of them.

    Good 'BOTB' blog bit, Robin!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  17. Ohh that's hard. I want to see the first one for the nostalgia value, and I like it, but the second one is so pretty. Tough call but I'm going with #1 (Bing).

  18. Gossip Girl ~ I tend to thing we most often like the familiar... or, in this case, the Traditional for Christmas.

    Dino ~ Always happy when someone learns something about a song. Yes, this one is an oldie. I often post the information found at wikipedia on a song. I like the Celtic Woman version too!

    Susan ~ This is a tough choice. And don't worry about Bing. He is raking in plenty of votes. Got you down for Celtic Woman!

    Diane ~ Nothing wrong with liking the Traditional sound!

    Stephen ~ Thank you! For the record, when you were listening last night did you hear anything you'd not heard before or liked better than you thought you might? That happens to me all the time when I hit YouTube looking for my songs. I have two in mind and then I see other versions and have to listen to them, too. Ugghh. Sometimes it sways me into changing my mind and sometimes not.

    mail4rosey ~ The are both good! I agree! Got you down for Bing.

    1. ROBIN ~
      Yes, one version I listened to that I don't think I'd heard before was by Mahalia Jackson. I am a HUGE Mahalia fan and there is very little she sang that I don't like. Talk about a "POWERFUL" singer - whoa! NONE more so, none more so! I discovered Mahalia the same year and month that I discovered Christ, and so I have this natural "association" and she always reminds me of that "reborn" feeling I had then.

      However, I listened to this Bing Crosby version again that night also and realized that in some ways it's as good as anyone else's and better than most. I acquired a new appreciation for Crosby.

      There are certain versions of songs (e.g., 'O Holy Night', 'Happy Holidays', 'Sleigh Ride', 'Go Tell It On The Mountain', etc.) that I consider to be the "ULTIMATE" take on that tune, but I have yet to find a version of 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' that I feel is the "essential" recording. But Bing's is certainly in the competition. (Again, I especially like how the background singers and the spare musical arrangement complemented Crosby's vocals.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      By the way, I am not intending to use ANY of the songs I mentioned in the above comment for my 'BOTB #10', so if you want to go with one of them, it is "safe" as far as I am concerned.

      ~ D-FensDogg

  19. Hi Robin,

    It's a close call for me. I like both versions. However, the Bing Crosby version gets my vote.

    Gary :)

  20. Aloha Robin,

    I should like the Celtic Woman version (having been born a Celtic Man and all that :) but my vote goes to Bing, the musical king of bling :)

    PS: Thanks for the follow *and* for your support with 50 States of Pray :)

  21. My vote goes to Celtic Woman!
    It had me at Celtic :)

  22. Gary ~ I am relieved to finally have posted something that didn't make you want to puke. "It's a close call" is impressive all by itself. Bing for you!

    Mark ~ I think people are often surprised by how they end up voting on these things. You are "certain" that you will prefer one version over the other (unheard) and then it all changes! Kinda like life:) Right back at ya with the follow *and* I think 50 States of Pray is a great idea!

    David ~ LOLOLOL. It had you at Celtic. :)

    cube ~ I never saw the original comment. Blogger is terrible for eating comments. However, I will check to see if it was moved to spam. That has happened before. For a while all of the comments I was leaving were not showing up (very annoying) and my own were disappearing off my own blog. Finally someone else indicated that they were having the same problem and found them in their spam folder. Gah. Blogger can be irritating.

  23. Sorry for the delay in getting to this...

    I like the Celtic women, but I do think there's a glitch in the video -- I mean, the image never even moves... ;)

    OK -- seriously. Their voices are lovely, the harp is lovely, the orchestration is lovely. It's soothing, easy to listen to, and lovely. But *yawn* it does lack the impact that the song should have.

    Bing's is traditional and spot on. It's subtle and seemingly simplistic, as the lyrics about a shepherd boy and a little lamb suggest a kid's song. But then the song builds well and the real depth of the meaning behind the lyrics is conveyed.

    I just think Bing's version is a better interpretation of what the song really is supposed to mean.


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