Christmas on 34th Street - Christmas songbook REVIEW

22 Nov 2013

Christmas on 34th Street - Christmas songbook REVIEW

Well, Christmas is coming (like it or not!), and I suspect that uke players the world over are considering songbooks for christmas events and carol singing. So you spend your time collecting tatty chord sheets from here, there and everywhere on the internet... How about a nicely presented collection all in one place?

Say hello to "Christmas on 34th Street" - a Christmas ukulele chord / songbook prepared by M. Ryan Taylor of http://www/

Ryan sent me a copy of his book and I have been playing through it lately. In my opinion he has presented a rather nice collection of songs. There are 34 songs in here, but what I find really nice is that he has presented most of them in multiple keys to ensure that any group should be able to find a version that suits their vocal ranges. Thats a really neat idea that you don't normally see in song books that kind of tell you to 'play it this way or the highway'. He also went another step further and as well as providing standard GCEA chord boxes at the top of each sheet, he has provided Baritone chord boxes too. Something else you don't see all that often.

If you take a look at the sample below, you will see that the songs are presented simply, but rather nicely done. It all looks very clean and professional. This is NOT a tablature book - but provided is the basic melody in standard musical notation, together with the lyrics and the chord changes above them. All you really need to get going if you are going carol-ing.

They are simple versions of the songs, and the book bills itself as being '3-4 chord classics' - and that is perfect for beginners or those wanting something simpler when playing door to door in the cold!

It's a traditional selection of songs which will suit most purposes. I would have liked to see some more modern stuff in there to break up the traditional - perhaps a 'Rocking Around The Christmas Tree' or 'Blue Christmas', but it does what it says on the tin. I also don't personally go for the religious stuff, but that is just me, and I understand inclusion in a Christmas book, but there is plenty to choose from that is more universal.  Lets take a look at the songs that are included.

Away in a Manger
Boars Head Carol
Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella
Christmas is Coming!
Coventry Carol
Deck the Hall
Ding Dong! Merrily on High!
The First Noel
Friendly Beasts
Go Tell it On the Mountain
Good Christian Men Rejoice
Good King Wenceslaus
Here We Come A-Wassailing
Holly and the Ivy
In the Bleak the Midwinter
Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
Jingle Bells
Jolly Old St. Nicholas
Joy to the World
March of the Three Kings
Masters in this Hall
O Come, Little Children
Once in Royal Davids City
Rocking Carol
Shepherd! Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep
Silent Night
Sing We Now of Christmas
Sussex Carol
Twelve Days of Christmas
Up on the Housetop
Wassail, Wassail, All Over the Town!
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Wexford Carol
What Child is This?

No confusing this with any other sort of songbook then! If you are building a club songbook for the festive season, it is definitely worth a look. The book is available on AMAZON as well as a few other places.

Good stuff Ryan!


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