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Billy Blagg 1:09 Sun Nov 25
Billy Blagg's 12th Annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs (RIP Lady Blagg)
On July 29th this year my world collapsed and died when I lost my beautiful, talented, funny, vivacious and enigmatic love of my life. I'm utterly bereft and heartbroken.

My wife Gail - or Lady Blagg as visitors here will have known here since 1998 when I first did a blog on this site - passed away at Addenbrookes Hospital that Sunday morning and everything that made this life worth living for me went with her.

I could make some neat pat statement here and say 'she'd have wanted me to carry on with what I enjoyed doing' but the truth is our relationship was more complex than that and I doubt she'd have bothered either way. This is about me and how I can cope in a season that was vitally important for me and Gail and one in which we traditionally made sure we enjoyed ourselves and one another.

With just five days to go till the Advent Calendar opens, I'm leaning towards doing it again - frankly I've fuck all else to do anyway - but I genuinely don't know if I can start it, finish it or what form it will take.

For those who've emailed me - thank you for the support - and all I can say is, for those who enjoy this nonsense (and oddly there are many of you) return here on the 1st and we'll see what happens.

UPDATE: December 1st. I've started and I hope to finish.

Catch the blog too for previous year's listings, general chat and photos:

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Billy Blagg 4:46 Sat Dec 15
Day 15 - 'Call Me For Christmas' - Gary U.S. Bonds
Apparently, due to 'circumstances beyond his control', our Gary had to part from his woman in 1967 and this is him calling her home. At least she's out there to call back Gaz, me old festive china.


Westham67 6:12 Fri Dec 14
Re: Day 14 - 'A Christmas Carol' - Tom Lehrer
Yes nice one

Coffee 6:05 Fri Dec 14
Re: Day 14 - 'A Christmas Carol' - Tom Lehrer

So it was always thus.

Billy Blagg 2:28 Fri Dec 14
Day 14 - 'A Christmas Carol' - Tom Lehrer
Ninety years of age and still with us, Tom Lehrer was known for his satirical output and they don't come more so than this song about 'the true meaning of Christmas... money!'


Billy Blagg 2:50 Thu Dec 13
Day 13 - 'Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over' - Fiddlin' John Carson
Oh great! And I've only just finished writing me cards out!


Coffee 5:26 Wed Dec 12
Re: Day 10 - 'Christmas Time Is Here Again' - The Beatles
Billy Blagg 2:36 Mon Dec 10

Never heard that before and didn't know it existed!

Billy Blagg 2:40 Wed Dec 12
Day 12 - 'Christmas Boogie' - Canned Heat
Four minutes plus of unmitigated Christmas cheer


Billy Blagg 3:46 Tue Dec 11
Day 11 - 'Cardboard Christmas Boxes' - Alan Hull
On a bad day for me personally, here's one of the North-East's finest in the shape of Lindisfarne's Alan Hull with a song to remind you that - though it may not always seem like it - there are those worse off.


Billy Blagg 2:36 Mon Dec 10
Day 10 - 'Christmas Time Is Here Again' - The Beatles
And just to show I don't just chuck this thing together, here's the real band with a track that was originally to be found on a 1967 fan club flexi disc (ask your Grandparents), before being released again as the B side (ask your Grandparents again) of the 'Free As A Bird' single in 1995. There is a six minute version available but, as it's little more than a throwaway, it does outstay its welcome a bit.


Billy Blagg 1:46 Sun Dec 9
Day 9 - 'Good King Wenceslas' - The Fab Four
It's been a few years since we heard from the Fabs and I think it's time they made another appearance. Latecomers to the Calendar might not be aware of their oeuvre but The Fabs are, in fact, a Californian based Beatles tribute band whose 'Hark!' album features twenty Christmas songs that sound exactly like existing Beatles tracks. 'Wenceslas' here is done in the style of 'Tell Me What You See' from Help! and is just masterful in its execution.

Try singing the original track over this or, better still, play the Help! track and see how soon you're singing the Carol instead.


BRANDED 1:03 Sat Dec 8
Re: Day 8 - 'London Lights' - Tom Chaplin
Well. I hope you have enough new experiences to help, even if in a small way.
I completely adjusted my belief systems but that is extremely hard to do and the unconscious or sub conscious always plays some role.

Billy Blagg 12:42 Sat Dec 8
Day 8 - 'London Lights' - Tom Chaplin
Keane frontman Chaplin with a twinkling pop gem that should have you popping down to the big Adult Superstore on the A12 for a pack of Christmas Pudding flavour condoms.


Iron Duke 2:34 Fri Dec 7
Re: Louis Prima Footnote
I'm a bit late to the "party" but I'm really sorry to hear about your wife. I've been to those dark places myself and know what you are going through.

Billy Blagg 1:30 Fri Dec 7
Re: Louis Prima Footnote
BRANDED 4:24 Thu Dec 6

There was a graphic I saw recently that stated that the former belief about grief was that if it is imagined as a black ball, then it shrunk over time as new memories and new things pressed down on it. The new thinking is though is that grief remains the same size but we grow stuff around it so our whole perception of things becomes greater. I'm not far enough in to say currently but I just can't see how this will ever become less than it is now. This isn't just about losing someone you love and who loved you; it's about losing every part of you that did things for a specific reason I guess we can discuss this here every December until the year I find out about the OTHER thing now plaguing my mind..... but let's not got there yet, eh?

Billy Blagg 4:53 Fri Dec 7
Day 7 - 'Xmas Done Got Funky' - Jimmy Jules & the Nuclear Soul System
The first Friday party night of Advent and how can you not do the Watusi to this seasonal soul / funk stormer?


BRANDED 4:24 Thu Dec 6
Re: Louis Prima Footnote
Billy Blagg 7:26 Tue Dec 4

I appreciate that greatly. However, if time heals what is time doing to heal? Assuming it is? I'm guessing that as the distance moves on the newer memories and experiences take over.
I'm not ever suggesting we should forget but only that we only live in this second and we can chose to make this second whatever we wish.

Billy Blagg 4:17 Thu Dec 6
Louis Prima Footnote
A friend has just informed me that Louis was the voice of King Louis in Disney's Jungle Book. The Blagg Calendar the gift that keeps on giving.

Westham67 6:36 Thu Dec 6
Re: Day 6 - 'What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin')' - Louis Prima

From Thailand

Coffee 6:28 Thu Dec 6
Re: Day 6 - 'What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin')' - Louis Prima
Still early in the calendar's progress and some great stuff already posted. To which I'd like to add this offering, which may appeal particularly to those with a South Asian connection - of whom there are several on WHO. Please be enjoying.


Billy Blagg 4:18 Thu Dec 6
Day 6 - 'What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin')' - Louis Prima
Or rather what would Louis Prima say if he knew what the title of his song would mean in the 21st Century? All the way from 1939 comes this jazz gem from the U.S. trumpeter and bandleader. If nothing else the label from the 78 should fill you with seasonal joy.


Billy Blagg 1:49 Wed Dec 5
Day 5 - 'Cryin' Christmas Tears' - Eric Clapton
In front of the Clintons, I think it's fair to say EC pretty much nails this one


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