Whistlin’ in Mary(Christmas)land

Whistlin’ in Mary(Christmas)land was our first CD recorded in Maryland!

Whistlin’ in Mary(Christmas)land

1. Baloo, Lammy This 17th Century Scottish Christmas Carol is timeless. Amanda’s plaintive vocals are the heart of this song. Brittany plays the hammered dulcimer, which she just got for Christmas. Judy plays the cello and Ed the bass

2. Campanas de Belén Crystal first heard this Andalucían carol (Bells of Bethlehem) on her mission in El Salvador, and we recorded it this summer after she came home. Crystal does the vocals as well as plays the piano. Judy plays guitar and sings harmony on the chorus. Ed plays the bass.

3. Christmas is Coming This 18th Century English Carol is often done as a round, so that’s what we did here. Amanda starts off with the vocals, then switches to violin. She is joined by Brittany on mandolin and Judy on Banjo. Ed, on bass and John Nuttall on autoharp.

4. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day We’ve combined the words of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day with the tune of, Ring Out Wild Bells, which Brittany liked because of its minor tonality. Brittany and Amanda sing the vocals. Judy plays the banjo, and Ed the bass. John Nuttall and cousin, Melissa Bush, played the bells.

5. We Three Kings/Coventry Carol We Three Kings must be our favorite song, as this is the fifth version we have recorded of it! This time we combined it with Coventry Carol. Amanda plays the mountain dulcimer, then switches to violin. Judy plays the drum, and Brittany plays the mandolin.

6. I Want Crabs for Christmas The locals here are really crazy about their Maryland Blue Crabs. This Baltimore song is perfect for our first year in Mary(Christmas)land. Ed plays bass, Judy banjo, Amanda guitar and Brittany mandolin. Everyone sings along. Amanda cracked us up during the recording with her description of ‘scrod.’7. Cherry Tree Carol This lovely English ballad from the 15th century tells of a miracle performed by the yet unborn baby Jesus for his mother. Crystal loved it so much that she was happy to sing the entire song by herself, while also playing the piano. Judy plays guitar and Ed bass.

8. Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen Amanda left for her mission to Germany a month after recording this song. Hopefully, now she’ll understand the German words now. Amanda sings melody, Brittany the harmony. Judy plays guitar, and Ed the bass.

9. Holy, Holy, Holy John Nuttall was not yet a member of the Bush Family (or Whistling Prairie), but he spent the holidays with us and recorded this duet with Brittany. The words, celebrating the Trinity were put to music in 1861. We’re used an adapted set of words that more closely express our understanding of the Godhead. Judy plays the banjo accompaniment. We’re happy to have John’s golden voice join our family (and our family band)!

10. We Need a Little Christmas Who knew that this lively song came from the musical Mame? Everyone (Melissa Bush, John Nuttall, Ed, Brittany and Amanda) sang on this one. Judy even sang a little, but you can’t hear her, because she is playing the guitar and, amazingly, the bass as well!

11. Santa’s Workshop Ed’s infectious vocals on the story of McGurkin, Santa’s helper, make you want to join right in. Amanda plays the bass on this one. Judy is on banjo, Brittany on mandolin. and John is playing the shaker. We all join in on the chorus.