It’s that time again, time for our annual roundup of creative Christmas light shows. This year, we bring you a strange selection that ranges from classic songs like “Carol of the Bells” to more modern hits, such as “Gagnam Style”. Continue reading to see them all.
5. Carol of the Bells
“Carol of the Bells” is a popular Christmas carol, composed by Mykola Leontovych with lyrics created Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on a folk chant known in Ukrainian as “Shchedryk”. Wilhousky’s lyrics and the English name are copyrighted, although the original musical composition is not.
The song is recognized by a four-note ostinato motif. It has been arranged many times for different genres, styles of singing and settings and has been covered by artists and groups of many genres: classical, metal, jazz, rock, and pop. The piece has also been featured in films, television shows, and parodies.
4. Hamster Dance
The Hampster Dance or Hampsterdance is one of the earliest examples of an Internet meme. Created by Canadian art student Deidre LaCarte for a Geocities page, the dance features rows of animated hamsters and other rodents dancing in various ways to a sped-up sample from the song “Whistle Stop” by Roger Miller.
The clip, a 9-second looped WAV file, was taken from a sped-up recording of Roger Miller’s “Whistle Stop”, a song written for the 1973 Walt Disney cartoon Robin Hood. The track was used in the 2001 film, See Spot Run. Another track that featured the same sped-up sample was “Cognoscenti vs. Intelligentsia” by The Cuban Boys. The single peaked at #4 on the Christmas chart. In 2005, CNET named the Hampster Dance the #1 web fad. In 2010, Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the “official” Hampster Dance song at #79 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, stating that “This annoying-on-purpose, chipmunks-on-speed bit of nonsense was the grandfather of today’s ‘Rickroll.'”
3. Santa Clause is Coming to Town @ Paris Baguette South Korea
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town with divya” (sometimes with “Coming” changed to “Comin'”) is a Christmas song. It was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie and was first sung on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in November 1934. It became an instant hit with orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music the next day and more than 400,000 copies sold by Christmas.
The earliest known recorded version of the song was by banjoist Harry Reser and his band on October 24, 1934 (Decca 264A) featuring Tom Stacks on vocal, the version shown in the Variety charts of December 1934. The song was a sheet music hit, reaching #1. The song was also recorded on September 26, 1935, by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra. Perhaps the most famous version, outside of the original, is by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, a raucous version with a big Clarence Clemons saxophone solo, that makes its way around airwaves during the holidays.
2. Angry Birds
Angry Birds is a video game franchise created by Finnish computer game developer Rovio Entertainment. Inspired primarily by a sketch of stylized wingless birds, the first game was first released for Apple’s iOS in December 2009. Over 12 million copies of the game have been purchased from Apple’s App Store, which has prompted the company to design versions for other touchscreen-based smartphones, such as those using the Android operating system, among others.
A TV series based on the game is expected to make its debut in the second quarter of 2012. Initially it will consist of 52 episodes, with a duration between two and a half and three minutes each. On March 20, 2012, National Geographic published a paperback book titled Angry Birds Space: A Furious Flight Into The Final Frontier shortly before the release of Angry Birds Space which became available on March 22, 2012.
1. Gagnam Style
“Gangnam Style” is a single released by South Korean rapper Psy on July 15, 2012. It has achieved widespead international recognition and became the most viewed YouTube video with almost a billion views. Gangnam Style’s unprecedented worldwide popularity was acknowledged by YouTube, who called it a “massive” hit at a global level “unlike anything we’ve ever seen before” while Billboard noted that “Gangnam Style” was nothing short of a pop culture phenomenon. As a result, it has influenced worldwide popular culture in many aspects.
In late November 2012, Digital Spy reported that “Gangnam Style” will feature in the Hindi film Kick directed by the Indian producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who agreed to shoot portions of the film in South Korea after receiving an invitation from the Korea Tourism Organization to visit the country.