• Bryon Harris

Barbara J. - 'Merry Christmas, Darling'

By Matt Wong & Staff

Barbara Williams’ cover of “Merry Christmas Darling” by the Carpenters begins with her rich vocals and light piano. As the song progresses, the arrangement grows with the addition of an extra layer of ambient keys. Interestingly, the song goes on for quite some time without the need of any support in the low end, which makes the introduction of the bass on the bridge ever more impactful. Also introduced on the bridge are perfectly placed background vocals, which along with the bass, gives the arrangement more width and weight. A mellow guitar solo is nicely placed in the arrangement to give the listeners a chance to regroup before the melody re-enters. Overall, the arrangement helps the song conveys an intimate performance, and a sense of warmth for the listener.

The lyrics in “Merry Christmas Darling” put listeners into the Christmas with ease. Written by Frank Pooler, they describe sending greeting cards, lights on a Christmas tree, and logs burning on a fire. However, they also highlight the theme of being away from loved ones during the holiday season.

“Merry Christmas Darling” by Barbara Williams is an excellent rendition of the original by The Carpenters. As a cover song artist, Williams takes a time tested holiday favorite and performs it as the songwriters intended it to be performed, but adds her own flavor to the song to re-invent it and introduce it to new listeners. This track is a must add to your holiday playlist this year.


About Barbara J.

Barbara J. is a cover song artist whose song selections are from the soundtrack of her life. A singer all her life, from choirs, to weddings, to musical theater, to bands, Barbara finally decided to record her first LP, covering the songs of Canadian folk/pop artist, Gordon Lightfoot. “Sundown – A Gordon Lightfoot Retrospective© (2014)” was produced by Jim Reilley, an incredibly gifted songwriter and guitarist in his own right, and cofounder of The New Dylans, a folk rock band whose work has been recognized by Rolling Stone, Village Voice, and The Tennessean.

Recorded at Eastwood Studios, in Nashville, TN, with the help of some of Music City’s finest musicians, the album saw good success via cd sales, downloads, and lots of internet radio airplay, with singles airing in rotation alongside artists from Joan Baez, Simon & Garfunkel, Karen Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, and Linda Ronstadt. The first single released off the album, “All the Lovely Ladies" was awarded the “Best Song—Folk” Award from the Akademia Music Awards. Other tracks were featured on various podcasts with Women of Substance Radio. Two releases are currently charting nationally, and worldwide, on NumberOneMusic.com.


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