I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ayaka Hirahara -- Christmas List

(cover version)

My origins of listening to what has become a modern perennial Xmas song actually were rather strange. I actually heard the original Natalie Cole "Grown-Up Christmas List" from 1989 when it was being used to start off the usual nutty sketch by comedian Ken Shimura. My memories of the payoff for that sketch have disappeared into the cobwebs of my mind, but the song whose title and singer I didn't know for some years after stayed with me. However, all was resolved when I bought Cole's 1999 Xmas album "The Magic of Christmas" with The London Symphony Orchestra.

And then many years after that, I found out that mellow songbird/saxophonist Ayaka Hirahara(平原綾香)released her version of the song. Coming out as her 12th single in November 2006, she acquits herself nicely to the David Foster melody and the Japanese lyrics by Yumi Yoshimoto(吉元由美) (the English lyrics were provided by Linda Thompson). "Christmas List" would also become part of Hirahara's 5th studio album, "Sora" (そら...Sky)which came out in January 2007. As for the single, it went as high as No. 29 on the Oricon weeklies.

I'm not sure but perhaps "Grown-Up Christmas List" may be the most popular foreign Xmas song to be heard in Japan, next to WHAM!'s "Last Christmas". In any case, here is the original song below. Ah, but there is Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You", isn't there?

Ayaka Hirahara -- Christmas List

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