Gotta admit...I was inspired to put this one up since I'm also currently watching a Tony Bennett special celebrating his 90th birthday. Being a semi-fan of jazz, Bennett is probably one of the few vocalists around that I would make time on my schedule to catch him on TV which isn't all that easy to do. And so far, I've seen folks like Lady Gaga, Kevin Spacey and Canada's own Diana Krall hit it out of the park with their renditions of the legend's classics. I even own one Xmas album by Bennett.
So here is Kei Kobayashi（小林桂）with his cover of the Carpenters' 1970 Xmas ballad "Merry Christmas Darling". I wrote an article for another Xmas song by him a couple of years back, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" which is another cover that I liked by him. Unfortunately, I could only track down an excerpt on the Amazon page so I'm happy that I was able to find a whole YouTube video for "Merry Christmas Darling".
Kobayashi's tender delivery and the quiet arrangement centering on piano makes it the perfect song to listen to while wrapping those presents in the cabin on December 24th. Hot chocolate would be just the thing to drink while this is on the stereo...no marshmallows, though. The song was, like his rendition of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", placed on his 2001 album "Wonderland".
And for that added sentimentality, here is the original by the Carpenters. Just for the record, the music was provided by Richard Carpenter and the lyrics by Frank Pooler. After all these years, I still miss Karen.