The name of local singer Kelwyn Hutcheon has become so synonomous with this festive season that it is no wonder he is affectionately known as Mr Christmas.
He has sung his way into our hearts since recording his "Kiss Me For Christmas" composed by Pat Castagne 43 years ago and recorded by Cook Caribbean.
Other Christmas classics include "At Christmas Your Heart Goes Home" composed by Everard Leon and released 25 years ago. Hutcheon believes this is his "best sung" Christmas ballad. There is also, to quote Hutcheon himself, the "biggee", "Oh How I Wish I Were A Child Again", composed by Stephen Ferreira. Released 16 years ago, Hutcheon says, "I am amazed at how popular this song still is, both songs still get a lot of airplay and are requested at lived performances." Another favourite of his is "Happy Holiday" composed by the late Lord Melody.
So we got to wondering, what were the favourite songs of the man they call Mr Christmas and his reasons for liking them. We asked and he graciously obliged. The result is a listing of the Top Ten songs of Kelwyn Hutcheon aka Mr Christmas.
"The Secret of Christmas"
originally sung by Bing Crosby
This embodies the warmth and sharing associated with the season—the lyrics—"it's not the things you do at Christmas time but the Christmas things you do all year through", say it all.
"Silent Night" originally sung by Bing Crosby
This brings into focus the religious aspect of Christmas—"round yon virgin mother and child/holy angels so tender and mild"—the reason for the season—the birth of the Christ child.
"At Christmas Your Heart Goes Home" composed by Everard Leon
No matter who you are or where in the world you may be, there's nothing like being at home with family and friends at this very special time of the year. Locally composed and ideally suited to my singing style.
Though the content deals with Christmas in countries with snow around, nothing local here, it is a tremendous melody written by the incomparable Irvin Berlin back in 1941, Bing Crosby's rendition of it was, up to not too many years ago, the most played single recording of all time.
"Oh! How I wish I Were a Child again"
This locally composed evergreen, recorded by me some 16 or so years ago remains as popular today as it was when first released. It speaks so beautifully of Christmas in T&T with all the important components that make ours such a unique season. Nice tempo to sway to as well.
"The Little Boy That Santa
Claus Forgot" original singer
the late Nat King Cole
All over the world there are many such children who through circumstance or geographic origin don't have much materially to enrich their Christmas season. They have to make do with whatever little there is around.
The Twelve Days of Christmas
A happy song recorded by practically every known performer around. A strong hint of comedy and bonhomie as well in the lyrics.
"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
Nice opener for any Christmas concert. Lively tempo with lyrics directed at the youngsters among us. Old Saint Nick doing his thing.
"Christmas in T&T"
Not as well-known as some other ballads of the season but contains strong lyrics about Christmas in our beloved T&T. The pastelles, parang, steel, ham and maybe most important our local blends, not necessarily sorrel.
"The Christmas Waltz" —
Frank Sinatra (the one and only)
It's that time of year when the world falls in love/every song you hear seems to say/Merry Christmas... The waltz is the most elegant form of dance and so this song is ideally suited to the Christmas party for the over-50s and beyond. Sounds even better around the third round of libations.