Track List: 1. Christmas in Australia 2. Carol of the Birds 3. Happy Birthday Dear Lord 4. Cold Winters Night 5. Calling My Name 6. Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle 7. Life is Precious 8. St. Nicholas 9. One Solitary Life 10. Te Harinui 11. Rusty Holden Ute 12. Arnhem land Lullaby
CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA is a selection of Christmas songs that reflects the diverse cultures of our people and of the land we live in. The songs are characteristic of the Christmas we share together. Included on the 12 track CD are ‘Christmas in Australia’ that captures the beauty of Christmas time in this part of the world. ‘Carol of the Birds’ (‘Orana’ is an Aboriginal word meaning welcome), ‘Tu Sceni Dalle Stelle’ (This is a popular traditional Italian carol and is a favourite with people of Italian descent) ‘St Nicholas’ (the original Santa Claus) Te Harinui (Maori Christmas Carol) Our friends in New Zealand also celebrate Christmas when the sun in high above. ‘Aussie Jingle Bells’ and ‘Happy Birthday Dear Lord’ (the brilliant red flowering gum and the golden Christmas tree welcome Jesus in our land of the Southern Cross).
BIO Carmel has built a reputation for her resonant and crystal clear voice, guitar and piano expertise and great rapport with audiences. With her catchy originals, Carmel is a favourite with audiences around Australia. Her songs are often featured on radio and have been included on many compilations. Carmel’s ‘live’ shows contain her unique songs and stories of Australia’s people and places. With many fascinating tales and magnificent sights to behold in Australia it makes sense that they would end up providing inspiration behind some songs. A recent comment at one of her shows was; ‘Her voice, her versatility and banter with the audience and stories relating to the songs had me completely engaged – it flowed so effortlessly. I’ll definitely be at her next show”.
Christmas in Australia – Carmel & the Mites Review by Chris Spencer
I don’t know of many other folk Christmas albums, so if you want to have a folky Christmas this year, this might be the cd for you. Carmel is Carmel Charlton who hails from Western Australia. She has assembled a choir of girls who by looking at the cover range in age from about 8 to 13. First started in 1994, I’m not sure if the group are still together – this cd was recorded in 2001. Charlton has also released two other albums of original material. I am pleased to say that I don’t recognise any of these carols – they are not your usual standard fare, with the exception of the Jingle Bells’ tune. 6 are written or co-written by Charlton; One is a traditional Italian carol; another is a Maori Christmas song (“Te Harinui”); “Aussie Jingle Bells” has lyrics written by Greg Champion and Colin Buchanan – it lightens the mood a lot – and Ted Egan’s “Arnhem Land Lullaby” closes the album. Charlton writes a few notes about each selection; musicians provide backing using mandolins, keyboards and didgeridoo. Carmel has a distinctive voice, at times reminding me of Faye White or Jane Thompson. I must say that in some instances the choir voices are a bit weak, under-developed and immature. So if you have an aversion to children singing you might not want to listen to all the tracks on the cd. On the other hand if you enjoy listening to children singing, such as the lead vocals on “Happy Birthday Dear Lord”, have a listen to this cd and perhaps give it a spin every christmas to contrast the other schmaltz that is so often heard in shopping centres.