We’ll Take a Cup of Kindness Yet: History of “Auld Lang Syne”

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.” This is the classic song sung on New Year’s Eve after the ball drops in Times Square each year, and all aroundContinue reading “We’ll Take a Cup of Kindness Yet: History of “Auld Lang Syne””

It’s a Wonderful Life: 10 facts about the classic holiday film

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” with my mom and whoever else will join us. We have watched it on the big screen together twice, once in New York City when we visited my brother for Christmas, and once in my hometown, in downtown Wilson, North Carolina at ourContinue reading “It’s a Wonderful Life: 10 facts about the classic holiday film”

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Time for Scary Ghost Stories

“There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow There’ll be scary ghost stories, and tales of the glories of, Christmases long, long ago.” A Christmas classic, this 1963 song by Andy Williams describes Christmas traditions, including some we no longer practice. What do scary ghost stories have to doContinue reading “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Time for Scary Ghost Stories”

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside:” Context & Controversy

Last holiday season controversy erupted over a radio station’s decision to ban “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” And this year, John Legend & Kelly Clarkson’s new version has stirred up opinions on the song once again. What is the controversy all about? And what’s the context for the original song’s lyrics? Read more below about theContinue reading ““Baby, It’s Cold Outside:” Context & Controversy”

Dumbarton Oaks Museum & Gardens

Recently, I toured Dumbarton Oaks, which is a research library and collection in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The collection and estate was donated to Harvard University by Robert and Mildred Bliss, collectors of art and artifacts from around the world. The Blisses were particularly fascinated with Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art, as well asContinue reading “Dumbarton Oaks Museum & Gardens”

“So This is Christmas:” A Holiday Song as Protest

“So this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun… A very merry Christmas and a happy new year, let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.” “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” (1971) is a Christmas song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, but it is alsoContinue reading ““So This is Christmas:” A Holiday Song as Protest”

The Monster Mash: 3 Interesting Facts About the Halloween Classic

Monster Mash. It was a graveyard smash. Monster Mash was released in 1962. Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi and recorded by Pickett and “the Crypt-Kickers.,” the single hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from October 20-27, 1962 and has been a Halloween favorite ever since. The song features Pickett doing an […]

“I Put a Spell on You:” From Radio Ban to Disney Movie Favorite

The origins of a popular song that has become a Halloween Disney movie favorite? A drunken recording session, a blues singer with an amazing voice, a breakup, and a spooky production. A song many know because of its numerous cover versions, “I Put a Spell on You” is now included on Halloween playlists, owing partlyContinue reading ““I Put a Spell on You:” From Radio Ban to Disney Movie Favorite”

#19forthe19th: Women at Work

Women have always worked. But the nature of that work and where it took place has changed over time. In the United States, before the late 19th century, the majority of women’s work was domestic, but as economic and social changes took place, women began working outside of the home and in more varied roles.Continue reading “#19forthe19th: Women at Work”

Ford’s Theater: A Tour of Lincoln’s Assassination

Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. is an operating theater to this day, but historically it is best known as the site of Lincoln’s assassination. On April 14, 1865, while Lincoln was attending a play at Ford’s Theater with his wife and Major Henry Rathbone, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate spy, shot Lincoln inContinue reading “Ford’s Theater: A Tour of Lincoln’s Assassination”