Title: The Reader's Digest Merry Christmas Songbook - Spiral edition
Author: Reader's Digest Editors
Publisher: Readers Digest
Edition: Fourteenth Printing, Sept 1995
Originally published: November 1, 1981
Format: PDF (Scanned)
Size: 22.8 MB
Reviewer: Nancy Moran
This is probably the finest highest quality collection of Christmas songs for Americans on the market. It is said to be "hardcover", but is spiral bound with a "hard" outerlayer and is printed on quality paper. There is also included a separate lyric book for sing-a-long with accompaniment. It contains 110 songs arranged for intermediate piano and also has plenty of notations for organ pedal and guitar chords. The songs range from traditional to modern (Adeste Fideles to Winter Wonderland and Silver Bells, for example) and there are a number of suprise favorites (Chestnuts Roasting, Friendly Beasts). Almost every tune is on adjacent pages so there is no page turning problem. Color coding makes lyrics stand out. Lyricists, composers and origin are clearly identified. You might find as I have that it is already a cherished family heirloom.
I am so happy I bought the Reader's Digest Merry Christmas Songbook this year! The arrangements are not that difficult, yet they sound very satisfying and are fun to play. I think any second or third year piano student will have the skills needed to play anything in this book. It's great to have such a big collection in one book (110 songs!) so I don't have to switch around and search through other books and sheet music to find what everyone wants to sing. All of the standards are included as are a lot of hard-to-find favorites like "Blue Christmas" and "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth." I love the hardback/spiral bound edition which lays nicely flat on the piano. Also, most songs are on two facing pages so there's not a lot of page turning. One of the best features is the songbook you get with the lyrics – this means I can pass out copies so everyone can sing without crowding over my shoulder to use the book I'm trying to play from. I just got this book two days ago and I've already spent tons of time at the piano just enjoying playing through the arrangements. Great book and a good value.