Candy Cane Lane

by Teresa Jennings

You probably had no idea at all that this song would sound like it does when you first saw the title, did you? Yeah, we get that a lot. Nonetheless, the song is an homage to that section of Everytown, USA, that is compelled to bedeck itself in the extreme every holiday season. In many places, including our neck of the woods, that section is dubbed "Candy Cane Lane," hence the title of the song. Even if you haven't personally taken a drive through such an illuminated wonderland, you've certainly seen pictures of them. They are quite the phenomenon.

In our musical tribute, tongue-in-cheek passion makes it all the more enjoyable to perform. A combination of good old-fashioned R&B (sort of) and contemporary hip hop elements, it's both amusing and just plain fun to sing. Even our recording instrumentalists had a good time with this one. If you have a chance to listen to the background version (track 21), you'll be treated to many nice things. Like the tasteful jazz guitar licks, the piano chordal improv, the fine and funky bass riffs, and of course, that wonderful high trumpet solo. (Thanks to players Sandy Williams, Steve Millikan, Steve Dokken, and Joey Tartell for those juicy bits.)

Despite the novelty of the tune, it truly is a more musically challenging piece. So it would be great to use with your older singers, especially if you can use all three parts. Our studio singers did a fine job of giving a demo of musical style to emulate or take inspiration from.

You will note that the song starts with part 2. Part 3 starts at the same time, but it is optional. We rarely say this, but part 2 is actually an integral part of the song, so we don't label it as optional. However, there are probably some ways around that if you want to make it a unison piece. You could adapt and combine part 2 and part 1 to create a unique melody. Or you could have your singers all do part 2 and then have a soloist(s) do all of part 1. If you have a budding Jennifer Hudson in your midst, that would rock! Part 3, which is written for lower, changing, or changed voices, is totally reinforced in the accompaniment. But it's also cool to sing. Invite older singers to join in if you need a little help.

To give you an idea of how the song would work with just two parts, we have included that version on the recording (track 34). We have also isolated all three parts individually for rehearsal purposes and put them on our web site for free access. You will hear an a cappella version there as well, which we included for inspiration. (See details on page 77.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.