by John Riggio
The concept of the ugly sweater probably didn't begin with someone trying to design an ugly sweater. It seems more likely that whoever created the first ugly sweater was actually trying to make a beautiful sweater. What's beautiful to one person may be ugly to someone else. This song addresses both points of view in a comical way.
Set in a foreboding classical style, the song really needs both parts 1 and 2 to work, as they play off each other. Fortunately, the parts aren't too difficult. But just in case, we have isolated each and put them on our web site for ease of learning. (See details on page 78.) The first entrance of part 2 is in measure 13. You'll also need a couple of soloists to yell "No!" in measure 16, and again on the repeat, when the pro-ugly sweater camp threatens to buy an ugly sweater for the anti-ugly sweater camp. The delivery should be emphatic and funny. Another way to make it humorous would be to sing the tune in a faux operatic style.
As you can hear, John borrowed heavily from the likes of Mozart, Bach, and Handel to put this piece together. While you can absolutely use piano accompaniment, our session orchestra did a fantastic job, so we highly recommend using the recording.
If you use this song in performance, wearing ugly sweaters is an obvious choice. The more outlandish, the better. And if you happen to be invited to an ugly sweater party this season, this tune would be fabulous to sing there as well.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.