I don't celebrate this holiday, but I do like some of the music we get to hear this time of year. Of course, some of it, I hate. I never need to hear another note of Winter Wonderland, White Christmas or Little Drummer Boy again, no matter who is singing. Other songs are fun and slightly less over played.

Here are my picks for a Christmas Music CD, with songwriting and performance credit, where they're different.

River - Joni Mitchell
2000 Miles - The Pretenders
Washington Square - Chris Isaak
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Blane/Martin) - Aimee Mann
[that gets the sad songs out of the way]
Blue Christmas (Hayes/Johnson) - Elvis Presley
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (John Marks) - Brenda Lee
Run Run Rudolph (Chuck Berry) - Keith Richards
Merry Christmas I Don't Want To Fight Tonight - The Ramones
Merry Christmas Baby (Chuck Berry) - Bruce Springsteen
O Tannenbaum (trad.) - They Might Be Giants
(It's Gonna Be A) Punk Rock Christmas - The Ravers
Rock And Roll Christmas - George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Christmas Day - Squeeze
Father Christmas - The Kinks
Happy Christmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Christmas Wrapping (Chris Butler) - The Waitresses

Yes, I'm aware that The Arrogant Worms, The Barenaked Ladies, Bryan Adams and many other Canadians (including Bob and Doug McKenzie) have recorded Christmas music. But my taste in music is not very patriotic.

Here's an excellent listing of Christmas albums and tunes, organized by era and type of music.

Your favorites?

In case you missed it, Happy Holidays!


Peter Nellhaus said...

Greetings from rainy Miami Beach. I don't celebrate Christmas either, but I do like Laura Nyro's song "Christmas in My Soul".

laura k said...

Hi Peter! It's raining here too. Laura Nyro - excellent choice. :)

James Redekop said...

We're not big on Christmas other than the family get-together. To Lori, Christmas means:

* Father's fatal heart attack
* Mother's fatal lung cancer
* Lori's melanoma

Not good memories, and aggravated by people constantly wishing "Happy" this and "Merry" that.

This particular Christmas had a last minute catastrophy which I will be writing up over on my weblog shortly...

So as far as Christmas songs go, we take a slightly antagonistic approach. On the way down to the family gathering, we listened to:

'Weird Al' Yankovic:

* The Night Santa Went Crazy (the live version, where the SWAT team take Santa out)
* Christmas At Ground Zero

The Arrogant Worms:

* Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass
* Things Are Looking Bad for Santa
* Vincent the Christmas Virus

Bob Rivers:

* Jingle Hell's Bells (in the style of AC/DC)
* Didn't I Get This Last Year? (to the tune of Do You Hear What I Hear)
* Toy Sack (Love Shack by The B-52s)
* Wreck The Malls (Deck the Halls)
* Aquaclaus (Aqualung by Jethro Tull)
* What If Eminem Did Jingle Bells (in the style of Eminem)

...among others.

M@ said...

Okay, I'm on holiday and I should not have been checking my Bloglines. But we're slowly recovering from an unnecessarily huge (and unequivocally stupendous) meal at Les Halles and we're online to check our addresses etc. for tomorrow.

Anyhow, as to the question... I have long loved the Skydiggers, above and beyond the fact that they are Canadian. They do a most moving version of Good King Wenceslas that you might hear on the radio now and then in season (thanks only to CanCon regulations).

The best part is that they change the words "therefore Christian men" to "therefore women and men" -- the rationale being that it's a song whose meaning should be limited neither to males nor to Christians. (I asked the lead singer about it one time and that was his explanation.)

I'm not moved by much when it comes to this disgustingly over-hyped season. But this song does it for me.

It's on a live album by the Diggers, but you can temporarily find it here.

Anyhow, back to vacationing...

laura k said...

James: Wow, that is some serious bad timing and bad luck on Christmas. Indeed, the words "bad luck" are hardly adequate.

Somehow I'm not surprised you choose Weird Al and the Worms for your Christmas music. ;-)

M@: I'll see if I can hear the Skydiggers online. Sounds cool. Hope you're enjoying New York!

andrea said...

My favourite interpretations are jazz-flavoured, so to be marginally patriotic (regionalist in my case), Diana Krall's new Christmas album is great. The best thing is that Jingle Bells is the first song so I can skip right over that worn-out travesty... Funny you mentioned 'River', as I never considered it a Christams song until I listened to the album 'Blue', by chance, on Christmas Eve. And 'Blue Christmas' will always be a favourite...

Crabbi said...

The Waitresses song is my all-time favorite. It's not Christmas for me until I hear it. I love, love, love it! That, and Feliz Navidad. Oh, and Santa Baby -- Eartha Kitt, not the ghastly Madonna version.

I like your choices, too :)

laura k said...

The Waitresses is my favorite too!! I love that song.

And oo, Eartha Kitt, excellent.