The typical Christmas music started coming across my radio BEFORE Thanksgiving this year, which really made me want to stick a fork in my eye. I love Christmas as much as anyone who loves Christmas, but I like to have distinct holiday seasons (and don’t get me started on how much the new “Black Thursday” trend pisses me off). But now that it’s actually time to hear Christmas music, I’m sick of it because I’ve already heard pretty much every song that is going to be played.
Here in Iowa, the pickings are pretty slim and I swear I tend to hear maybe the same 25 songs, albeit sometimes done by different artists. With two weeks still to go, I wanted to get some of my Christmas spirit back. I asked TGS contributors to tell me their favorite Christmas song that never gets airplay. They did not disappoint!
- Ted Flint – Run D.M.C., “Christmas in Hollis”
Ted likes this because it’s on Die Hard. I like it because it was one of the first alternative Christmas classics that remain in our collective cultural psyche after 30 years. It was actually inspired by Clarence Carter’s “Back Door Santa,” but I can’t imagine what the world would have been like had it never been written.
“Rhymes so loud and proud you hear it
It’s Christmas time and we got the spirit
Jack Frost chillin’, the hawk is out
And that’s what Christmas is all about
The time is now, the place is here
And the whole wide world is filled with cheer“
2. Jason Mitchell – JD McPherson, “Bad Kid”
“Bad Kid” is a great, bluesy rock song that reminds me more of “Bad to the Bone” than “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” It’s about time the naughty kids get some love.
“I can’t help it I was born like this
A permanent spot on the naughty list
I never get a present, Santa’s scratchin’ his head
How’d a little fella get so misled?”
3. Pete Seibert – Harry Connick Jr., “Must Have Been Ol’ Santa Claus”
A cute and fun tale of how a kid who is “too big” to believe in Santa Claus ends up taking an adventure with the Man in Red himself (and Rudolph, too). It came out more than 25 years ago, and I’m surprised it hasn’t really entered the regular rotation.
“We flew high above the rooftops of my sleepy town below / I saw my big red school house and the town square picture show / It was really past my bedtime, and so ol’ Santa said / ‘Little boys like you should be in bed'”
4. Arnold Woods III – Boyz II Men, “Let It Snow”
The soulful gentlemen of Boyz II Men could make a commercial about Depends sound sexy as hell. No one should be surprised that their version of “Let It Snow” (which is a slight rewrite of the more popular song of the same name) could be such an encouragement to cuddle up with someone you love this season.
“We got a thing here, can’t let it slip away
Though outside is rain and sleet
When our bodies meet…
I don’t care ’bout the weather”
5. Sylvia June – DRAM, “Litmas”
“When your tree gets lit up, I get happy (I get happy)“
This new song has definitely brought the joy back in my holiday. It is a little funky and a lot of fun and damn does it make want to deck the halls. Every. Day.
NEW Christmas album – Ana Gasteyer, “Sugar and Booze”
Maybe I should have expected such a delightful album from SNL alum Gasteyer. I never really think of her as a singer, though, which is stupid because this chick originated the role of Elphaba in Wicked. She also put out an album of jazz standards five years ago, I’m Hip, that was pretty good.
On Sugar & Booze, Gasteyer drew on both her comedic and vocal training to put some jazz and swing into classic Christmas songs and bring us funny new tunes, too. The best song on this album for me is the eponymous track, because sugar and booze really ARE the best part of the holidays, amiright? If you like to raise a glass or two, it’s for you.
“Wake up, baby, don’t you hit the snooze / Just forget the headlines in the news / Pop a cork, put on your dancin’ shoes / Gimme honey and hooch and I’ll give you a smooch / Let’s give them devils their dues”
What’s your favorite Christmas song that you never seem to hear? I want to know!