Wednesday, December 20, 2006

5 Favorite Christmas Songs

My friend Kim over at Something to Say tagged me with a meme a while back, but I wanted to wait to post my response until I could give audio aids to demonstrate my ardor for the subject. The second on my list, I wanna Goat for Christmas, was one I had to track down and post on my own bolt listing. I suspect this 45 may have been vacuum sealed for the last 46 years, because it was remarkably devoid of snaps, crackles and pops. Anyway, I'm pleased it transferred to mp3 as well as it did.

OK. I love a lot of traditional Christmas music, and I love some more contemporary oddities. It's always hard for me to pin down favorites when it comes to music, but I keep coming back to a couple of these in my mind year after year. Two you most likely have never heard, and I hope you will click on the links, particularly the goat song, since I've tracked down the original vinyl and taken the trouble to post the little devil on bolt. Cheers!

Not in order of preference:

Blue Xmas by Miles Davis. This one is rather bah-humbug-ish , but it's a bit funny and definitely out there. You'll probably recognize vocalist ____ from the schoolhouse rock series - he sang several of those you would recognize

I wanna goat for Christmas by The Wilder Brothers, 1959. The oddball in me who is so besotted with David Sedaris is the same oddball who is so besotted with this song. LOVE it. Love the crap, the stuffing, the business out of it. My kind of holiday music.

Millionaire's Holiday by Combustible Edison. The video here at Youtube is mildly amusing and features a creature of dubious extraction who goes by the name Formica Dinette. Still, the song's a real humdinger. Me likee.

Go Tell It on the Mountain as sung by Leontyne Price, Jessye Norman or any other proper diva. I don't think I need to explain this one.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - So much Christmas music is over-sweet and will lull one into a diabetic coma. This song sounds very Dickens era, and I love the minor key that never gives the sappy, no-brainer All-American happy ending of justfying on a major chord. In fact, despite having "merry" in the title, it sounds rather grim. Good for you - in a tough old world, stick to your dour, severe roots, baby.

11 comments:

Zelda said...

My favorite Christmas carol of all time is O Holy Night as long as someone can hit that high note just right.

I've been listening to Louis Armstrong sing Christmastime in New Orleans, which has been cool.

And lastly, for a contemporary Christmas song with mild humor is Merry Christmas from the Family by Robert Earl Keen. Anyone on earth can sing it better, but it always cracks me up.

Anonymous said...

Eclectic choices, Phlegmmy. I like the Goat, too; never heard it before! The wo/man in the Millionaire's Holiday had nice legs, too...

Anonymous said...

I'm not much of a Christmas song fan. I think it's because for SO MANY YEARS, I've had to learn Christmas songs in September. Kinda sucks.

However, two things really make Christmas for me:

1. Singing the "Hallalujah Chorus"
2. Singing "Oh Holy Night", Schubert's "Ave Maria" or Bach-Gounod's "Ave Maria". (Not like Mariah Carey either...we're talking I can hit the high notes if properly inspired!)

Beyond that, I don't do Christmas music. Absolutely not.

The Phoenix said...

Whoa! That Goat song is hillarious.

Anonymous said...

"Rio" by Duran Duran. I think I heard it on Christmas once...

Cait said...

Zelda: Hollyb turned me on to R.E. Keene's Christmas classic a few years ago and now it's a staple on my holiday playlist. What's hysterical to me is that I live near or have known every person in that song - tackiness rules!

Cheers!
Cait

James said...

I have a few favorite Christmas songs, but most of them are rather grinch-ly. The exception to that rule is Tom Waits' version of 'Silent Night' - it's absolutely sublime.

Some of my other favorites include 'The Cherry Tree Carol', John Prine's 'Christmas in Prison', and my all-time favorite, the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'.

James

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You have a very eclectic Christmas music collection. The goat song truly makes the list, doesn't it? Every good list needs a little oddball in the mix.

G Bro said...

Anything we sing a Christmas Eve midnight mass is cool by me. From medieval chant to "Rudolph the Stuffy Middle-Aged Episcopalian." The choir and the brass are terrific.

I tried to find an interpretation of "God Rest Ye Merry" and found "God keep you happy" and "God make you mighty." Maybe I still don't quite get it, but I love the song.

Fathairybastard said...

Nice pics. I always dug the little drummer boy, and tha hallalujah chorus. I do recognise the singer from that miles davis tune. Nice post.

Fathairybastard said...

Ok, after exhaustive research, the name of that singer on Blue Xmas is Bob Dorough.