Hi folks. This post is my pre-Christmas post for this year, about 5 of my favourite Christmas songs you won’t hear in any shopping mall or coffee shop, you happen to stop in. The one thing they have in common is that they are not traditional Christmas songs (with one exception) and are original songs written by the artists. Something else they have in common is that they are not necessarily well known by the mainstream and only to the audience of the band and or radio format they are played on. In one case, I learned about the song through a book on the song writer and performer, writen by himself. It is a repost from 2016 but I felt it needed an update and so, here is the list for this year.
The first song on my list is Santa Claus Is Comin To Town. Wait! What? Yes, this is a Christmas song but the version I want to bring to your attention is by Bahamian born idiosyncratic guitarist Joseph Spence. Actually, he plays guitar and well… he sings to but in his own unique way. Actually, he more or less grunts and groans his way through the songs he sings, while playing his out of tune guitar in open tuning. It’s going to be hard to listen to, without laughing or wanting to smash your phone or computer, depending on your reaction to it but, here is the song.
Did you get through that song? If so, the next song on my list is Thank God It’s Christmas by Queen, which is written by guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. This song was released in December 1984 at the end of The Works album cycle and it has appeared on a couple of Queen albums since. The most recent appearance is on the 2011 Deluxe version of The Works. I had performed it in 1992, with my best friend Bob Reid at our school and it went over well. Here is the Queen version of the song.
This next song will make the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” brouhaha seem like small potatoes. Fairytale of New York by The Pogues is my next choice as one of my favourites. I had actually heard it for the first time, during Christmas 1995 and it didn’t really catch on with me, until some time in the last 9 years or so when I had heard it on more radio stations and recently read about the song on Wikipedia. I like it because of the dialog in the song and the fact that the woman refers to the man as “you scumbag you Magette, you cheap lousy faggot” referring to the man’s drunkenness. Here is the song.
My next two choices require a disclaimer. If you are offended by the language in either of the next two songs, I apologize. However, I feel the songs are important to bring to your attention and, I happen to like them.
Next is a song by a member of Monty Python. Also, a guest star on The Simpsons, as well as having success with musicals and other works. Did I mention that he is a song writer too? He certainly wrote one of the most popular songs at funerals, as far as I know. Yes,Eric Idle has written Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life and this next song on my list. The song is simply titled Fuck Christmas and I heard about it, while listening to the audiobook version of his latest book “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life: A Sortabiography”. I highly recommend purchasing the audiobook version of it because, you get to hear Eric himself, read it to you and I will warn you, that there will be a lot of names dropped besides his fellow Monty Python members. Anyway, here is the song, in all its uncensored glory, even if the sound is crappy and it is in mono.
The final song on my list of Christmas songs you will not hear anywhere you are shopping or dining is x-M@$ by Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour. It was released in 2010 as a Christmas single, with any money from sails going to charity. In the song, The protagonist is a man who hates Christmas and all that goes with it and would rather be drunk or stoned on this Yuletide holiday. There are even a few four letter words in the song and a clean version was also produced for radio and for people who would be offended.
To those who would expect a more traditional song from Corey, I say that it isn’t surprising that he wrote a song for those who hate Christmas and also, Corey plays music that is subversive and is not for the Grandma’s and Grandpa’s of the world. It’s for the younger croud of 50 and under who would get that the song is not a serious hatred of Christmas tune, from the singer. I’ve heard that Corey actually likes Christmas and I believe him. I’ve met him and despite him throwing people out of Slipknot shows and throwing water on people, who are texting during the concert, I have nothing bad to say about him. He was great to me and we had Tim Hortons coffee together and he had it black and I had a double-double. Anyway, here is the song.
Well, there is my list of my 5 favourite Christmas songs. What have we learned about them? Well, I am sick of the traditional same all Christmas songs because, we hear them everywhere. Also, I thought that some reality about this time of year, should be brought into more people’s heads. Besides, the season isn’t all about magic and miracles, especially if you are on the streets begging for change and in need of warm things to ware. Also, what about those crying kids who have to go to the bathroom, while you are shopping for gifts and having to risk being trampled upon? Also, don’t the big mall and fast foodchains take into account those who can’t stand hearing the same Christmas songs, over and over again? It’s not something that puts me in the mood and playing all Christmas music on the radio doesn’t make me want to go shopping either. Rock radio has the right idea, in that Christmas music should be played from the previous weekend, until December 25th, but only once or twice an hour, along with the songs in regular rotation. They go all Christmas from Christmas Yves to the end of Christmas day and on December 26, everything is back to normal.
Sadly, 2 out of the 5 songs won’t be heard on the radio because of the language. The Queen song is probably the most radio friendly of the bunch, in that there is no bad language and it is written in a more traditional Christmas song, type formula. Although, it is a Queen song, after all. Santa Claus Is Comin To Town has been played on the radio but only on specialty shows, which accommodate music which is… well… different.
The other three songs on the list are here because, 2 out of the three reflect my feelings on Christmas these days. Fairytale Of New York is just a great song and it has certainly grown on me. The other two speak to how as an adult, the magic is gone and I even told someone in response to their question “are you ready for Christmas???” that I can’t wait until December 26th. I said that because all of the Christmas music will be put away for another year and we can get back to hearing normal songs on the radio and in the air, again.
Other things have made Christmas different, from how it was when I was a boy. Political correctness has unfortunately seeped into a lot of our culture these days and sadly, Christmas is no exception. I touched a bit on the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” crap earlier and there are other things which have ruined this great holiday for those of us, who are in our 40s and older. I leave you with this, from a friend on Facebook. I like this, as it’s a great comment on how Christmas has been ruined by: politics, commercialization and special interest groups.
Twas the Night before Christmas
and Santa was stressed
The elves were offended
by the way they were dressed.
Rudolph was heart broken
he couldn’t be consoled
they were attacking his cartoon
for bullying he was told
For years the great message
for kids young and old
was stand up to bullies
and you’ll be rewarded ten fold
Mrs Claus took his list
of children naughty or nice
after a complaint from a parent
saying that no longer applies
After complaints laid by PETA,
the reindeer were gone
The radio was silent
from offensive old songs
“C’mon Jolly old man”
said his wife Mrs Claus
“can I still use those terms
or have THEY been outlawed?”
So he packed up his sled
with acceptable toys
making sure none were specific
to girls or to boys
On Dasher on Dancer
Oh shit that’s not right,
I’ve lost all my reindeer
My God what a night….
Off into the darkness
with what’s left of his sanity
sadly shaking his head
and weeping for humanity