For every genuinely cheerful Christmas song, there are thirteen gruesome dirges that –– for some of us –– tend to get stuck on the internal jukebox.
For instance, I love me some "Santa Baby," especially the Eartha Kitt version, but then there's The Pogue's "Fairytale of New York."
Both songs embrace the material feel-goods of the season, but with such different moods.
The other dozen miserables? Challenge accepted: The Chieftans and Elvis Costello's The St. Stephen's Day Murders, which sounds cheerful until you listen to the actual words. Shelby Lynne's Xmas nails the dark side of the material feel-goods of the season.
Then there's Hayes Carll's Grateful for Christmas (dare you not to get choked up over your egg nog on that one) and Robert Earl Keene's fantastic Merry Christmas from the Family, which is painfully funny with the sad.
I vote that the most suicidal Christmas song of all time is anyone's version of I'll Be Home for Christmas. (Because they won't. Of course they won't. Everyone's heart is going to break for Christmas. Jeesh.)
Second runner-up in the depression sweepstakes? Of course, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Happy X-Mas (The War Is Over). Yeah, let's hope it's a good one.
Add in the tunes that are just so irritating: even the youthful Jackson 5's version of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus makes me claw at my ears. So does the spiteful Gramma Got Run Over By a Reindeer by Patsy and Elmo and Spike Jones' All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth. The best way to chase me out of Home Depot? Play these songs.
I cannot be the only person who finds Wham!'s Last Christmas more than a little soul-killing. And while I am not hating on the King, seriously, who can listen to Blue Christmas without chiming in a broader, more sarcastic verson? Likewise, Brenda Lee's wonderful gappy voice just grates on me on Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.
Okay, uncle. I can't listen to any more.
I close with a few seasonable choices that make me happy to deck the halls and bake cookies.
And the best song for the season...<she belts out: And given the choice between the two of you, I'd take the seasick crocodile.>
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