Sunday, December 23, 2012

The "No Tears" Christmas Playlist

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is that I get to listen to my Christmas music. I'm fine with most Christmas music, but I really like weird, mean, funny, odd Christmas songs. I blame my family. While my mom collects Christmas albums, there are two that I remember the most from my childhood. One of them was the album with "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" on it. The first year that the song came out, or the first year we heard it, we thought it was hilarious. Not just my mom and I, but also my uncle and my grandpa. No, I don't know what my grandma thought of it. It seems like she usually ignored the things that we all thought were funny. The rest of the album is kinda dumb, but I'm surprised we didn't wear out that section of the album. Oh yes, it was an actual album. We bought it on vinyl because we couldn't find it on tape. (It would be another few years before we had a cd player.)

But the album I remember most will probably always be A Christmas Together- John Denver and the Muppets. Yep, you read that right. John Denver and the Muppets. It was a television Christmas special in 1979. The television show was a few years before I was born, but we had the vinyl and listened to it every year while we put up Christmas decorations. Though it suffers a bit from the sappy peace on earth stuff that filled up Christmas stuff from that time period, it's still great. But when your favorite Christmas album is the Muppets, you tend to seek out less mainstream Christmas songs. So here is my "no tears" (that means no sad songs) Christmas playlist.

Hating You for Christmas- Everclear

For everyone who looked at other people's Christmas cards and newsletters and wanted to tell them to go fuck themselves. 

Christmas in Hollis- Run-DMC

My mom loves Die Hard and I think this might have been the first rap song I ever heard. 

Ben Folds- A Bizarre Christmas Incident

Any song where Santa gets stuck in the chimney is pretty funny. This one is hilarious. I remember playing it with my grandpa in the car and the moment when I could see by his face that he was actually listening to the song. "Did he just say that Santa was naked?" Also, Ben Folds' explanation for his inspiration is pretty funny. I never would have thought this story, which I'd heard before, was his inspiration.

Santa's Lost his Mojo- Jeremy Lister

I also like the idea of Santa in Mexico drinking tequila and wine because he's tired of giving those little brats presents.

Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects- Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

This is a kinda sweet song about the things you wonder about as a kid and the things we realize when we are adults.

Elf's Lament- Barenaked Ladies

Maybe Santa went to Mexico so he wouldn't have to do with his elve's efforts to unionize. 

You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch- 

The Grinch is another staple in our household. We watch it every year. This song just slinks. 

Twelve Days of Christmas- John Denver & the Muppets


Merry Christmas from the Family

The first time I heard this was on a Christmas compilation that I had bought because it had Tori Amos doing Little Drummer Boy. I always thought this was the best song of the bunch. I especially liked the look on the faces of older family members when they heard the word "tampon" in a Christmas song.

Baby, It's Cold Outside
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Alright, now I know that this song sounds a little rape-y. I loved the back and forth between the man and woman (actually called "wolf" and "mouse" in the lyrics, not specified to be a man and woman), as I've always loved duets with this kind of playing off one another. As I started to process the lyrics, I was a bit dismayed. But this interesting piece helps me to let myself off the hook. Basically, the mouse wants to stay and is just worried about what other people will think. Also, the "say, what's in this drink" line didn't mean "is there a roofie in this drink?" like it would now, but was a way of playing off doing something you weren't supposed to do on whatever was in the drink. Ok, so seeing Stephen Colbert and Audra McDonald dance and sing it together doesn't make you feel better? How about we neutralize the gender problem? Enjoy this bonus version, with Kurt and Blaine.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Ok, well, if you don't want to stay inside with a predator, you can go outside and demand food and drink. According to the #1 on this list from, though I'd heard it on a History Channel show years and years ago too, Christmas caroling was very cold trick or treating for adults. "So bring us some figgy pudding...We won't go until we get some.."

So there is your holiday cheer. Stay tuned for the "crying in my eggnog" Christmas playlist.

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