Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Play List

Yep, it's that time of year again. Time to break out the Mo-tab and Mariah and listen to Christmas music 24/7. If you're crazy like me then this has already been going on for over a week now. The problem is that there is not an unlimited supply of great Christmas music out there...which becomes painfully obvious when you get in the car and turn on the "all Christmas" radio station to find that they're playing Mannheim Steamroller's "Deck the Halls" yet again. (Incidentally, what is with them...they play already overplayed Christmas songs on their casio keyboard with a disco beat and people buy millions of albums...am I only the only one doesn't get it?) And then there is the even more painful (and incredibly, even more overplayed) new "favorite" carol...The Christmas Shoes. I can't even think of it without cringing. If I hear this song blaring over the loud speaker in a store I will literally turn around and walk right back out. And I can say that in all honesty because it happened last year. Here are a few more songs I could do without:

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano- If you wanna wish me a Merry Chirtmas then do it in English. For a real laugh, check out Celine Dion's version on her "These Are Special Times" album (no, that's not a Martha Stewart special on TV, it's actually the title of a song on Celine's album)...I'm pretty sure they speak French in Quebec, not Spanish.

Santa Can You Hear Me - No Britney, he cannot hear your nasaly whinny voice because he only listens to people who haven't been naughty.

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time, Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time, Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time -AHHHHHHHHH! Not anymore thanks to that dumb song getting stuck in my head. I'm pretty sure this song is at least partly responsible for the increase in suicide rates during the holidays.

But, even though there are more than a few hiccups, there are still lots of great songs and albums out there, even if every album is mostly composed of new versions of the same old songs. Here are a few suggestions to break out of the Josh Groban and, heaven forbid, Clay Aiken mold.

1) Christmas Song by Dave Matthews band. Not exactly traditional, but I love it none the less.

2) Santa Baby by Everclear. This isn't the easiest song to find if you're into piracy, but for all you honest people out there you can buy it on itunes. I like the lyric change from a sable under the tree to a guitar...because fir was so 5 decades ago anyhow right. If you're not into rock band covers then at least let go of Madonna's disgusting version and go with Eartha Kitten or Marilyn.

3) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland. In this case, and many others, the original is the way to go. And by the way, the movie Meet Me in St. Louis that the song was written for is one that everyone should see.

4) Wintersong by Sarah Mclachlan. This album hasn't been around that long. The whole thing is to die for. I'm a big Sarah fan so I'm not exactly partial, but it's worth investing in. Wintersong is an original and isn't really about Christmas, but it's beautiful. My other favorite on the album is an old carol called In the Bleak Midwinter. So good.

5) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah Mclachlan- I know, I know, Sarah yet again. But this song is worth it, I promise.

6) Silent Night by Boys II Men. I know that it's kind of 1993 of me, but this is such a great acapella version.

7) Face of Love by Jewel. I love her whole album "Joy: A Holiday Collection" as well. It's fun and unique.

8) I Farted on Santa's Lap by The Little Stinkers. Probably one of the dumber songs I've ever heard, but I still love it...not as much as my sister Rachel. I know that you're thinking I'm a bad parent to be letting my kids listen to/sing a song like this, but just don't judge until you hear it. And it's not like I'm letting them listen to "Hanky the Christmas Poo"

9) River by Robert Downey Jr. Not really a Christmas song, but don't we all wish we had a river to skate away on once in a while. Like when we're standing in an hour long line at Target.

10) Cool Yule by Louis Armstrong. A seriously underrated Louis song.

There are too many more songs to list and so many more great albums: Christmas With the Rat Pack, Harry for the Holidays (an unfortunate title for Harry Connick's album, but some of the songs are great), Michael Buble's Let it Snow album, The Muppet Christmas Carol Soundtrack, Toby Keith's a Classic Christmas (just a little joke, I hate Toby Keith as much as the dixie chicks do). And although I joked about Josh Groban and Mariah Carey I really love their albums as well. If anyone wants to share their holiday music suggestions, I'd love to hear them.


Stephanie said...

you probably don't even know who i am, but we live a couple of doors down from mike & shellene garner &
i've attended all three davis kids' receptions. my christmas playlist would definitely not be complete without the james taylor christmas album. i usually begin listening about the time school starts! coincidentally, a couple of my favorite tracks on that cd are "in the bleak midwinter" & "river". simply divine. i also love "some children see him" & "have yourself a merry little christmas". pretty much, i just love the whole thing. he does a jazzy rendition of "santa claus is comin' to town" & his version of "jingle bells" sounds like a cross between that & "steamroller blues". after you listen to his duet with natalie cole - "baby, it's cold outside" - you'll want to kill barry manilow & kt oslin. really fun! anyway, that's my holiday pick. merry christmas! {from a random [yet not creepy!] blog reader}

Tyson and Courtney said...

I hate to tell you this, but I'm one of those emotional people who cry almost every time I hear the Christmas Shoes song. Sorry. I also grew up loving Manheim Steamroller because it's one of my mom's favs and even saw them in concert a couple years ago, again I know a huge disappointment I'm sure. Anyway, you also can't forget Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Amy Grant Christmas, they are classics!

Regan said...

Ahhhhh! Why are you so stinking funny? I love you... and everything you have to say about Christmas music (although I may not agree with some of it *cough* Celine *cough* Dion... it's the first CD Joel and I put on every Christmas.

REBECCA said...

Ok, let me just explain myself before everyone thinks I'm a heartless person because I don't like the Christmas Shoes song. It is because I love that story so much. I've shed more than a few tears reading it the past 25 years. So when I heard the story set to music I thought it was just a little too cheesy. And then they started playing it over and over and over again, which in my book makes it much less special and pretty much desensitizes you to the message. That's why I'm not a fan...not because I'm heartless. And also...I don't hate Celine...well, I don't love her either. I know I'm in trouble with more than a few people for that one, but she's pretty generic to me. And also, the james taylor Christmas album is a good one...thank you Stephanie. And Court those albums are great too (especially Nat King Coles)...except that I get sick of hearing Amy sing breathe of heaven...they really over do that one in Idaho.

Bobbins & Toodles said...

rebecca you crack me up. Its a good thing you werent with us the whole time we were there, you would of heard Breath of Heaven several times!

Mindi said...

Rebecca, I never know what music you will like. You are kind of unpredictable that way. But I was also going to say I love, love the Amy Grant cd. I don't know if I love it for the musicality of it all, but it's just what we listened to growing up so it's christmas to me. Also another one that I'm absolutely sure you would HATE, it might actually make you throw up a little, and I know the only reason I like it is because of the memories it brings back, is Vince Gill. I know it's pretty gross. He is so nasly (sp?). Dave hates it and I'm starting to get quite bothered by his voice. To the point where the annoyance of his voice might out weigh the wonderful memories of making christmas candy with my mom that it brings back.
But another all time favorite is The Forgotten Carols. That's one I'm actually curious to know if you like or not.
But we are certainly on the same page with Sarah I LOVE her. And my little acapella group actually sang A Winter's song when we were all together it was lovely.

REBECCA said...

Well Mindy, here are my thoughts on the Forgotten Carols. I love them...but I was very unimpressed when Michael decided to make the "special edition"...it was special alright. He sang a bunch of the songs himself...the worst was his reading of Handel's dream...eeek. I prefer the first version where the guy with the super low voice did the reading. And there were lots more he had other people messing with as well. I had to hunt down the original and that's the one I love. Vince Gill? No thanks. But don't let it destroy you Christmas memories!

Mindi said...

Rebecca, I HATE that version of the Forgotten Carols, why go and ruin a perfectly good thing. I accidentally bought it thinking it was the first one. We can't even stand to listen to it. I put it in again this year thinking it was the other one (since we've since bought the original) and Dave got so annoyed. He said (as if talking to Michael) "I don't like any of your music, and your lucky I listen to this, so why would you go and ruin the only thing of yours I like by trying to sing it yourself" He has some strong feelings about it. And yes, the reading of the Handel song is just awful. I totally agree with you.