Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Songs From Funny to Gay

I was with my good friend Browneyes this weekend and one of the things we did was drive by a house that had a synchronized Christmas light display.  The house was not as spectacular as others on the block (other homes were in the 2 to 4 million range and had brick exteriors a rarity in Southern California and huge doors) but what the house lacked in high end aesthetics it made up for in the display.  The low watt radio station pumped out Christmas music as the lights danced.  Browneyes was fixated on the display and liked the songs and even bought some on Itunes later.

This song was stuck in my head for two days

As we left we started to rank Christmas songs and found it caused some discord and almost devolved into an argument over Christmas songs.  We decided it was futile to move each others' opinion on Christmas songs so we moved on.  For some reason we did agree on a plan for Jewish kids to celebrate Hanukkah. We figured that since they don't do the Santa thing they could get their pictures taken with the Maccabee Brothers in front of a large Menorah.  Now that is capitalism my friends.

Jewish kids should revel in a holiday that celebrates a war victory rather than a fat man giving things away

As a result of the discord we stopped talking about the songs but this does not stop me from forming my own ranks.  I have decided that the songs will be in categories.


"Last Christmas" by Wham.

 No song seems to cause more arguments over its merits than this song.  It has been covered by many artist and is a staple of the season.  Google Last Christmas with the word gay and you will find many pro and con argument over whether the song is about a gay couple.  My ex loved this song and quite a few others.  I guess it is subject to whether you find the works of George Michael pleasing.  Just like the song "YMCA" with it's obvious homoerotic lyrics it is up to you.  My take George Michael wrote the song so nuff said.  You decide.


Tie between "Christmas Shoes" by NEWSONG and "Same Old Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg

When deciding on sad Christmas songs you have to decide whether your sadness is because you feel bad because you spent close to $2000 on toys for ungrateful kids, in which "Christmas Shoes" fulfills your need for guilt.  Or if your sadness is because you cheated on your long time girlfriend with a waitress at Chili's then "Same Old Lang Syne" is for you.  The biggest difference is that "Shoes" is rather sappy and will rot our your teeth faster than a mouth full of candy canes while "Lang Syne" will just make you drink more and on Christmas day eating at the few open resturants with other lonely people.  It is a hard choice.

So again sappy.



"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" by Dr. Elmo

This song is one that seemed funny at the time but after one play you wish to destroy the nearest stereo within reach.  This song even inspired a Christmas cartoon of the same name.  To be fair there are a lot of so called funny Christmas songs that are not even funny at all, sarcastic nods to the over commercialization of Christmas which in itself is funny since they are making money off their objection or unintentionally funny.


Tie between "Jingle Bell Rock" by Hall and Oates and "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" by Paul McCartney and Wings.

Now I have to admit that both songs alone are harmless and not funny. I feel bad for putting Hall and Oates in this catagory as I kind of made fun of them in a previous article.  I was reminded they were college friends and have not been subject to crazy allegations of excessive drug use.  Also it was pointed out that "You Make My Dreams" by them is catchy.  All true but it doesn't excuse them for hiring a bad video director. As for Paul McCartney other than his 1973 album Band On the Run it is kind of clear that his songwriting ability went south in comparison to John Lennon.  I put it this way, name one iconic song that Paul wrote after the Beatles and compare it to John's work and you have your answer.  However I give him "Jet" and "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time".    The video is amusing.

Hall and Oates effort

Paul McCartney's effort


"Jesus Christ" by Big Star

It really isn't a true Christmas song in the strict sense of the word but for most of the country that knows little about this band it is a song that shows how good they were.  Big Star is one of those bands that once you find you say why didn't they become more popular.  All things considered they do have a legacy so they are successful.  Other underrated Christmas songs include "Father Christmas" from the Kinks,  or if you miss bubblegum music "My Christmas Card to You" by David Cassidy and the Partridge Family.  But in all seriousness I recommend you check Big Star and enjoy this somewhat Christmas song.


Best Christmas song "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby and Best Performance "Drummer Boy"  duet with Bing Crosby and David Bowie

Bing Crosby was many things, nice father is not one of them if you believe his eldest son's book Going My Own Way.  However you have to admit that "White Christmas" is just a song that everyone knows and can be used for many things.  During the Fall of Siagon the song was played to signal US Personnel and others to get out of Vietnam.  "Drummer Boy" is an old song but his duet with David Bowie in 1976 is just cool.  I give you both songs so you can decide.

Crosby and Bowie

"White Christmas"

I hope you enjoyed my list so I leave you now with the song that got stuck in my head.  Aren't I rotten.