As previously established, I don’t much care for Christmas music. Last year, I compiled the few holiday songs I owned, and came up with a whopping ten, and that required stretching things a bit. Based on comment thread recommendations, I expanded that to 22 songs (mostly by adding Sufjan Stevens tracks), but it’s still not good, and I don’t really like all the songs on the list.
With the AV Club debating Christmas music, though, and every PA in the country blaring dire holiday songs, it seems like a good time to revist the crucial question from last year’s post:
Are there Christmas songs that can hold their own against “Fairytale of New York”?
In the spirit of the Old Tunes Experiment, I’m willing to try to settle this scientifically, and I have a starting sample:
I’ve occasionally referred to posts over at Jefitoblog, which is an MP3/ music review blog. The proprietor generally has good taste in music, and I’ve found some good stuff based on his recommendations.
A couple of weeks ago, he posted a Holidy Mix Tape:
- Les Brown And His Band Of Renown – I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Psapp’s Lady Remix)
- The Weepies – All I Want
- Squirrel Nut Zippers – Winter Weather
- Peggy Lee – I Like A Sleighride (Jingle Bells)
- Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
- Nancy Wilson – The Christmas Waltz (Away Team Remix)
- Barenaked Ladies – Hanukkah O Hanukkah (live)
- Aretha Franklin – Winter Wonderland
- Jethro Tull – Ring Out, Solstice Bells
- Ella Fitzgerald with The Frank Devol Orchestra – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve
- The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
- Deegan DeWitt & The Sparrows – Christmas Light
- Charles Brown – I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Ohmega Watts Remix)
- Zakk Wylde – White Christmas
- The Nat King Cole Trio – All I Want For Cristmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) (MJ Cole Remix)
- Fats Domino – Frosty The Snowman
- Don Dixon – I Saw Three Ships
- Booker T. And The M.G.’s – Jingle Bells
- The LeeVees – Nun Gimmel Heh Shin
- The dB’s – Christmas Time
- Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone
- Twisted Sister – Deck The Halls
- Sarah McLachlan – Wintersong
- Billy Pilgrim – Auld Lang Syne
- Gary Hoey – Silent Night
- Fountains Of Wayne – Have A Swinging Hanukkah
These are, presumably, holiday songs that shouldn’t suck. So, I’ve downloaded them, and will listen to them all, and see if there’s anything tolerable in the lot.
I have to say, I don’t hold out much hope, as I recognize “Christmas Wrapping,” and find it ear-bleedingly awful, but I’m willing to sacrifice in the name of science.
I’m also willing to add songs to the list. So, if you have a favorite Christmas song (preferably one available on iTunes or available for download somewhere), leave the artist and title in the comments, and I’ll try to find it and add it to the experiment. Kate and I will be getting our Christmas tree this weekend, so a little holiday music wouldn’t be amiss, and I’ll come back here next week to let you know what I think.