Since we started this blog in ’04, I’ve felt compelled round this time of year to impose a list of my favorite Christmas tunes on unsuspecting readers. A few times, I even threatened to stop over each of your houses with my fife (not a euphemism, BTW) and perform them live.
This year, I’m keeping it simple. Because I’m so damned queer for Christmas music, I can’t simply let it go, but instead of rattling off a hundred or so tunes, this year I’m just gonna suggest six songs that have been scientifically proven to make your holiday gathering that much cooler–and far more likely to end with a pantsless Denton being dragged across the lawn by the local authorities.
1) “Valley Winter Song” by Fountains of Wayne: You know that blissful feeling of sitting inside a warm house, staring out the window, watching the snow bury everything around you with the dull hum of a Jager buzz in your head? FOW wrote a goddam song about it. Okay, that’s not all the song is about. But it’s still light years better than the freakin’ song about the Christmas shoes. And bonus points for the Massachusetts reference.
2) “Christmas Time in Tinsel Town” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Because we need more Christmas songs with references to handguns and pickpockets.
3) “Marshmallow World” by Dean Martin: There are plenty of versions of this song out there. But Dean’s version rules for two reasons: No way he was sober when he recorded it, and if you close your eyes while listening and you can almost see him making a grab for the backup singers’ asses.
4) “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” by the Brian Setzer Orchestra: Honestly, I don’t see any innuendo in a line like, “Santa Claus is coming down your chimney tonight.” I mean, that’s how the guy delivers toys.
5) “Christmas Memories” by Frank Sinatra: Christmas without Frank?? Unthinkable.
6) “The 2011 Red Sox Are A Beast That Will Kick Your Simpering Ass, Cashman”: This wistful tune has been a staple of holiday gatherings in my house since Andy Williams first recorded it in 1943.
As a bonus, “Christmas Day” by Squeeze. Not the greatest song in the world; in fact, despite my love for Difford and Tilbrook, this tune–with its awkward tempo changes and forced attempt at reminding us of “the true meaning” of the season–is as much fun as finding a sock filled with toothpaste under your tree. But the video is pretty awesome.
UPDATE: Our pal Brad from Bradley’s Almanac sent us this link to some Christmas tunes by local musicians–such as Friend-of-SG and Buffalo Tom member Bill Janovitz. Lots of good stuff for your next bash here, and it’s all for charity, which you can’t have enough of this time of year.