Nothing against Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” but after hearing it for the twenty-thousandth time in the four week span between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m ready to choke a priest. That’s why, like most of you, I depend on my own holiday mix to shelter me from radio stations that play the same 20 Christmas songs ad infinitum throughout the season (and seriously, why have we not yet weaponized Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby”?).
As part of my annual public service to or readers, I’m happy to offer up five seasonal tunes that you simply never hear played anywhere this time of year, buy probably should. I would boldly consider any of these tracks to be worthy of your Christmas playlist (and invite your own suggestions in the comments.)
“Valley Winter Song” by Fountains of Wayne. It’s not technically a Christmas song, but the lyrics talk of “snow coming down/on our New England town,” so that’s good enough for me. No better soundtrack for watching flakes pile up outside while mixing yourself a drink. Or seven.
“Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” by The Ramones. Honey, it’s Christmas! I said I was sorry! Stop throwing shit at me!
“When Christmas Comes” by John Mellencamp. I’ve already heard Mellencamp’s over-the-top “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” six hundred times this month at restaurants and department stores. But this original song–a simple, earnest, heartfelt prayer for peace–never gets played. I say f$%k that noise.
“Thanks for Christmas” by XTC. This one actually does pop up from time to time on in-store holiday muzak mixes. But it deserves a wider audience. If people aren’t still listening to this track 50 years from now, we, as a society, haven’t done our job.
“All I Need Is Love” by Cee-Lo Green and the Muppets. It’s f#$king Cee-Lo and the Muppets. Do I really need to spell this one out?
Happy holidays you you and yours.