December 13, 2007

Santa Claus Is Coming Tonight Down on the Bayou

The Onion has posted a fantastic “humor” column about Christmas. When I was a kid, our local newspaper (and where I once proudly served on the staff) published a humor column written by a guy who thought he was hilarious. I kind felt sorry for our local writer—he tried, you know? He probably worked really hard on those Saturday columns. But his writing was about as funny as a child’s funeral. And it read exactly like The Onion’s spot-on parody. Perhaps this is one of those jokes that only I enjoy—much like The Onion’s “Bomb New York” song parody, or even the Ray Stevens meets Rick Rubin video I posted on here a few weeks back.

Our comments remain stellar. You readers are our very own Anderson Coopers—you’re keeping us honest. Hopefully all of you have perfectly coifed hair as well. PC and I have made our share of errors this season and we’re working hard to fix them for future 77 Santas.

Yesterday, Chris Willman from Entertainment Weekly made a comment and referenced his list of 100 Great Christmas Bummers. I should have linked to it back in November. This is my kind of list. I once made a CD set called Super Happy Fun Mix that featured what I considered the most depressing songs of all time—I even made a point to buy only the most depressing albums I could find for about a year of my life. Anyway, I love this list. My only addition: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home” by Darlene Love. The imagery of the snow coming down, the church bells ringing in town. “They're singing ‘Deck the Halls’ but it’s not like Christmas at all.” And of course the fantastic ending—the crescendo of that marvelous wall of sound, the back-up vocals and Love’s heartfelt cry of “please.” Her baby doesn’t return in the end. In my book, that’s the saddest, happy sounding Christmas song ever recorded. And for as much as I love some of the covers, no one does it like Darlene. Wish this writer's strike would be resolved so we could see her on Letterman this year. Of course, that song is one of top five time all-time favorite songs ever recorded. At any given point of the year, I’ll listen to it. It’s even mentioned in my forthcoming (and first) book—at least thus far. I’m hoping the editor doesn’t suggest I take it out, or else we might have us an argument. I heard Cormac McCarthy had the same ordeal with The Road. But don’t worry—I’ll have plenty of time to plug my book next Christmas, when its release will only be a month or so away. Exciting.

With the mention of Darlene, it gives me a good excuse to post it again. And as you know around here, I jump at any chance to post it.

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love

Nut Rocker – B Bumble and the Stringers
This one is just cool.

Sleigh Ride – The Late Greats
Another one up over at The Late Greats. This is exactly how a sleigh ride should feel if you replace the sleigh with a Ford Mustang.

Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas – E
Let’s hope that’s true.

Papa Noel – Brenda Lee
My queen of Christmas. I love her delivery in this one—I’ve never been down on the bayou, but I imagine this is how it would sound.

Jingle Bells – Booker T. and the M.G.s
What can you say? This one is just cool also.

White Christmas – The Drifters
It’s impossible not to sing along with this one. It sounds especially good when you force your friends at candy-cane-point to sing back-up.

I Wish It Were Christmas Everyday – Roy Wood with Wizzard
Pure pop bliss.

A Child Is Born In Bethlehem – King’s College Choir
I could listen to choir songs all year. This is just beautiful. Hall. E. Lujah.

White Christmas – The Pipettes
These women are hell-bent on resurrecting that girl group sound. And I have no problem with that whatsoever.

The First Noel – Elvis Presley
Something about this version always makes me think of that closing scene to A Christmas Story—after Christmas finally hits, and the snow softly falling.

I’ll be Home for Christmas – Tift Merritt
If you’ve never heard Tift Merritt, go out and buy her first two albums pronto. She’s an amazing talent who probably fits into the alt-country genre, though there’s lots of Dusty Springfield in her sound as well. Why the woman isn’t a stay is beyond me. And she puts on a very fine live show too.


Paul said...

I agree with your Tift Merritt comment. I especially like Bramble Rose. I think I need to do a post on her over at my blog!

Thanks again for the great Christmas music.

Anonymous said...

There is a great article on the story behind Nut Rocker at Al Hazan's (B Bumble) website.

Anonymous said...

Hi There,
The Nutrocker tune sounds nothing like the original single mix,maybe its the weird stereo balance in the mix!!
Thanks for all the great Christmas music,Any chance of re-upping the Booker T jingle Bells track again as it seems to have expired!