They don’t make holiday music like they used to.1
Or maybe it’s that they’re making too much of it. Hundreds of artists recording the same twenty or so songs, trying (and usually failing) to find a new twist. And Maria Carey ad nauseam.
In days long past, this list would take the form of a mixtape. Collected and copied on actual recording tape. Later the songs were distributed on a CD. New medium, same idea.
Although we could have another millennial-class argument about the timing, most people have decided we started a new decade on January 1. Which means we also get lots of retrospectives on the previous ten years. I guess that’s better than trying to make historic sense of only the past twelve months.
In one of the more entertaining entries, posted just before the turn of the calendar, The Verge offered their review of the 84 Biggest Flops, Fails, and Dead Dreams of the Decade in Tech.
Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri has posted her insightful and very funny list/ranking of 100 Christmas songs. With two exceptions (71 and 2), none of her choices are in my collection, to which these fine musical works are being added this year.
All of them should available in your favorite digital store or streaming service. So listen and enjoy.
- Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) – Ramones
- The Big Opening (Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch) – Danny Elfman
- Monster’s Holiday – Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers
- I’m Not Ready for Christmas – Alicia Witt
- Deck the Halls – Walk Off the Earth
- Come On Santa – The Raveonettes
- Fall in Love This Christmas – Dia Frampton
- Mele Kalikimaka – The Monkees
- A Marshmallow World – Walk Off the Earth
- Holiday – Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, James Corden, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Kunal Nayyar, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & The Bergens
- Christmas Is You – Swear And Shake
- Santa’s Messin’ with the Kid – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- The Nice List – Dia Frampton
- Christmas Tree – Zac Brown Band (feat. Sara Bareilles)
- 2000 Miles – The Pretenders
- Making Christmas – The Citizens of Halloween & Danny Elfman
- Auld Lang Syne – The Cast
Photo is of Georgetown as seen from Kennedy Center on the foggy Christmas eve of 2014, and posted to my Flickr account. I have great hopes for Flickr under it’s new, non-corporate owners in the new year.
This is my idea of an annual tradition: a collection of the holiday-related songs I can stand to have on heavy rotation over the next month or so. As opposed to the traditional playlist of earworms that even the programmers at Muzak must be embarrassed to let loose on the world.
But regardless of your musical tastes, and whatever you are celebrating this time of year, enjoy!
- Strangest Christmas Yet – Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
- Christmas Coming Home (feat. Lennon & Maisy) – Nashville Cast
- To Christmas! (The Drinking Song) – Straight No Chaser
- Christmas Is the Time – Katharine McPhee
- Naughty Naughty Children (Better Start Actin’ Nice) – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
- Santa Claus Is Comin’ (In A Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train) – The Tractors
- Warmer in the Winter (feat. Trombone Shorty) – Lindsey Stirling
- Santa Stole Thanksgiving – Jimmy Buffett
- Feels Like Christmas (feat. Jana Kramer) – Straight No Chaser
- Santa Claus, Santa Claus – Dennis Turner
- California Christmastime – Rachel Bloom, Vincent Rodriguez III, and the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Cast (the video)
- Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ – Bill Kirchen & Austin de Lone
- They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore – Great Lake Swimmers
- Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) – Davina & The Vagabonds
- Santa, My First Love – Swear And Shake
- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Lindsey Stirling
- Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy – The Tractors
- Baby Don’t Leave Me (All Alone on Christmas) – Echosmith
- Schedryk – Pink Martini
- The Way-Too-Early Christmas Song – Paul and Storm