You know that drinking game, where you have to remember all of the items previous players have named that they bought from a shop, correctly, in the same order, before adding your own item, for the next person to remember, until someone messes up and has to drink?
Well, this is the Christmas Song equivalent.
Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa
And so my Christmas break begins. No work till next Thursday, and today I’m travelling up to spend the next few days with my folks.
So, although they no longer live in the same village as I grew up, this seems appropriate:
Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler – Home for the Holidays
I think I end up posting this every year, but I bloody love it, so I’ll make no excuses for blowing the dust off it yet again. (Can you blow dust off an mp3…?)
And a third different version of that iconic A Christmas Gift for You sleeve to feature in almost as many days here, this time with the lyrics, just in case they’re a bit too complicated for you to comprehend:
Shonen Knife – Space Christmas
Ace. Just, ace.
Some songs, of course, just simply should not be messed with.
Anyone who was unfortunate enough to hear Ed Sheeran and Anne-Marie, or even worse Ronan Keating and Moira Brennan’s versions of “Fairytale of New York” will know what I mean.
Here’s another song to add to that list. Many have tried. All have failed. I mean, why try and improve on perfection?
Take professional kookie indie girl Zooey Deschanel and M Ward’s stab at this, which they play with a straight bat, omitting the words “The”, “Chipmunk”, and “Song” from the title and steadfastly refusing to perform any of the lyrics in triple time:
She & Him – Christmas Don’t Be Late
And then there’s Tegan and Sara, who at least have the decency not to castrate the title, and have some chipmunk-y vocals:
Tegan and Sara – The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
I mean, they’re both perfectly acceptable, but they’re not this, the closing track on that “Looney Tunes” compilation album I featured quite a lot a while ago, are they?:
David Seville and The Chipmunks – The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
It amuses me greatly to think that somebody searching for Christmas songs by rapper Chipmunk may have just have stumbled across this and will either be very happy or very, very disappointed right now.
I suspect the latter.
Surely, nothing says Christmas quite like a rambling, wheezing, grumpy, irascible, megalomaniacal Mancunian.
Oh, no, wait. I meant nobody says “Christmas-ah!” quite like this rambling, wheezing, grumpy, irascible, rambling, megalomaniacal Mancunian.
From a 1994 Peel Session, here’s The Fall:
The Fall – Hark The Herald Angels Sing
The Fall – Jingle Bell Rock
Three versions of the same song this morning.
Firstly, as mentioned in “God Gave Us Life”, the opening track from the original vinyl release of a Half Man Half Biscuit album I featured on these pages recently (admittedly, I didn’t post the song in question), there she is, in a litany that also includes Una Stubbs, Little and Large, Keith Harris, Wendy Craig, Thora Hird and Lionel Blair: “He also gave us Eartha Kitt.”
Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
And here’s a cover version from a few years ago, by everyone favourite twinkly absinthe-representing Australian popstress:
Kylie Minogue – Santa Baby
But Queen of Cover versions for today is provided by none other than…well, let me just say that a few months ago, in a post I wrote which mentioned them, long-time friend of the blog, The Robster (of Is This The Life? fame) wrote: “Nothing beats The Muppets. Nothing.” And this proves that:
Miss Piggy – Santa Baby
And since I mentioned them earlier, now is perhaps an appropriate time to launch my Christmas Appeal for 2017.
Yes, a donation of just £1.00 can buy Sid and Eddie their own Christmas jumpers:
No, you’re right, once you’ve seen that, you can’t unsee it, can you?
Every year, one of the main moans people have is about the commercialisation of Christmas, of how shops seem to have their Christmas stock out on their shelves earlier each year and how the Christmas songs start getting pumped into the shops at around the same time too. The date usually given for that is early-to-mid November, meaning that by the time the big day arrives, you are utterly sick to death of hearing them.
And it’s the same old songs, they will say: Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everyone”, Shakin’ Stevens’ “Merry Christmas Everyone”, Wizzard’s “
We’ve Called Ours Merry Christmas Everyone Too I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”.
But hand on heart, I haven’t heard a single one of those this year. Yet.
I have heard some Christmas songs in shops, usually when I’m queuing up to get my meal deal in Boots. And this year, the first one that I heard could only have been bettered had it been Dennis Waterman and George Cole’s “What Are We Gonna Get ‘Er Indoors?”.
The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
Which reminded me of this little gem of a cover which came out a few years ago, on a record the name and sleeve of which may look a little familiar:
Summer Camp – Christmas Wrapping
It’s been doing my head in just who it is that Summer Camp’s singer Elizabeth Sankey sounds like on that, and it finally came to me: a cross between Sophie Ellis Bextor and Kate Nash (who I was totally gobsmacked to see rock up in Netflix’s “Glow” earlier this year amongst a troupe of wannabe female wrestlers. Kate, not Sophie, that is.)
Mostly Christmas covers, if I’m totally honest.
But more soon, anyway.
As is traditional round here at Dubious Taste Towers, December 18th is the day that I raise a glass in memory of the wonderful, much missed Kirsty MacColl. For today is the 17th anniversary of her tragic death.
You can read the story of her death and the subsequent miscarriage of justice here.
Remembering her at this time of year is made much easier by her featuring – no, starring – on “Fairytale of New York”; there’s a general agreement that it’s probably the greatest Christmas record ever that I’m certainly not going to disagree with.
But you all know that record, so each year on this day I try to play something else from her gloriously varied canon of work.
So here’s his year’s choice:
Kirsty MacColl – Terry
Like I said, glorious.
Cheers, Kirsty. Much missed, never forgotten.
I suppose that since it’s Christmas Day next Monday, I’d better play something festive to get us all going today.
So, since I think I posted one of these last year, here’s a couple of tracks from the greatest Christmas album ever made:
Darlene Love – Marshmallow World
The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride
Every Monday morning, I post a get-up-and-go tune, selected to help you, well, get up and go.
Because almost without fail, this is how I feel at around 7am every Monday:
The Housemartins – We’re Not Deep