Monday, December 22, 2008

Chet's Nuts Roasting On An Open Fire

Most Christmas music makes me want to poke my eyes out. Seriously, anyone who thinks the words “Mannheim Steamroller” and “good” belong together should be shot. That said, I do have a soft spot in my heart for the following Christmas songs:

“JINGLE BELLS” by The Singing Dogs

Dogs. Barking “Jingle Bells.” You can’t go wrong! I’m not sure why there’s a lengthy jazz guitar solo in the middle of it, but whatever. It’s dogs. Barking “Jingle Bells!”


Everyone’s favorite Canadian drunks, Bob and Doug McKenzie, tweak the traditional carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to reflect what they really want. They always a bit behind the beat, which makes the song even funnier. And, for the record, I would love a beer in a tree for Christmas.

“WE’RE A COUPLE OF MISFITS” by Rudolph and that Elf Who Wants To Be a Dentist

Man, those Rankin/Bass Christmas programs were fucked up. Consider this song, taken from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special. Rudolph, having been shunned by his own kind because he’s a freak, runs into an elf who wants to be a dentist. A dentist. I didn’t understand it when I was 10 and I still don’t understand it now that I’m 35.


Simplistic, but damn it’s catchy. Too bad they layered the synthesizer with so much echo that you can never find the beat during the chorus, but I defy you not to bob your head back and forth during the verses.

“CHRISTMAS ALL OVER AGAIN” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

This is what Tom Petty would have sounded like if he were recorded by Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. This song cracks me up. About his relatives: “Yeah, I kinda missed ‘em. I just don’t wanna kiss ‘em.” True, Tom, true. To end the song on a bizarre note, he asks for a xylophone as the tune is fading out.

“YOU’RE A MEAN ONE, MR. GRINCH” by Tony the Tiger

There’s nothing better than gathering the family around the tree on Christmas eve and singing a song about bananas with black peels, not touching people with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole, and seasick crocodiles. Don’t all families do that?

“CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS DANCE” by Various Peanuts Characters

This song is like the soundtrack to every kid’s Christmas since 1965. And look at those kids bust a move! I wish I had dance moves like that. My favorite is the kid in the brown shirt in the bottom right corner. He’s grooving, man!

“THE CHRISTMAS SONG” by Nat “King” Cole

This song is beautiful. There will be no mocking of this song^.

“CHRISTMAS DON’T BE LATE” by The Chipmunks

I love how, like many families, this song is filled with dysfunction. Alvin just wants his hula hoop but that dick Dave keeps yelling at him. And yelling at him. And yelling at him. It’s a wonder Alvin doesn’t snap sooner, especially after Dave singles him out for being a little flat. God, Dave’s an asshole.

“THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS” by John Denver and The Muppets

Another “Twelve Days of Christmas,” this time wrecked by a hippie and a bunch of creatures made out of felt. It features my favorite Muppet of all-time, Animal, “singing.” That alone makes it classic. (On a side note, this special is awesome and never seems to air anymore. Bring it back!) Speaking of Muppets…

“RIVERBOTTOM NIGHTMARE BAND” by Riverbottom Nightmare Band

You’re supposed to find these guys awful, a bunch of punks that make loud, annoying music. However, even when I was a kid, this was my favorite song of the entire Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas special. It foreshadowed my love of punk music, I guess. It sure as hell beat those sweet, sentimental songs that comprised the rest of the special. Plus, any song that sounds like Cookie Monster is singing it is alright with me.

Those are some of my favorites. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good Riverbottom Nightmare Band!
^With the exception of this posts's title, of course.