Monday, November 28, 2005

Top 12 Christmas Songs

I've just had to sit through a two-hour PTA board meeting, so I'm missing several of the essential blogging brain cells I was counting on earlier. I did spend some of the time making a list of things I wanted to write about in the future, but all I could think about was how much I wanted to smack a couple of the "ladies" who are trying to ban books in our school library.

The whole thing was a total buzzkill and not in keeping with the Christmas spirit that I'm supposed to be feeling right now. I've heard several discussions of late about the spirit of Christmas and I guess I just have one question: Where the hell IS it??? I mean.... (*ahem*)....Has anyone seen the spirit of Peace and Goodwill to all who roam the planet?

Maybe I'm just not hearing enough Christmas music. I grew up on Christmas music in the church, so I never suffered from a lack of "Noel" or "O' Little Town of Bethlehem". But these days with several people I know in a state of toxic marital conflict and a few who can count the days they have left to be among the living and whatnot...standing in the Barnes & Noble listening to "Silent Night" just makes me want to throw myself in front of a bus. It's just really, really sad.

12) "Let It Snow"- Dean Martin
11) "Linus & Lucy" -Vince Guaraldi (Okay. you can't dance to it, but it's PEANUTS!!)
10)"Merry Christmas, Darling" --Karen Carpenter (Sorry--not a happy song....)
9) "Santa Baby"- Eartha Kitt
8) "White Christmas"- Bing Crosby (classic that isn't required to make you tap your toes)
7) "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - Judy Garland or Bing Crosby (See? I'm cheating)
6) "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"- the Crystals OR Bruce Springsteen (Did it again!)
5) "Sleigh Ride" - Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes
4)"The Christmas Song" -Nat "King" Cole (The Barry White of Christmas songs...more marriage proposals or babies made to this song...I'm willing to bet)
3) " Peace on Earth/ Little Drummer Boy" David Bowie and Bing Crosby (WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE!)
2)"Little St. Nick"- Beach Boys
1) "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)"- Darlene Love

For the uninitiated, I officially don't get my Christmas on until the night that Darlene Love appears on David Letterman to sing the aforementioned song. Paul Shaffer hauls out extra brass and strings and a buttload of killer back-up singers for Ms. Love and she belts out that song like nobody's business while artificial snow rains down from the sky. Letterman has her on every year, and it's one tradition I've stuck with for quite awhile.

For years Love was one of the artists who sang under crazy Phil Spector's tutelage...along with the Crystals, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans and the Ronettes. Yes...I was but a wee tot in those days (literally), but greatness has no shelf life and years after these artists are mostly just footnotes in the musical archives, Darlene Love is still packing them in. You might remember her in the non-musical role of Danny Glover's wife in the Lethal Weapon movies. (See? You DO know who she is.)

I'll be bugging the crap out of everyone by reminding them of this momentus occasion until the actual night, so be forewarned. Maybe a countdown or something to remind you to watch. In the meantime, if you think I've omitted some crucial piece of musical artistry from the Top Twelve List, send it here. Operators are standing by to take your comments.


Anonymous jon deal said...

To heck with the Christmas songs. I want to know which books the PTA lady wanted banned!

1:28 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Some books geared for girls (and approved by the school district) that mention someone having sex.

Also the Harry Potter books. These books were referred to by one mother as books that "promoted sorcery".

Pardon me while I vomit.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Spamboy said...

No serious "Top X Christmas Song List" can be complete without Brave Combo being on there somewhere.

3:09 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

You're right about that! I have a Brave Combo Christmas cd. Maybe I should make it the Top 13 List.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

In Philly, there are now at least 2 radio stations that are playing Christmas music 24/7. I like it around 2 weeks before the holiday, but they first started right after Halloween. That kills the fledgling spirit of Christmas that's in my soul, man.

I went to Catholic school, and even *we* had the sexy books (though you needed special permission to check them out). I had hoped that the rules had relaxed since then. Are they still trying to ban Judy Blume, or is there a new crop of girls' books?

The whole sorcery angle freaks me out - I'm not a Harry fan, per se, but I think they're nice, basic good vs. evil stories and they help kids feel better about being different. Do people really think kids are going to summon Satan if they pretend to have a magic wand? Sheesh.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Plain Jane said...

Fantastic list and to hell with those "ladies" who want to ban books. BAH HUMBUG to them I say!


6:20 PM  
Blogger Nilbo said...

I LOVE Christmas and Christmas music. But I insist that no list is complete without something from The Roches. Their CD "We Three Kings" is at the toppermost of the poppermost of my Christmas list - it has become THE album we use to kick off the decorating.

Without intending to hijack your comments, I wrote a lot about this album - and my favourite song from it - in two posts that can be found here:

7:50 PM  
Blogger Nilbo said...

Oh, and another Christmas song I adore is "In The Bleak Midwinter" ... I love the James Taylor version. I'm actually going to be (gulp) singing that song this Christmas Eve in church. My daughter is musical director and pianist for a small country church, and she'll be playing piano. My other daughter is a fiddler/violinist, so she'll be adding some ear candy ... and after that, it's my guitar and me. I don't think I've ever been so scared in my adult life.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous icantsleep said...

Our offbeat favorite is Sandra Crouch (Andrae's twin sister) singing "O Holy Night" with Jon Anderson (the YES guy) on his obscure 1985 Christmas album, 3 Ships. I am not making this up.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea I want to know what books were going to be banned too! I'm nosey like that, lol.

I love Christmas songs. The whole holiday season has such a happy feel to it.


8:45 PM  
Anonymous Shrinking Violet said...

I like that song that is a duet with a man and woman and they talk about it being "cold outside". "I really should go, but it's cold outside". Also, this is not a Christmas song, but gets me in the winter mood - The Bangles "Hazy Shade of Winter".

7:27 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

You probably have the Williams Sonoma Holiday cd. The lyrics you're talking about belong to "Baby, It's Cold Outside". Dean Martin does this with an anonymous group of women doing background. There's another song on the same cd called "Winter Weather" and that IS a duet between Art Lund and Peggy Lee.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

It's utterly amazing to me that people are still trying to ban books. That's insanity!

Additionally, that Bowie/Crosby duet is my all time favorite Christmas song.

7:51 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

Do I need to duck for cover? I'm really not a big Christmas music fan. The hymns make me weepy because they remind me of my mom...she was a musician and some of the hymns would bring her to tears.

But, a few that stand out in my wee mind are "Winter Wonderland", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Jingle Bell Rock."

And banning books? Hello, folks...this is 2005...

12:08 PM  
Blogger Pink Rocket said...

OOOHHH! Christmas songs!! I think I hum them throughout the year! I love 'em!

Yea for a fellow TEXAN!! I just transplanted to Oregon, but born and raised a Texan! Whoo hoo!

Welcome to the blog world! I'm fairly new too!

1:22 PM  
Anonymous sheryl said...

I like your list!

Yesterday I heard (in a cab) a song by the ((gasp)) Trans Siberian Orchestra which is a version of Pachelbel's Canon overlaid with children singing rounds of another Christmas song. It made me cry.

I love Pachelbel's Canon, many versions of it, and also Ave Maria. Anything Christmas-y by Bing Crosby or the Carpenters reminds me pleasantly of my mom when I was very little, during good times.

Christmas Song by Dave Matthews Band is also wonderful.

5:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the one with the chipmunks is really cute, and i'm a sucker for the snoopy vs the red baron one too!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

To me no list would be complete without:

Gene Autry Rudolph, The Red-Nosed

Band Aid Do They Know It's

10:14 PM  
Blogger MoMMY said...

I'm with Sheryl. I love Trans Siberian Orchestra. The only problem is if I'm the slightest bit emotional it makes me cry.

And about the banning? Good Lord! Don't these people have better things to do? Frightens me.

10:20 AM  
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10:54 PM  

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