A Novel Holiday Playlist

I could have cared less about Christmas music — until I had kids

I have a close friend who loves Christmas and everything associated with the holidays. And this includes holiday music — big time.

My friend listens to holiday tunes from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. Her home clock sings a different carol on the hour, every hour. Her cell rings "Jingle Bells" even in June.

I, however, could care less.

Until I had kids. Now, I LOVE Christmas music! Why the change of heart? Because my girls like it. They never argue over the song or the station when holiday music is playing. I don't know the reasoning and I don't care. I believe this to be Santa's little gift just for me.

I thought it would be fun to ask friends what their all-time favorite holiday songs were. My thought was that I could make a few additions to my ever-growing, personal winter soundtrack that gets me through the holidays. I assumed I'd get repeated Gene Autry and Bing Crosby suggestions, but I was so wrong.

All these novel ditties that were passed my way. Some suggestions I'd heard before, most I hadn't, and there were a few about "Santa's North Pole" and "unwrapping packages" (blush) that I can't even share. They are just too racy for Patch's G-rating. (Santa, you little devil!)

Because I'm not one to keep this kind of gift all to myself, I am going to give my mix to you, the readers of Alameda Patch. Go to iTunes, type in, "A Grain of Salt at the Holidays" and it should pop up in the lower left hand corner under "playlists." If you're not savvy like that, I've listed them below. 

If nothing else, play it at the end of your annual holiday soiree. And play it loud. The party stragglers will be heading for the door in no time.

The Chanukah Song, by Adam Sandler

I Am Santa Clause, by Bob Rivers

Christmas in Hollis, by Run DMC

Do You Hear What I Hear, by Copeland

Fruitcake, by The Superions

Christmas Wrapping, by The Waitresses

Five Pound Box Of Money, by Pearl Bailey

Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas), by SpongeBob Square Pants

Jingle Bells, by The Singing Dogs

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), by Death Cab for Cutie

All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth), by Spike Jones

Auld Lang Syne, by Straight No Chaser

Tom Brody December 17, 2011 at 09:38 PM
(1) "DUMBO THE CLOWN, THE CLOWN WHO LOVED CHRISTMAS," by The Residents. (Unfortunately, this song is only available on an expensive C.D. compilation of songs by The Residents); (2) "LITTLE SAINT NICK," by The Beach Boys; and (3) "ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT TEETH," by Alvin and The Chipmunks.
Lorrie Murray December 18, 2011 at 05:00 AM
Actually, Tom, you can also find Dumbo the Clown on RESIDUE DEUX as well as on the bonus CD of the re-release of Eskimo. And here: http://bit.ly/vv0UyR
Tom Brody December 19, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Thank you, Lorrie. Actually, I have DUMBO THE CLOWN on a viny recording that is a compilation Ralph Records. This compilation has recordings by other groups, in addition to The Residents, such as Tuxedo Moon and Chrome. Several years ago, I contacted Ralph Records, and they told me that this particular compilation would never be released as a DVD version. This compilation is distinguished in that it contains a three different versions of I LEFT MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO, including a version by The Residents, and some other version where the instrument is a harmonica, and where you hear a man's telephone call to an employment agency (I think the call is to an employment agency). I need to have this vinyl version converted to a compact disc, over at Digital Pickle, in San Francisco. They have done several of my vinyl albums.
Tom Brody December 19, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Pleas accept this additional suggestion for your Christmas playlist. Are you tired of listening to your Johnny Mathis Christmas album, year after year after year? I suggest one or both of THE VENTURES Christmas albums. Some of the songs begin with an excerpt from a well-known surf song, and then immediately segue into a Christmas melody.
Tom Brody December 21, 2011 at 12:28 AM
To Judith-Judith, I noticed the appearance of SUPERIONS in your list of Christmas songs. I did my homework, and learned that they are a spin-off from the B52s. Very interesting. --Tom
Lorrie Murray December 21, 2011 at 12:50 AM
Yes, you have a very rare item indeed! Take good care of it! So, full disclosure...I've been working for the Residents since 1998 (touring and running RalphAmerica) Your posting here inspired me to post it on their facebook fan page. thanks for that! happy holidays!
Naomi Weisenberg December 22, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Really fun retro holiday album from Stella Artois. Download for free here http://bit.ly/vxeD1D
Judy Judy December 22, 2011 at 08:45 PM
Great suggestions, thanks! And I desperately need 'em. We've been listening, non-stop, to the radio stations that play all holiday music, but they seem to only play the same 20 tunes over and over and over... I'm beginning to loose my mind. I'll be downloading each and every one of these. I had no idea there were so many alternatives to Johnny Mathis!
Judy Judy December 22, 2011 at 08:48 PM
Yeah, cool eh? That was my sisters suggestion. It had such a familiar sound, I had to look it up, too! (Fun fact: B52's Fred Schneider is the frontman for the Superions.)
Alexis December 22, 2011 at 09:36 PM
You should try to find Nerf Herder's Santa's Got a Mullet. I love it, but it is a bit odd.
Tom Brody December 24, 2011 at 03:19 AM
Hi Lorrie, thank you for letting us know that you work for (or with) The Residents. Another Ralph Records recording artist is Fred Frith, now a professor at Mills College. I have his vinyl album SPEECHLESS, and also the compact disc version of SPEECHLESS. A song on this album, A SPIT IN THE OCEAN, is one of the most creative and fun tunes from the "New Wave" movement (circa 1978 to 1984). A SPIT IN THE OCEAN is equal in creativity to almost anything from the collaboration of Byrne & Eno (Bush of Ghosts). Are you an acquaintance of Prof. Frith? (just wondering) --Tom


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