Okay, some of the Amerinds take pity on the genocide-curious and sing our trads in their language so we can have some kind of pity/guilt annunciation. Jana Sampson, a North Carolinian with a psych degree, has become a pop/R&B singer of some note. I’m not saying she cashed in on her Lumbee and Tascarora heritage to make an album entitled American Indian Christmas, but I am saying I don’t know how good her Cherokee (“What Child is This?“) or her Apache (“Joy to the World“) accents really are. But The Plains were once the land of Lakota, so you might consider “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” in that language. And consider Jana (now) Mashonee, too. She’s an absolute babe.
The Rockford Mules line up next with “Merry Christmas, South Dakota.” Finally “loud rock music with a dash of Gospel, Southern, and Stoner” (says their Facebook page). These are fine Minnesota boys with one album. But you can tell they’ve toured through the Coyote State (suffering, missing loved ones, barely tolerating the road and weather conditions: as depicted on their ‘tube view). (I can’t think of too many music videos that cure you of ever wanting to strap on a guitar, but this one–boy howdy what a drear existence!) Christmas is often depicted as depressing (not JUST because you’re in SD), which is why we try to cheer you up so much. Don’t worry, have candy!
The most Kansas friendly Please-Come-Visit-Us rendition would have to be Paul Ritchie’s “Kansas Merry Christmas,” basically commissioned by the mayor to the visiting ASCAP award winner and resort and cruise ship singer. You’re going to need some crackers for the cheese. Ritchie has a hobby of cozying up to his favorite spots with holiday hymns for Kentucky and Michigan as well.
Just as maudlin middle of the road pop is “Christmas in Kansas City” by Brad Millison. It’s so retro 1985 cool i’m flashing back to liking Christopher Cross songs. For an updating with sweet soul see Heartland Men’s Chorus backing Dustin Rapier in one of those poignant Christmas concert moments that makes fat bankers’ wives cry.
Most Christmas songs about soldiers are miserable miss-you affairs like “I’ll Be Brave This Christmas” (Big Daddy Weave) or “Waiting for Christmas” (Melodie Chrittenden Kirkpatrick). Or even angry send-my-baby-home country screaming like Melissa Ethridge’s “Christmas in America.”