Well, we’ve had some fun with the animal kingdom this month, but please remember where it all began: in the back of the barn. Let’s look at bunches of animals altogether now.
“The Animals Christmas Song” is another Chipmunks ripoff, and from all i can tell, was actually recorded by Santa’s Pixie Helpers. It’s the tortured rhymes of names of animals with Christmas items that keeps on giving.
“Carol of the Beasts” by Pete Seger mournfully strums through the manger’s menagerie, but in a folktastic way.
With his more modern maundering, Sufjan Stevens guides us through his version of “The Friendly Beasts.” Jesus’ beast-bro hoe down.
Gracie Fields had perhaps the biggest merry mule music with her 1959 “Little Donkey.” This catchy tune sold as sheet music faster than hotcakes. This mono recording may cause loss of equilibrium, but the message will heal you.
But the ass is not the only odd-toed hoped mammal with a reason for the season. And i don’t really mean Ren & Stimpy’s “Yak Shaving Day” (shudder). Nor even the crafty parodeus “Save a Horse, Ride a Reindeer” by the Whiskey Santas (really?).
No, no, no.I’m referring to that staple of 3rd grade winter singing festivals “Santa’s Using Zebras Now.” In order to understand a few lyrics we’ll zone in on Paisley Yankolovich’s unplugged version. He looks as if he might not be allowed within a hundred yards of a school.
Let’s get inside the stable with the real manger-ettes finally.
Santa’s helping at the Gilmer Dairy Farm in “The Gilmer Dairy Farm Christmas Song.” Will Gilmer sings up a bucketful of ‘Jingle Bells’ parody with cows in mind and it’s worth half a listen.
Cattle drives gotta happen first, o’ course. Cowboy Greg & The Done Goods yodel out “Cows Love Christmas” with that open range fantasia that usually precedes delusional seizures and death.
Bringing the hoofed ones home for the holidays Daniel Gould of Music Tech Group, solemnizes “Give a Cow for Christmas.” This rocks and feeds back and, i guess, postulates that poor people could use a burger as a gift this time of year. Hmmmm.
But we must pause and salute the greatest cow novelty Christmas music album of all time: It’s a Cow Christmas by Terry Esau. This True Christian went a little nuts in the best possible creative way cranking out parody after parody of carols with a taurine twist or two. Check out “God Rest Ye Merry Cattlemen” (reverential)
and the best of the herd: “Santa Cow.” It’s disco meets rap meets country meets trucker rock. Mooo, boy.
Axis of Awesome comes to the rescue with a real Nativity four-footed number. “I Love Being a Cow” may have a sudden turn to watch out for though. Watch out.
Some more et cetera mammals–this time the cool, exotic jungle kind:
Tigers need to get into that Nativity scene more often, i mean it just looks chill with that stripey killer lying beside the Baby Lord… or is that just me? Okay, see how nuts this gets with the “Christmas Japan Tiger-san Song” as posted by Ergesr Mikasoraesa. Hello, kitty.
Now i don’t think we need to get any more hippopotamussier than we have already, so check out same formula with an even more hilarious (bigger) “I Want an Elephant for Christmas” by the Peter Pan Carolers.
So let’s make some fun of those rascally rat-catchers! While Garfield, Heathcliff, Sylvester, and Hobbes have no notable carols about themselves…Grumpy Cat (and friends) sing about the travails of being good for Santa in “It’s Hard to be a Cat at Christmas.” Since this is Friskies sponsored, mostly they are forbearing and petable. Yeah, right.
I can’t abide animal sounds morphed into words/carols to humorous effect (though i do own the albums). So let’s just say Talking Kitty Cat is passable while singing “I Don’t Give a Damn about Christmas.” The lengthy skit set up is somewhat helpful. I liked the song more.
Another previously famous cat, Stimpy, is terribly disgusting with his holiday rendition of “Cat Hairballs” to the tune of ‘Jingle Bells.’ Parts can be the worst.
More aggressively “The Kitty Ate the Tinsel On the Christmas Tree“–a confessional sung by the Marty Gold Children’s Chorus like they’re facing down a school auditorium full of beaming, filming parents. Seems like a self correcting problem, eventually.
More likely to knock over your tree and shred your stockings are our less domesticated pets: the felidae. Don’t scoff over-wearied youtube watchers, felines are serious matter all year, never more so than the holidays.
Stevecash83 “Christmas Kitty Song“is just as smugly annoying as cat owners but has a couple good lines.
The baby cats are playful and innocent and embody the Christmas spirit, so at times we may dance and frolic to the idea of “Kitty Cats’ Christmas” a la Leon Redbone. This is a good one, folks, so i recommend you lower the limbo pole and go to town here.
Cuddling wiff widdle furry balls of love should be tres sentimental, however, so let’s look at what the Whiskers Animal Benevolent League parodied out of ‘The Christmas Song’: “The Catmas Song.” Cure petlessness!
Puppies are not dogs. They are a completely different mindset. One type you would let romp through expensively wrapped gifts grinning, the other you would harness for the Iditarod to save lives.
Martin Metcalf and Gillian Brown murmur “Santa’s Dog” mistaking one of the reindeer for Santa’s best friend. That’s the Olive-problem. It happens.
Getting a dog for Christmas is perhaps more grown up than getting a puppy. So Tom Manche’s “Dog Christmas Song” is an adult advisory on the appropriateness of beating the void with a ‘friend for life.” Cha cha cha.
The 1948 version of that gift list sounds like Billy Mayo’s Orchestra and “I Want a Dog for Christmas.” Pardon the poor sound and the sniveling 3/4 of the way through (by way of narrative bridge).
Once we get into grown-up dogs we can get mean and nasty. Vinnie’s entry to some Worst Christmas Song Ever contest is “The Christmas Dog.” Holy crap.
For a more seasonal parody, nothing beats Gary Gee with “Fleas on My Dog.” If you can’t guess the source material for the take-off, please listen: it’s pleasantly surprising. Although the slide show is vertiginous and nauseating.
Best of Show is Eels laying into “Christmas is Going to the Dogs.” The tone is mongrel, the puns are dogged, the melody mangey–what fun!
So many songs about cutesy little fuzzy faces that i lack credits at times.
“I Want a Puppy for Christmas” is off a British cassette tape from 1992 entitled 20 Children’s Christmas Songs and Carols–so it’s pretty short.
At times stellar, unnamed talent makes it onto the kids’ records. “Pookie Doodle Puppy’s Christmas Party” is by Children’s Songs. But check out the range on that soprano! (Not the unfortunate slide whistle).
A saccharine favorite for elementary school pageants is “Polar Puppy.” I don’t want to know who does this. Take it away.
“The Christmas Puppy” is similarly adorbs, but i finally figured out it was recorded by Dudley Dogg Jr. Warning: sped up chipmunk voices.
Before we get too cool–watch out for overly sentimental pop like Gina Naomi Baez’s “Puppy for Christmas.” Too much! Too much!! Need snark!!!
We’ll get to the puppies, kitties, and cows in a bit. Let’s lump together the odds and ends of furry critters here.
Although the Red Cross loves ’em, i find Christmas seals daunting–they could drown ya or freeze ya. But Liz Anderson, The Fairy Grandmother, walks you through their features (strengths and shortcomings) in “Christopher the Christmas Seal“–even their flappers!
Honey Jean Bunch retros up the ante with “Whitey the Christmas Seal.” Tippetty tappety flippety flappety… try not to get all childlike with this drugged out tune.
Kristen Burkholder giggles through “Bunny Christmas Song” at some down home talent show. We all we wish we had close warm home holidays like we imagine rabbit families having.
If you’re not clear how cool the bunnies are then listen how “Rabbits Have a Christmas” by Linn Sheldon (a b-side from 1958… missed it before).
Based on the Teri Sloat children’s book Suzy Arnowitz again nails it with “Hark the Aarvark Angels Sing” –apparently to make sure your Christmas card is delivered on time. ‘Cause they alphabetize so well, you know, being first in the dictionary, and like that.
Another late addition! Bah & The Humbugs have crafted a crawling, scratching rocker: “Here Comes Skunky Claws.” Smell that stocking!
The Presidents of the United States of America have a fun alt rock time introducing us to “Christmas Piglet.” Who’s a cute swine?
What’s that crawling out of the canal! Benny Grunch & the Bunch get a little Zydeco with a new holiday mascot suggestion: “Norris the Nocturnal Nutria.” Cool… and eww.