WHAT ELSE? FSM

Welcome to the Millennium. In 2006 Bobby Henderson wrote a book satirizing religion (and perhaps science) as being a bunch of post hoc ergo propter hoc. In The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster our new theory that a pasta based entity created all allows that disproving is harder than proving (see ‘Russell’s teapot‘). This oddness became the new freak flag for hipsters to wave, since they liked the beer-drinking, pirate-talking, colander-wearing nonsense it promoted. Have you been touched by His noodly appendage?

Patrick Rebun and friends (The Oufs) gives us our best introduction “Flying Spaghetti Monster” with appropriate grunge.

This belief-system is wide ranging (shoutouts on South Park, Futurama, and a CNN segment), so it has many holidays–not just a 12/25 translation. (Which would be “Noodlemas.”)

But gospel inventions include “Amazing Taste” by the Pastafarian Gospel Choir invading the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. Can i get a Ramen! [Herein is the reason for the religion: to insert itself among the established rites that waste the time of our culture–heck, i ‘member doing that with other younguns who touted Oy Danky Goo as belief in everything and nothing.] Also comes the so-called Spaghetti Monster hisself with a “Pastafarianism Hymn.” Devotion of the ocean!

Time for the ‘caroldies’: “O Noodly Night” from Dogeyed Welders is pretty and charitable. Funny.

Barlow has a labor of love: “Carol of the Bells (FSM version).” These adherents go all out for their anti-identity.

[Ed. note: the Invisible Pink Unicorn competes for this demographic, but currently has no cool holiday carols.]

WHAT ELSE? Epiphany Sequel

Back to our regularly scheduled savior: Epiphany is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ, celebrated sometime after the New Year.

Christmas is that birthday moment, but the three wise men showed up later. And after that John the Baptist did his thing. So, the holy deal is a moment somewhere further along the calendar.

Let’s have a song!

Melissa McCrory gives it her all with the wandering gospel of “Epiphany Song.” It’s the thought that counts.

Martin Little’s amateur hymn “Epiphany Song” is just as off key. But sincere. That’s what matters.

Let’s call in the troops. The Epiphany of Our Lord Centenial Liturgy get down and Gregorian with their “Epiphany Song.” Now i get it.

Raising up to the rafters, Raymond Egan leads the congregation with his “Epiphany Hymn.” Soaring.

WHAT ELSE? Not X

Plenty of Christmas albums tout ‘secular’ songs about snow, sled rides, family, and a certain carmine-clad gentleman. But a few songs go the extra mile to hale the day and scoff the deity. At least one day of celebrational tunes should embrace all that is not Christmas around this time of year. It’s a bit like NOT thinking about elephants, ergo difficult to be different than. But a coupla songs define that mathematical set.

Dave Jay taunts the separation of church and state with “A Very Merry Federal Secular Holiday.” This rocks, but it’s really about Christmas Christmas Christmas. Shame on your for considering it otherwise.

YNW Melly comes from another direction with “No Holidays.” This reggae funk rap allows that some of us are way too down to get Gee Dee Merry (Yeah, BLUE ALERT).

Privilege allows Singalong Songs to offer a PC non-offensive carol for kids. ‘It doesn’t matter’ should not be a refrain for happy day, but their “Christmas Holiday Song” is a great party dance number. (They do avoid the term Christmas in the song, don’t know why it’s in the title.)

I lovelovelove Dan Bull’s lovefest folk-rap “Secular Song in Celebration of the 25th of December.” He goes to some length to list for you everything that should be noted for 12/15 that’s not Christ. Get a pen.

The easy way out is to mock carols with word-substitutions. Whatever. The BBC radio series And Now in Colour had a culture-bound bit about “Christmas Carols for Atheists.” Anglophiles rejoice.

Howard Billington reinterps testament from the non-believers’ POV with the fun and catchy pop “Atheist Christmas Song (The Meaning of Christmas).”

Tom Tighe gets more folk serious playing Jesus just a man in “I am Not a Wandering Angel (An Atheist Christmas Carol).” Yikes, it’s not about God after all.

Necessary repeat: “Santa is an Atheist” is finger-popping jazz fun from Casey McKinnon. Weee!

An Atheist’s Christmas” which gets play because of Taiwanese animation is a mixed bag of the broken toys who don’t have God in their lives. Dreadful clubpop rap thanks to Tomo News.

Vienna Teng’s gorgeous symphonic number “The Atheist’s Christmas Carol” is so holy mystical i could hear a church choir render this to uplift all souls. It’s not contrary, only using human as the measure of miracles.

I’m not in the habit of posting songs in Austrian, but “I’m an Atheist (A Christmas Song)” is a clever coming-out pop number dressed up in an admission to atheism. Strange days.

Second City has a “Carol for the Rest of Us” about how atheists fake it to get along. Wotta production.

Much more focused, “A Christmas Song for the Doubtful” from Anna Robinson admits ‘notthatthere’sanythingwrongwiththat,’ but nails the back-and-forth with strong folk.

Freedom Kerl gets the anti-spirit in his DIY rock song “An Atheist Christmas Song.” Let’s focus on the gifts!

Dan Margarita (cheers to that name) straddles folk with “An Atheist Christmas Song.” He allows for the jolly holiday, but whines about his minorityism. Punchy rapping fun.

Follow Robert Crenshaw’s mystical folk ’70s rock journey to his “Atheist Christmas.” He wasn’t born yesterday (in a manger), he’s working this one out for pure bliss.

WHAT ELSE? Not Buying It

We have some space here for the non-observances.

Although we have already included way too many songs for Black Friday (see 11/27/2015 post), i do recognize that riotous parade of stomp-yer-gramma as an actual holiday, separate but equal to Xmas. Let us then betake the shadowy rebellion ‘gainst that movement: Buy Nothing Day. From a goody-twoshoes blip out of Canada many years ago, this protest has grown to many (1st world, northernmost) nations. My favourite factoid was how no commercial television enterprise (save CNN) would allow advertisements for this lack-of-movement back in ’00.

Providing the global clout, French club music from Arseniq33 barks out your basic “Buy Nothing Song” for all your rage needs.

Nine Black Alps ups the garage quotient with value-added metal in their “Buy Nothing.” Caution: brands are named.

Chumbawamba merrily pokes at affluenza with their folky “Buy Nothing Day.” Four out of five anthems wish they had this much wit.

“Buy Nothing Day” from The Go! Team (feat. Bethany from Best Coast and The Girls At Dawn) is the usual upbeat yet scratchy Brit pop what sounds like it wuz done onna cheap. But it’s all for a good cause: anti-capitalism. (Which’s not an actual thing.)

WHAT ELSE: Yule B Laffin

Is there enough latitude in Paganism for wee nip of humor? Even for Midwinter celebration?

Secularitarians show a glimpse of levity in Dar Williams’s rollicking folk gathering “The Christians and the Pagans.” We CAN all just get along.

Laughing at (not with) Karina Skye misses the mark with her continual pagan updating of Xmas carols with “Jingle Spells.” She’s got faboo delivery, but the parcel’s empty.

The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society also get up in your carolophobia with “We Wish You A Scary Solstice.” Cute kid choir/creepy Cthulhu tidings.

The Motern Media Holiday Singers (aka Matt Farley) hopes we celebrate this dark dark dark dark dark dark day with his “Winter Solstice Celebration Song.” An odd number.

The jolly old world folk boys of Emerald Rose keep tongue lightly in cheek for “Santa is Pagan Too.” Irish Hee Haw.

WHAT ELSE? Yule B Kissin

Seems like the world will end with all that darkness around Christmastime. Let’s party and romance and break some social mores. It’s our last chance before the sun sees us!

More a song about the magic of astronomy, Finley and Pagdon’s “Solstice Song” folks out a woman’s yearning. I sure like it, but i’m a sloppy romantic.

Flipping trad celebrations over, Private Eye Music wants no longer to wait for you with his “Winter Solstice Song.” Love song!

Just one kiss is all Steve Albers Southpaw asks in the drawling “Winter Solstice” song. Creepy.

I Love the sneaky way Pennyless interrupts a boring pagan chant with a lithe folk song about a stolen kiss at the “Winter Solstice Party.” Missed connection!

Pauline LeBel has some Hallelujah for her churchy hymnal “Song for the Winter Solstice.” Bipartisan!

Gary Storm offers a kidsong folk insistence for the party with “[Winter] Solstice Song.” Do your job, and learn, and stuff.

Skyforger seems to have recruited Popeye to growl out the metal hale “Night of the Winter Solstice.” Big party, but evil spirits by invitation only.

Once the fiddle catches fire, the solemn “Solstice Evergreen” raises the roof on our modern celebration of medieval past. Spiral Dance jigs up some fine alt-Celtic.

Jethro Tull’s “Ring out Solstice Bells” is such an all out party tune, imma dance ’til the New Year. It’s a heller.

WHAT ELSE? Yule B Light(dark)

Well, it is dark around this time of the year. Perhaps prayer will turn that cycle around and ritual will return the sun’s mighty light.

Appropriation is the sincerest form of plagiarism: Karina Skye sings “Silent Night, Solstice Night” with great galloping gospel gasping. Fit for a piano bar.

t heilsen bring the celebration to a screeching downer with the death dirge “Solstice Carol.” It takes folk to remind you how much life sucks.

Caving to the War on Christmas, Rich Mertes has the elementary school kids sing his “Winter Solstice Song.” It’s like science set to a medieval mass.

Homegrown offerings from F13at Cat: a lite hymn of tinkling choir for one comes in this “Winter Solstice Carol.” All hail the clock.

‘We’ll make our own light’ carols Ann Fearon (tracking upon track) with the tremulous glee tune “Song for the Winter Solstice.” I see you between the lines!

‘Come rising sun!’ invokes Kiva with didgeridoo and pan flute in “Winter Solstice Sunrise.” Hit that groundhog snooze alarm!

Calling out the sun may result in cheeriness. Jennifer Cutting’s “Song of Solstice” is an accordion sea chanty of light steps. Friends all!

One other subject about Solstice Yule is that tricky fire without which you would surely perish. Rich DeVore has a dreamy folk trip about you, baby, and that time of year–“Solstice Carol.” Just close your eyes.

Groovy gospel spiritual from Charlie Murphy and Jami Sieber conjurs the end of dark and brings the Sun to her feet with “Light is Returning.” Amen! (Kalimba solo!)

Lisa Thiel’s “Winter Solstice Song” is the USArmy anthem ‘be all you can be,’ by way of the supreme power, the light. Fem drum circle new age chanting.

WHAT ELSE: Yule B Long

Not that we’re counting, but Midwinter marks the longest night of the year. Some songs can’t shut up about it. Be safe, be loved, be mine. These are the romantic pagan pleas.

Also lengthy, Threefold’s prog-folk “Celtic Solstice” is mostly electronic twaddle, but the ethereal vocals just out of range make it a holiday must listen.

S J Tucker has a quiet folk bit o’ worry with “Solstice Night.” Peace to you, you know who you are.

The hammered dulcimer marches us to hell with Phil Passen’s gloomy “Winter Solstice.” No way (dance dance) out.

Jason Webley lightens the room with “Longest Night” a pub singalong wrought from ‘Silent Night.’ He leans into it.

Swaying and gesticulating, the Harp Twins bang out their snow dance “Nordic Solstice,” a piercing folk meditation. Not really sure what it’s about….

Mary Chapin Carpenter rolls out the familiar pop folk of her career. Not saying she’s strumming out “The Longest Night of the Year” with her eyes closed, but she could (would sound the same). Still soothingly powerful.

WHAT ELSE? Yule B Son

Some Midwinter carols honor the thing that makes a woman a mother.

Triune goes to the trouble of rewriting “Joy to the World” in order to welcome the Sun Child. Who’s the intended audience here?

The lord of all green (Pan? Herne? Cernunnos?) gets a jolly strum from Damh the Bard with “A Pagan Yule.” Dance, or no springtime! (Jethro Tull-ic to mine ear.)

Ravens run a round of familiar melody with their “Solstice Carol.” Honor the sun, the son, and the sound. Medievalism for kids.

Joseph LoDuca conducts the nearly on-key kids with “Solstice Night,” a paean to the switch of seasons that’s at once haunting and also annoying. (It’s also featured in season 2 of Xena Warrior Princess.)

WHAT ELSE? Yule B Mother

There’s something about Midwinter that leads to cavorting. Is it the home stretch to planting and food? Is it the astronomical alignment of Earth’s pole tipped furthest? Is it just another excuse to waggle the bum?

Not having received The Word, pagans did fine at concocting their own festivals and fun. Alban Arthan, Dongzhi, Korochun, Shalako, Ziemassvētki, and more conjured up cuddly traditions and endearing salutations for the ages. Disappointingly i’m gonna use my English lit major to stay Western Civ and not stray too far from the Europeans. But they did Paganism pretty well, you betcha.

One difference between Yule observance and Xmas is Mōdraniht, the honoring of da mama, without whose blessings (bearing our borning), we wouldn’t be here.

Pissed off Russian metal from Gartraada, “A Night of Winter Solstice” salutes the Queen of Seasons. I presume as a fellow killer.

The Goddess of Pleasure and Delight is the old timey subject of James Mosher’s “Winter Solstice Song.” I’ll drink to that.

Sacred Mother gets a more middle of the road Celtic tribute from Jan Garrett and JD Martin with the dulling “Winter Solstice Lullaby.” Yawn.

Yala Lati, a women’s global music choir, rounds up the “Winter Solstice Round” with much gravity for the grandmother.

More tribally, Leah Salomaa chants up the womb metaphor in “Solstice Song.” Primal stuff.

Wyrd Sisters blend their voices speaking tune to power with “Solstice Carole.” Lullaby and happy new year. Pretty stuff.