Let’s continue on our adventure to find amusing Adent-tunes which celebrate specific locales throughout the USA, or what i like to call
Fifty States of ‘Merica-mas
New Hampshire has that small state problem of just being another part of New England, too. No great Christmas songs that make you wanna hang out despite taxless living free and dying. So, like Maine, NH breeds tough, caustic men who complain comically about that time of year (to harmonica music).
Except today’s special, Red Gallagher, is out of the Midwest and only married into the Granite State. Red is the kind of guy I find while ferreting out great novelty Christmas music: the troubador/bard/jester, that clever, witty guy who (fighting tooth and nail) lives off his ability to make you smile. Despite never getting national attention. Red (solo or with the missus as Redbird Duo) plays parody song sets for malls and retirement homes (“Not For Kids”) and has a small handful of albums and following throughout the Twin Cities and beyond. His website sells his few albums.
I wish his talented tuchas all the best. You a funny guy!
Here is his “New Hampshire Winter.”
Okay, here’s my latest project:
While riffin’ through my yule tunes i paused on some totally local Oregon (my neck o’ the woods) Christmas cataloging: Christina Eastman’s “Merry Christmas from Oregon.” I have loco-centric celebrations from Baltimore (David Deboy) and Louisiana (Benny Grunch) and i treasure the in-jokes, the in-the-know references. These are not easy to find for far away places, even on line. So I had to wonder… does every state in the good ol’ USA stand up and say (along the lines of) “Nebraskan Christmases are the best!” and “Don’t you wish you were spending 12/25 in Florida?”?
So, i began ‘tubin’ to find 50 songs that named the state, celebrated the winter holidays, and perhaps showed a little local flavor. Couldn’t do it. I been wrasslin’ with this for weeks now and the best i got is: cool/odd/funny song; title has a state/city; it’s Christmas-themed, or Chanukah-ish, or Kwanzaa-able, or at least Winter; and it might serve the Chamber of Commerce for tourist trade or maybe run under nightly news show credits right around the Solstice.
Now I have to admit something: this is not a new idea and some people have been making $$ by recycling music with DIFFERENT NAMES subbed in. This crass cashmercialization will not serve my purposes, even when there’s little else of state pride to pick from. For those curious to see how low such sunken depths of grinchy depravity fall i will at times ID these corrupt copycat carolers. For now, let me ask you to please NOT look up Personalisongs. Or Say It Messages. The same song for every state, major city, foreign nation, and niece and nephew…. erraghouy! On the other hand Dan Schafer and a stable of talented country singers have cobbled together Christmas Across America in four volumes. While bluegrass for Oregon is odd, and most of the songs work Christmas in circuitously, I will be relying on a few of these great works when homegrown don’t help.
I call my collection
FIFTY STATES OF ‘MERICA-MAS
(which is a sad tortured play on words that i won’t further elaborate on)
Now I do include D.C. And I’m looking for Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa, Virgin Islands, and maybe the Navajo Nation. Those will be postscripts. So, more than fifty….
I’m not going to map you out a road trip, but we’ll start upper right and end up upper left (me), swooping N-S-N-etc.
So, State One: Maine.
New England Winters are in a class of their own, but Maine is not a strong contender in our Best of — competition here. Nobody’s holly jolly-ing lobsters and Stephen King. There is a Chamber of Commerce pick that creates a saccharine crust in mine ears: “The Maine Christmas Song.” But I can’t tell who perpetrated this.
My eventual pick for weirdest Maine Holiday Song is a beat poem hip hop harmonica stand up routine by Bob Marley. No, Not THAT Bob Marley. (He claims his dad did not know there was a famous person with that name.) He’s a local comic made good, been on Letterman, Conan, etc. And he holds the world’s record for longest standup. (I thought that was called filibustering.) (It was 40 hours.) His comic occupation has been going strong 20 years and he’s dropped more than a couple dozen albums. This holiday homage to home does what many natives do: complain, with love in the heart about their darned old home.
BLUE ALERT -slight profanity