Let’s see how unobtuse i can make my Mission Statement for Novelty Christmas Music.
I am not now nor never have been a musician nor musically inclined (well, i did bust my work-buddy’s acoustic guitar overtightening the strings once). I have no schooling, training or talent. Big fan, however, of the odd, out of place, and humorous. I have begun taking grad classes in humor theory.
I vow to find you Christmas Music you’ve never heard before. I prefer it to be witty (more so than funny), professional (or at least passionate), off kilter & odd (more so than satiric & anti-Christmas). Yet none may apply.
As such offerings may be straight-up lampoon, or genre-specific (children’s music from mid-Century, 19th C, Cajun, doo-wop, rock’n’roll, punk, psychedelic, metal, folk, country, world, lounge, RnB, hiphop, disco [maybe], ska, EZ listening, polka, stage show musical, music hall, and much much more). It will not be traditional, or heard on most radio stations (except for comparative purposes). Please let me know if you have heard any of these (to death). And certainly let me know of something i haven’t got. There’s no end to the joy. And, bytheby, it may get nasty or ask big questions. That’s what we’re here for. I’m not a fan of obscenity and hate, but profanity used judiciously and scrutiny over Western Civ bourgeois morality have their place in late December–a time of rage and conflict as much as any other time of the year. (Plus i gotta give some Chanukah choruses their due… they’re too clever.)
Because (here comes the raison d’être) i do believe Christmas is not simply slipping into the same old rut, mechanically waltzing through the niceties by rote, and fulfilling the ritualized traditions dot-to-dot. Even though Thanksgiving and New Years bookend The Big C with their own Big Messages, the Reason for the Season is to thank Whomever we’re alive and reassess our asses. Let’s look our epistemology over and shake it up. That’s what this music should do.
Jethro Tull was progressive folk rock from back in my day. I wore out Thick as a Brick on my turntable. But Ian Anderson is still alive and on tour here in 2015. His Christmas album came out a dozen years ago and i had to groove on it, innit? This does Not sound like ecclesiastical harmony, more paganny polyphony. But pick up on that spirit, friends, for “A Birthday Card at Christmas.” <CLICK ON THE ENQUOTED COLORED TITLE!> It is celebratory. Happy Hosanna to you.
Conversely, the American Song-Poem Project was a truly capitalistic venture wherein housewives with squashed dreams and self-important lonely teens sent hand scrawled lyrics & cheques to a P.O. Box in the back of certain magazines and were later mailed back a vinyl single/cassette with their “song” put to music and professionally rendered. In more recent times archives were opened, recordings rediscovered, and the camp factor overwhelmed some musicians and executives so as to compile and sell again. Please, return to those thrilling days of bomb shelters and frightened children ducking-and-covering, who fear the Claus as a guided deliverer of doom… Heather Noel sings “Santa Came on a Nuclear Missile.”
Gettin the picture yet? If not, stay tuned. If so, stay tuned.
Pee. Ess. This is basically a YouTube blog. I own many albums with novelty Christmas songs, but the ol’ ‘Tube has millions more. My job: docent your way through the chaff and find you the gems (awe-inspiring or too awful for words). At times, if i can’t find them online, i’ll simply cut and paste them from my stash onto my posts [neither owning nor profiting off any of the shares]. I have no real Youtube channel, but treasure all those who have gone to the trouble so i (and you) can enjoy their fruits. As the ages pass, some of my links may no longer connect to playable songs. I’ll edit as i can.