Randy Brooks wrote “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” 1979 and has been cashing in ever since. Now, i hope to never to reference that song again, nor any of its dozens of doofus derivations, but the guy has got a song on his Randy Brooks’s Greatest Hit album from ’12 that addresses what i need to have said. Once Halloween is out of the way, nothing will stop the purposeful authorized onslaught of Christmas decoration and musicality.
So please allow this odd folk song with its simple melody and special sacred sarcasm to transport you onto the holiday highway–it’s one way now.
The absolute scariest Christmas song ever has to be Fred’s “Christmas is Creepy.”
Fred Figglehorn, as grown out of by Lucas Cruikshank, was a helium-voiced six-year-old with deep emotional problems and millions of followers on his Youtube channel, and on Nickleodeon.
He’s as amusing as a screeching contest, but his song deals with the childhood traumas wrought by Christmas TV specials and stories on the overimaginatively young (He’s coming into the house? When I’m asleep?!)
It’s an added bonus that the performer is so upsetting and the song is so familiarly upbeat. I’m creeps totes.
The easiest spoof on Christmas carols would be playing off “Do You Hear What I hear” with “Do You Fear What I Fear?”
The Dagon Tabernacle Choir from the album A Very Scary Solstice have Lovecrafted the song with various unprounceably spelled demonghouls.
My Newfoundland favorite, Snook, has developed an odd epic of failed life dreams to this tune. It’s pretty Freudian/scary. His is “Do You Fear What I Hear?” (Not on the ‘tube. Yet.)
So the winner of festivalisophobia is Dave Rudolf. Dave’s a novelty musician from way back, the kind of guy you saw at some show somewhere and couldn’t believe how funny he was. Unless you travel in the 21st Century Vaudeville circuit you may not have heard of him. Check out his website.
Well, there’s more than one way to horrify Christmas. You know, like a skinned cat hung by the chimney with care.
Horror movies are desperate for new wrinkles (wait, I’m the ghost?) and love to bring down a good thing (youth hostels in faraway countries!), but most often horror Christmas slips and pratfalls into its own eggnog. (‘Silent Night, Bloody Night’ ; ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’ ; ‘Silent Night, Zombie Night’ .) (‘Krampus’ for 2015: are you going?)
The song business, also, has been trying to get us to drop a yule log in our pants–mostly with an eyeless wink and a jagged grin. “I Found the Brains of Santa Claus” by Jason and the Strap-Tones is a Dr. Demento classic. It’s silly and jolly.
These are Big Deals in the novelty Xmas game, so i gloss over them. Sometime we’ll get morbid and macabre for the Mass with true oddities (some deeply disturbed songs celebrate death over birth for the Advent. …people… am i right?).
For now let me share a grim, grisly, gruesome, gut-soaked jingle by Jon Lajoie a Canadian rapper known for his funny songs on Youtube. (If you like funny songs, you should subscribe.)
It’s Halloween week and–wait, are you sure you don’t want a Xmas song??
All other holidays bow down to The Big Holy Day, sure. Take All Hallowed Evening, the night before Michaelmas (first day of Winter on the Old Calendar). Here kids learn to earn their gifties. Yeah i know, you gotta be good for Kris Kringle to present you with the goods. But on 10/31, you’ve worked on your etiquette at least: asking before receiving. (Threatening some may say; but i maintain it’s social custom to follow these rules, ergo: policy/politeness.)
So let’s scare up some Halloween/Christmas hybrids.
First off, there’s that Time Burton movie which has already done that. Granted. No need to sing those as carolers; as a parent i’ve heard ’em to death. (Although big props to Cas van de Pol for the delightful parody “Who’s This?” to the tune of Game of Thrones. Ho Boo Ho.)
Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett made a splash with “The Monster Mash” back in 1962. It received so much airplay, he produced a Christmas sequel “Monsters’ Holiday” within a few months. (Not to be confused with the very Halloween Hoedown “Monster’s Holiday” by Buck Owens which mixes werewolves and hillbillies and bluegrass.) Lon Chaney has recorded the Pickett piece as well. But don’t follow up on Pickett… his “Monster Swim” and “Werewolf Watusi” did not reach the zeitgeist. (I am partial to his Much Later “Star Drek,” but overall let him rest. He passed ’07.)
Now the standard here should be “Christmas in Dixie” by the band Alabama (also covered by Kenny Chesney and others). But that does not play by my rules. It does not celebrate the High Mass via a particular locale, whether state or famous city within (state of mind doesn’t count). And my selection needs to be off the beaten path a bit. And not blow that hard.
So, consider Christmas Across America‘s “An Alabama Moon for Christmas” by Scat Sprigs. It’s all jazz band high life which reminds me more of some late night talk show in-house group, rather than Montgomery Blues. Finger snapping more than hallelujahing.
I love the internet. For it was here I found another song by that group Alabama about Christmas in the state of Tennessee sung by a teen blondie who changed the lyrics to fit her state of Alabama. She’s a Nashville Rising Star, though she’s since taken down this homemade recording. What this lacks in quality it makes up for in volume. Look for Lillian Glanton around Joe’s Crab Shack in Nashville, or the Athens Saturday Market in Athens, GA. She’s a serious, perky, spunky Southern Belle.
Kulture Shock is a white gangsta rap club who wants you to get real with “Christmas in Miami“–it’s urban rhyming that’s both cute and oddly melodic;
Cynthia McGregor’s got a precious album celebrating her panhandle periodicity with “Florida Florida” (to the tune of Jingle Bells) and also (editorial sigh) “12 Days of Florida Christmas”–both heaving humor up to the level of The Match Game from the ’70s (face it, a dozen ’12 Days o’ FL Xmas’ are gumming up the ol’ ‘tube–steer clear);
and David Siriano fooling with ‘Let it Snow’ via his own “Florida Christmas Song“–wow, they let anybody on this internet;
Bubba and Cooter sing about going to Gatorland in “Florida Christmas” AGAIN to the tune of ‘Let it Snow’ but the satire backfires and makes this a cogent statement on the decline of civilization;
we include on the younger side dear li’l Elizabeth C (handle “StellaCat”) rocking out “Christmas in Florida” but you might want to her to hold a bar of soap in her mouth after she reveals “it’s hot as he–ell!” (and turn up the speakers, this amateur recording is hard to hear);
At this time, i would like to share “White Christmas In the Florida Keys” by Livingston & Mile Marker 24. Mile Marker 24 is an all originals bar band, recording their own CDs and selling them out of their truck. Frankly, i contracted Keys Fever listening to this anti-seasonal Buffeting of The Bairn’s Birth. Everybody limbo under the mistletoe!
No ATL holiday raps… no Georgia Christmas on My Mind…
The carol canon is awash with a wealth of Christmas in the South selections, but I’m not finding much for the Cracker State. [Errgahyun, i guess there’s that Lallie Bridges’s smelly stepped on fruitcake of a song: “Georgia at Christmas.” Even if she hadn’t xeroxed that song on to the locations of Carolina, Tennessee, Nashville, and Branson, i can’t abide it’s synthesized elevator mushiness.]
Now i did notice an odd tendency of funsters to parodize ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia.’ These parodeuses mention GA okay, so they need honorable mentions here. “Santa Went Down to Georgia” is one of those i-can’t-blieve-my-church-is-so-cool performances from North Point Community Church Alpharetta, Georgia. It may not be Godly, but it’s inspired and it rocks. (A Very Similar bit by Bob Phelan does not mention Georgia and is called “Santa Went down the Chimney.”) Jonathan and Corben goof on “Frosty the Snowman” with the actual lyrics of the Charlie Daniels fiddle-exercise. It’s a couppla millennials amusing each other hoping to do so with you. It takes its time, and does all right.
Now, without further frustration, welcome Diane Durrett, a smoky-voiced, blue-eyed soulstress. For the last 25 years or so she’s been opening for Tina Turner, Little Feat… playing alongside Sting, The Indigo Girls. Talented, got it? The hollerin’ here is mature and earthy, real country (or a tribute to Bonnie Tyler). The lyrics are fine… I’d hoped for some revelational tell-alling about Jimmy Carter, MLK, Coca-Cola and Stone Mountain. It’s just peaches. Do check out Durrett’s Xmas album, tho.
Okay, I found “A Charleston Christmas” by Richard Hippey, but the insistent tambourine backbeat, overpercussive zydeco (including–why?–tubular bells), and generic cookie-cutter lyrics (No Local Flavor: this could be Xmas Anywhere) keeps me from recommending it. (That falsetto last note–excuse me, I need aspirin.)
Still no great South Carolina Christmas music (not even from Stephen Colbert), at least none that sings out the phrase ‘South Carolina!’
So, back to “Christmas in Carolina”: Just DON’T bother with Lallie Bridges who uses the same bosa nova backbeaten song for “Carolina at Christmas” as she does for Georgia, Tennessee, and otherlocales. I can’t abide this peppermint parrotry, sorry… Not when Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road are pickin’ and grinnin’ like they do for their “Christmas in Carolina.” These grandparent-types look like show-biz newbies, playing coffee houses and bluegrass get-togethers. But their downhome breakdowns make me feel the family joy and warm home & hearths i like associating with the holiday. Cheers!