“The Perfect Christmas Tree” becomes a mighty symbol for The Hot Buttered Elves. It will solve all problems, make nights bright, change you tires in the snow… i guess. Experimental alt folk, with a nihilistic edge– gets bloody.
Jesus gives the sacrifice so The Worship Crew can have “The Perfect Tree.” That might give them an edge in the neighborhood competition. Pop gospel.
Jonah Knight gives us the dance number we need, not the dance number we want. “Perfect Tree” rambles on millennial style about broken dreams and trouble with the cops. But it’s party music.
The game to find the Christmas tree smacks of beauty contest. We judge. But with budgetary constraints, sometimes the trees falter, tremble, and– TIMBER!!
I know, i know… you’re thinking Charlie Brown. But what about little Johnny’s love for the crooked mutt sung about in Tim Lafleche’s “The Naked Little Christmas Tree“? Actually, it IS the same moral: a little love (and a lot of decorations) will beautify anything. (And the gifts matter more, anywho.)
The only good Christmas tree is a dead Christmas tree! This wholesale slaughter has already been celebrated in my bloggy way with fetching jazz drumline gusto by Screaming Headless Torsos and also, best of all, by Celtic Elvis‘s Gregorian chanting.
BUT ALSO– Paul Garding sits us down in a circle for the folk styled “Kill a Tree for Christmas.” Give him a minute, he’ll soften the blows.
RuddOsophy gets more novelty comical with his caroling country “Let’s Go Kill Us a Christmas Tree” complete with forest animal sidekick singing foil. It’s a 7.5 on the ha-ha richter scale.
Let’s admit it, the eco-freaks are twaddle-minded hippies who’d rather have verdant stands than homes filled with desiccating cheer. Let them sing along with Dr BLT’s bluegrass anthem: “Christmas Tree Hugger.” Watch out for those spikes they sabotage ’em with!
Tromp tromp tromp, whew! Hack hack hack, hooboy! The extraction of the right evergreen is almost as hard as giving virgin birth!
Take this word of warning to heart through Erik Darling’s “Revenge of the Christmas Tree.” Frolicsome bluegrass, yes; but beware, boyo! The tree might bite back.
With a little help, p’raps it could be jolly. Dick Gardiner offers the twanging country tale of a little boy who follows a stranger into the woods with “Santa Helped Me Cut a Christmas Tree.” (I’m not sure, but i think the little boy was institutionalized while his brothers moved on…).
For those who axe, Maple Leaf Learning teaches us counting and clear cutting with “Three Christmas Trees.” Xylophonically childish!
Jug band hee holiday fun from Max E Voltz who wants to go out and cut down “A Natural Christmas Tree.” Consider my knee slapped. (But watch out for the twist ending.)
Brassy jazz from Danish Big Band Radio (feat. Mads Mathias) might remind you of smokey joints without family values, but “Chop Chop (The Xmas Tree)” wails and nails it down home.
The Christmas Kids detail “The Christmas Tree Search” by some elves (sounds like ‘Jack and Jill’ to me), but dig that bass bridge.
Bluegrass sounds like family! Bud’s Collective downhomes “Daddy’s Christmas Tree” so you know what his childhood was really like. Watch out, they don’t always get their tree in the same way. The message muddles.
Eric and Paul, The Jacobsen Brothers weave a honky tonk hope of romantic aspirations with “I Want a Real Christmas Tree.” I want more songs like this.
Also garage pop fun is “Going to Get the Tree” from Maxwell, Miranda, Parsely. Classic Christmas carol done party-right.
Karin Hovey soothes with melodic folk. “Family Christmas Tree” is a Robert Frost-style reminiscence over the hills. It’s the fiddlin’ makes you cry.
No better instruction than the outsider telling you how he’s imitating your traditions… Jonathan Mann explains this better with “Jewish Family Gets Christmas Tree from the Woods.” Plunkety boogie woogie sells this cultural mashup WITHOUT guilt, if you can believe that.
The New Christy Minstrels, perhaps, circle the square with the most straight-laced, happening burst of vocal joy to get us in the tree-hunting mood: 1963’s “Christmas Trees.” Resist, ye hipster, and be of sorrow.
We’ll deal with Xmas personifications a bit later. But that deep-rooted desire to be taken home is systemic from limb to limb throughout the thicket…
Perhaps the songs should say it for them:
Certainly Stevie Wonder makes the case with “One Little Christmas Tree.” This ’67 R+B tear jerker involves a whole tree family and some extra angel granting wishes. Ooooh, aaaah. (Countrified by Jennifer Lind.)
Marty Merchant chortles out a kids’ song country pop weeper, “Lonely Christmas Tree.” Desperate, needy, dying little thing.
Parry Gripp goes imaginatively, juvenilely delusional with “Christmas Tree in the Lot.” Some kid sleeps with one eye on the window watching the tree for sale across the street. Is that tree lonely, just like him? No, it’s dead, but in a cool folk-song way.
People ask about trees. You better have answers ready.
‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ may be the most heavily footnoted James Bond entry, and it also gives us “Do You Know How Christmas Trees are Grown?” (Hint: with love.) The original comes from Nina van Pallandt, although ’60s UK charter, Jackie DeShannon, has a more lugubrious try also from 1969.
Harold Rippy asks “Baby, What Kind of Christmas Tree You Want?” with pop alt folk trippiness. It’s all in the name of love.
Evergreens don’t lose their leaves, so they don’t really ‘die,’ so they’re just like my immortal bra Christ. Or maybe it’s Druidic and celebrates the animus of dendritic growth. Anywho, someres after Protestantism began, firs in the shape of wreaths and room-fitting saplings were brought inside to help elaborate, expand, and freshen up the smell of the celebration of God’s gift to man.
And we’re not just stuck on parodies of ‘Tannenbaum’ here (a nod to the Germanic origins). There’s a dumpload of songs about the greenery of the party. Many I’ve already linked (and may link again).
So let’s go down to the woods today and be sure of a big surprise. From The Magic of Christmas come The Magic of Christmas Singers with “Christmas in the Forest.” This Killarney come-on somnolently celebrates gnomes worshipping Christ. Right.
Just as mystically Welsh Coleggwent Musical Theatre presents a riverdance glee club “Proudly in the (Christmas) Forest.” Their precision and harmony are dumbfounding, but it’s like watching computer programming for the joy it brings.
More family friendly is the traditional Russian “The Forest Raised a Christmas Tree.” Oddly i can’t find this in English. So try a swinging jazz rendition from The Children’s Studio.
Finally let’s light up the Renaissance folk song popularized slightly by Joan Baez. “Down in Yon Forest” reveres JC’s aborning, but it’s so swaddled in symbology (not a real forest after all) this dirge riddles more than celebrates. Enjoy.