Family Friend has nothing better to do, so they follow important historical Christmasses from 1968 (first humans orbited earth) to 1642 (Isaac Newton born). Yet the indie pop of “Boring Christmas (blaze away)” recommends you burn the tree… oh, hang on–drug reference! Are you so bored you smoke, or so smoked you’re bored?
Celebratory in nature, “Christmas Day 1666” assails the rafters with coordinated hymn-ing. But the Chicago a Cappella seem to want wine as well as heaven in this modern day church paean. Is it the six-six-six part?
Puritanical Powers compel thee to have a “Christmas 1670“! Not sure if 10 Killing Hands is pulling our breeches, but kinda doubt those austere pioneers woulda celebrated ANYTHING. (See: “The World is Turned Upside Down” about the Puritans doing away with this holy day in 1649.) Still, this soft indie rock is compelling me to enjoy.
Bible verses are read as chapter and verse, so we’ll allow a bit o’ stretch here to include the ominous tale of 10,000 Maniacs’ “Jubilee” in which Tyler (as afflicted perhaps as the son for whom mercy is asked in Matthew 17:15) takes time off from fixing up the Nativity scene for the church to burn down the licentious tavern nearby.
One of the ‘cousins’ of Christmas music, the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ seems to have an curious backstory. Christopher Smith and Arthur Giron wrote a musical about it and its author, John Newton, a slave holder turned abolitionist. Here is “Nothing There to Love” about the love that inspired.
Paul Revere and The Raiders did in 1967 what many pundits (esp. Garry Trudeau in his comic strip Doonesbury) tried: talking smack about the Vietnam war by encoding references to the Revolutionary War. “Their “Valley Forge” is about suffering young men who would rather go home (for the holidays) than understand what the war is for. Psychedelic pop.
The Cuntifiers want you to know that since the constitution of this united nation, pretty much only the whites have happily celebrated in ways like Christmas. Their “White Christmas 1789” attempts to expose the disconnect if you didn’t know about it quite yet. Screaming punk metal.
Some of these numbers must be code. In “1793 Christmas” 7 Alkaline describes a Holi-date that begins at Rockefeller Center and ends at the North Pole. What the enumeration denotes i couldn’t tell ya. But this fella’s trying hard and i sympathize with his lovin’ rap.
The 800 toll free phone number was meant to fire people so that busy businesses could do without long-distance connections. Hotels and car rental companies began this streamlining in the ’60s. Today we could care less. Who gets charged for Long D anymore?!
Humbugz revisits the ’80s with a “1-800-Christmas” number about the worst presents ever. Then the poor country-song victim has an idea… (it’s the phone line to buy this album)!
A surprising message comes from an 800 number wishing “Merry Christmas Mr. Peng.” This indie goes places you dmight not expect. I mean, IS it a happy ending?
1800 perished according to Brooks Hubbard, representing the Rebs in “Blood on the Cotton Fields.” Mere days after Christmas 1864, Sherman’s march to the sea settled the Civil War. Those 1800 Yank casualties were but a blip on the way to defeat for the Rebels. Country rock calls out many subjects, but this silver lining of death is hard to take.
Rounding out, Team StarKid disco ‘A Christmas Carol’ into “Bah Humbug!” it was 1800-something, yaknow. Fairly faithful, in a rock-opera way.