On Track to Xmas: Clickety Clack!

Christmas train songs can just be noisy and not mean anything.

Train Trip” from the album Christmas Sobbing by Flore CF starts as a noisy journey, but interweaves multilingual background dialog so the whole mess just feels like holiday travels.

Not a Late Night Train” from the album CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2017 by Ann Eysermans is the back tracking weirdness of experimental pop. No idea what it’s supposed to be.

Santa’scomin’baka’round!” by Toddiefunk yells out the rap like a black Paul Revere. It’s all good, it’s all celebration: Now after all the presents have been opened and the dinner consumed We’ll dance down a soul train line. Funk. E.

On Track to Xmas: A Loose Caboose!

Sometimes trains don’t make any sense.

New Kids on the Block try rapping “Funky, Funky Christmas” to little success. But they identify who is what throughout, with a call out to my elf, Little Train at the end. Who dat?

The Go-Go Boys introduce drag sensation “Peaches Le Train” to the toon of ‘Silent Night.’ The train here is the long long dress, and the carting in of Xmas music. Huh.

Might be a plane, might be a train, no its old saint nick and he’s back in the game, worries Madame Love in the funky blues of “Love Affair of Mrs. Claus.” What’s it all mean? BLUE ALERT, but who cares when it’s this crunchy?

On Track to Xmas: Light at the End of the Tunnel!

What a grand symbol the train is! What a grand symbol the Christmas is!

Reggae rapping “Happy Hanukkah” Matisyahu attacks us with diddydums and lyrics like: As I light up a flame in the name of the Lion of Judah, Drop like a hammer when I fall like the rain sun shower, Feel the power when I hit like a train. Okay, it’s a simile. But it’s pretty strong stuff.

I take a train in history: My family´s arrived And nothing´s ever has been changed, croons Casual Friday in the soft jazz pop (new wave?) “Now It’s Christmas.” Slow dance!

Darin Browne gets OG with his elementary rap in “Christmas Rapping.” The reason for the season is NOT Santa! Well the credit cards go clickety-clack Like a train running down the track. The lesson continueth…

Train Tracks in the Snow” is the evocative spoken poetry of Johnny J Blair exploring the nearby environs of (tenacious) life and (frozen) water and the means to get to them (the tracks). It’s THAT time of the year, and it’s magical. But not precisely Christmas. C’est la vie.

Not a lot of Christmas celebration in nowheresville 1854, so Paul Weber harmonica-izes the folk sights of “The Christmas Train“–we waved at the engineer and he tipped his cap; Bright lights, spinning wheels and a bell, A real iron horse carousel! Almost showier than midnight mass.

Brato Usebo shovels on the discontent in “The Proper Christmas Spirit.” Ostentation, overspending, noise… none of it really helps BLUE ALERT. And then by mid-December we’ll have been won over: We’ll be on board the Christmas train with mint and Russle Stovah. The plodding doom march, the endless tortured rhymes for ‘spirit,’ the unexpected peripeteia… it’s the best Christmas soft pop song of all.

On Track to Xmas: Locomotion!

When is a train not a train? When it’s a metaphor!

Admiting it’s cliche, Clint Black countrifies the idea of time as a train: We’re bringing in another year let’s throw the old one back: With my new train I’ll be the engineer And hurry down the track While I know that time is standing still. “Slow as Christmas” is a fine sing-along for the whole family. Don’t hate it.

Iacopo Fedi maps his getaway from the madness of mundaneness on a “Christmas Train.” Stand back and let the rollicking garage funk through.

Simpler folk blues from Sofia Talvik portrays a “Christmas TrainFilled with guns and ammunition–They don’t give a damn about the wishing . This machine cannot be stopped. It is progress, expansion, war. Be afraid. Merrily.

Bluesy folk pop from Aster & The X Band suggest you surrender to the oncoming onslaught of the season: Feel it coming, the Christmas train. “Christmas” may be ironic, but it is definitely iconic of the dispossesed.

I miss being a team: Sharing everything Like laughter, Christmas and Train Trips and Things” bemoans Trembling Blue Stars. So the Xmas trains are just normal stuff, the little things, the wallpaper of life. Miss that when the breakup is all there is. Gentle slow pop.

On Track to Xmas: 2007 Recall of Thomas the Tank Engine Toys (Lead in Paint)!

Fade out on the toy train songs….

When Sweeney Toad reminisces urban childhood disappointments, it’s a lengthy list of brand names he DIDN’T get, including toy trains. “Toys Nintendo and Food” raps about the need to be good, as well as the bitterness of poverty.

Schnitzel has rolled through town before with the blasting funky honky tonk of “Christmas Tree Train.” Gotta ride it again. Wotta blast!

Almost psychedelic in its retro-activity “Toot Toot Train (Christmas Gift)” is a kidsong from Peter Klasky, a Chicagoan of pan flute silliness. Makes me dizzy.

John Vosel rocks the funk out of “Little Toy Train,” which is NOT a remake of Roger Miller but a tribute to the decoration going round the tree. With whistle!

On Track to Xmas: Hornby Toy Trains (“British and Guaranteed”)!

Ancient Machine rocks the kidsong with metal lite in their sweet “Christmas Time (Love is in the Air).” Friends and Teddy bears and wooden trains, oh my!

I just the last several minutes combing through my posted inventory and still can’t believe i have never offered you Bill Anderson’s 1969 classic: “Po’ Folks’ Christmas” (a follow up/parody to his 1962 ‘Po’ Folks‘). It’s gentle country with a tongue in a cheek, like when the kids’re thumbin’ through the new catalog Lookin’ and a wishin’ and a wantin’ everything we saw: Little toy trains and little toy boats and sister kept lookin’ at the little girl’s coats.

Alan Jackson declares “I Only Want You for Christmas” with some fine honky tanking country. He lastly admits (in sotto voce) he HAD a train and a bicycle… but still–

Little dolls and long red trains, golden drums and painted planes seem to mock the smokey voiced Gabriella Rose while she’s missing you in her jazzy torch song “Merry Christmas Little Star.” The decorations are all she’s got in this time of bereft blues. Sultry.

On Track to Xmas: Lionel Trains (“Toys To Grow Up With, Not Out Of”)!

How long ago was the toy train the end all and be all of Christmas gifts?

Someone convinced Johnny Cash (in 1972) to try out some Bing Crosby vibes and thus we have “That Christmassy Feeling.” This sappy country hopes for good will toward all men, holding hands, and my boy wants a little toy train. Why thay’s jus’ middle class fo’k.

Frankie Lymon (1957) points out with childish tenor “It’s Christmas Once Again.” You know, that time of dollies and shiny choo choo trains. Marvelous R+B.

Pink Floyd’s basement tape “The Merry Xmas Song” is (1969) witty noodling of a more classical nature. The list of childish delights here includes dolls and gollywogs and clockwork trains, Trams, tin soldiers and little model planes.

On Track to Xmas: Z Scale!

Toy trains at 1:220 actual size. It’s Z because there can’t be anything smaller. Tweezers?

Kc393 gets so INTO decorating the tree (as a tribute to childhood). he doesn’t stop at “Christmas Lights“: Put the star on top, lay the snow village as a prop, Put the train tracks at the bottom… even compares it to Disney World. Serious yet frothy rap.

Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick’s big dis is “Christmas is Interesting.” Jimmy Stewart is drunk, Citizen Kane is depressed, Ebeneezer is waiting, and there’s that train with square wheels. Quiet pop ballideering.

Andrew Durham lays down the slow rock as a dirge over breaking up with you. “Nochebuena” is more mawkish rock than maudlin pop, as it wallows in sentiment like: I wish things could just feel the same Like when Santa got me a Thomas the Tank Engine train. Just right for our kind of Christmas.

On Track to Xmas: N Scale!

In toy trains N Scale is 1:160. That’s not very big.

Sqrrl! chant/sings a laundry list of Christmas symptoms for “Happy Merry Christmas.” Choo choo trains rhymes with candy canes. So it’s in. Kidsong.

Northwest Stories also chants their alt-pop, but it transforms “Christmas Eve” into mythic magic here. All the decorations are on display, And that Christmas train keeps chugging away–I will stay awake.

Krayko Breezy raps out how much he wants to be with his boo in his “Wishlist.” He even want to help her with the tree, put a train down below. But the rhythms have some stuttering impediment that makes me suspicious.

On Track to Xmas: HO Scale!

Scale HO for toy trains is 1:87. This is half of the O Scale and is the most popular.

Roger Miller set the standard for Xmas toy train songs with his country lullaby “Old Toy Trains.” This 1967 for his two-year-old son promised the goods but advised Don’t you think it’s time you were in bed?

1968: Glen Campbell brings a childish impatience to it.

1983: Raffi brings a childish internationality to it.

1985: The Statler Brothers bring a colorless march to it.

By now, no one wants OLD toys. So LITTLE is the new descriptor.

1989: Randy Travis brings a paternal assurance to it.

1998: Nana Mouskouri brings an angelic innocence to it.

2000: Toby Keith makes a sing-along out of it.

2008: The Forester Sisters bring mystical wonder to it.

2011: Matt Andersen brings elder wisdom to it.

2011: Jessica Lea Mayfield brings a homespun poverty to it.

2012: Mirusia Louwerse, Carla Maffioletti and Kimmy Skota bring a celestial transcendence to it.

2013: Inuit Susan Aglukark makes it a bit of a chant. (With Native translation.)

2013: Restless Heart make it redneck somehow.

Let’s end with the 37-year-old Dean Miller looped into his dad’s original recording for a duet. Touching.