X Files-mas: Mari Lwyd

A trip to South Wales reveals a tradition lost to time in which a horse’s head (skull) was set on a pole and followed house to house with singing for food and drink (wassailing). The translation for this community fete seems to be ‘gray mare’ or it could ‘blessed Mary’ bc of the wintry times it’s enacted. I’m betting on the former.

For local flavor let’s sample a Celtic verse: “Mari Lwyd” by Carreg Lafar. Huh? (Take it from me, the songs about this oddness are mostly NOT English.)

Eglish Acoustic Collective seem to codeswitch in their “Mari Lwyd.” Might be a manger in there.

Wassailing With The Mari Lwyd” by Sloar+Mordor gives a prog rock side to the hand out beggary.

S.J. Tucker sings to “Welcome Mari Lwyd” with New Age picking and thumping. Open that door, man!

House Made of Dawn is more threatening in the give and take of their “Mari Lwyd.” Stale bread!

A Silly Little Time takes the time to warn all outsiders of the “Mari Lwyd.” Scary stuff, but old folk Celtic so also pretty.

X-Files-mas: Krampus endures

We’ll skip the foreign language songs (mostly German). But Krampus gets play in some truly offbeat holiday offerings.

The Night I Battled Krampus” Deseis admits he didn’t win… a rap battle! Yet, Krampus went away with his tail ‘twixt hoofed legs. Tune in to find out why.

Flesh Eating Foundation shouts out the polka-based “Oh Krampus!” basically begging the fiend to relieve the poor singers of their brats. You’re our only hope.

Spelling it out for our benefit Make Like Monkeys pop sing “K-R-A-M-P-U-S.” These are the kids begging to not be taken/eaten/whatever.

Gary Roadarmel & The Parish Commissioners retro rock the same plea in “Here Comes Krampus.” Yeah yeah yeah.

Krampus-philia from Actually makes “Krampus Redux” a bit squirmy. That thirteen inch tongue! Girl pop, but not that way. [As a ‘redux’ you must be wondering where the first rendering went. It went into nearly amateurish “Krampus Christmas.” It’s celebratory.]

RaSquatch waxes the ska dance floor with a premium “Krampus.” Put on your red hooves and get up!

AAIIEE gets quietly philosophical for their “Krampus Is an Evil Man.” But this confrontation between gruesome and attitude doesn’t fare well for the little boy.

Getting lazy Krampus Claus vrooms “Krampus It’s Cold Outside” by substituting every fifth word with Krampus. Does it work?

Folky country from Twitch n Jimbers evokes Elvis when we’re invited to keep “Kreepin’ with Krampus.” It’s a marvelous time. That does work.

One last parody from Tom Smith. “We Need a Little Krampus” paints the furry freak with rose colored glasses. Funny.

Swinging big band music from The Glenn Crytzer Orchestra jazzes ups ol’ “Krampus.” Mercy!

X Files-mas: Krampus continues

Children never learn, so the examples continue.

S. J. Tucker gets into more detail with whispery indie string plucking in “The Feast of Krampus.” Geneology, modus operandi, arsenal… it’s all here.

Parody break: The Courtesan & The Cabin Boy pick on ‘Frosty’ with “Krampus the Demon” (bonus points for Durante impression), ‘Rudolph’ with “Krampus the Christmas Monster,” ‘Dreidel’ with “Krampus Krampus Krampus,” and ‘Christmas Island’ with “Krampus Island.” Not to mention “Carol of the Krampus.”

Coral Bells pictures “Krampus” as nothing more than some drifter who plays hob with your kids. Old world pop.

Begging for a visit from “Krampus” la-goons gets garage with instructions on naughty behavior.

A bit of the ol’ rockabilly from The Lathums brings pain your way thanks to “Krampus.” Goes down easy with that backbeat.

Ode to Krampus” returns us to the terror with Strap on Halo’s echoey New Age metal.

Contrast that to Pudding’s “Ode to Krampus” in which clubbers gawk and fawn over the monster. Flirtatious spoken and synthed mixed media.

Then there’s Jowe Head’s “Ode to Krampus,” a funeral march of warnings for those who know what they did.

Tight Pajamas goes full beer barrel with “Krampus, Oh Krampus.” This party piece celebrates the effects of the stick. ‘Sall good now.

X Files-mas: Krampus begins

Remember, remember the fifth of December… As with Hallowe’en being the night before a holy day (Michaelmas), Krampusnacht is the night before The Feast of St. Nicholas. While THAT should be Christmas, JC isn’t Santa. But the goatman/Devil might be a product of Central Europe BEFORE Christianity spread there. Just more cultural appropriation, or melding pot, or serving up the best bits of every culture so we have the coolest one regardless of origination. Just think of the Santa-Krampus team-up as good cop-bad cop (one gifts the good, the other beats the naughty).

Too much? Then try a cartoon! “The Krampus!” from Jack Squat JB throws down some polka and funny accents to make us learn (and behave). [He also has a cute parody called “Run, Run #Krampus.”]

Jingle Daddy mixes live and animated with his intermediate class “Krampus Night!” It IS swing (as well as a Squirrel Nut Zipper parody), so hella fun.

Aaron Fraser-Nash has an homage to the 2005 film with “Krampus Sings a Song.” This growly rap (he gave us a “Part Two” too) introduces us nicely. Fraser-Nash has a side hustle of impersonating movie characters singing so he’s turning pro at this.

Before you get too comfy, I’ve gotta share Houdmouth’s “Krampus.” This alt-rock loop repeats the same two lines over and over until you get it (or you don’t). And that’s Krampus.

Upbeat pop from Les Barons brings us “Xmas with Krampus.” Disappointing Santa makes Krampus mad. Write that down.

Or p’raps heavy metal is where it’s at to fully get “Krampus Night.” Let Firemage show you.

Rap? Bludstaind gives us a “Krampus” primer of some gore.

Coupl’a more details: the chains, the bells, the basket, and the lie detector-thing. Miss FD has it covered in her “Krampus Song.” Swing with accordion.

Wild Earp uses old timey country music to craft his kidsong “The Krampus Song.” Thus the lessons endeth. Learning is fun-damental.

X File-mas: Kaiju

Godzilla may be King of Monsters, but those other guys need some screen time, too.

Not a fan of foreign verse, but give “Kaiju Christmas” by Radioactive Karaoke a chance. Ostensibly a Gojira song, this little band pop number brings a children’s glee to glee club.

Jimmie’s in the Basement celebrate when “It’s a Kaiju Christmas.” This retro electronic rock is the new ‘Monster Mash.’

The Radish Friends borrow a great one with “The Christmas Kaiju Cometh.” It’s the end of all good times. Groovy folk rock.

Make Like Monkeys are their usual cool retro rocksters when creating “Santis! The Christmas Kaiju.” Just because we can add giant claws, doesn’t mean we should…. [Not to mention their “King Kong for Christmas” as another of their cool monster musical mysteries. Fab, boys, simply fab.]

X Files-mas: Jacob Marley

Oh sure, you got some Xmas ghosts. Can you ever have enough? If you had to name a Par-Tic-U-Lar Christmas spirit, could you carol it?

Aimee Mann makes alt-folk out of “Jacob Marley’s Chain.” It’s a great metaphor for one day at a time and other bothers of sobriety.

To explain that chain, Jason Alexander sings (as a dog) “Link by Link” to Kelsey Grammar (as a bird) is some animated Christmas Carol from TV. Dogs DO go to hell.

Getting reggae, “Jacob Marley” tells Ebeneezer what’s coming Christmas Eve in this ditty from The Benefit.

Majestica uses epic metal for their “Ghost of Marley.” That oughta convince Scrooge.

Bill Drake uses prog rock (metals naive younger brother) to introduce “Jacob Marley” to you.

Ace Enders & Nik Bruzzese allow Scrooge to thank “Jacob Marley” in their indie number. Triumphant.

Make Like Monkeys uses Scrooge to introduce us vis “The Ballad of Jacob Marley.” Seems grateful with indie rock.

Is there room for rap? “Jacob Marley” by Them Nights in Lago punctuates R+B pain with dropped rhymes. Okay fine bye.

Nasal country from Mark Westendorf frames the confession of “Jacob Marley.” We get an actual Woe is me.

Ballad of Jacob Marley” by JD & The Straight Shot is bluegrass suffering you didn’t realize this sinner was capable of. D’you thing he achieved any redemption after helping his fellow usurer out?

X Files-mas: Gremlins

As the Joe Dante 1984 summer blockbuster film with this title featured a Christmas setting (and such unholy violence it spawned the PG-13 rating), it figures significantly in the Christmas novelty song offerings.

Aud Andrews kicks us off with a rocking “It’s Gotta be Gremlins (Best Christmas Movie).” If you disagree you can make your own awesome song about something else.

Screeching metal from the grow fangs recounts spreading the word with “Tellin Leo That ‘Gremlins’ Is My Favorite Christmas Show.” Say it don’t spray it (not around gremlins).

A Very Gremlin Christmas” recounts much of the movie with the Furby ripoff Gizmo burbling along. Claire Idstrom’s pop here is decidedly downbeat, though. Take with a grain of midnight feeding.

X Files-mas: Golems

Is Marie Shelley’s famed monstrous creation merely a Talmudic throwback? The golem is life (human shaped) created by and animated most often by other humans. An Old Testament entry suggest this could be the progenitor of the human, or a blank slate for good or evil purposes. Like us!

Element Animation (feat. Dan Bull) offers up “The Ballad of Bob the Snow Golem.” The peripatetic night watchman is bad then good then bad again. Least it stopped that zombie horde. Cute rap against Minecraft.

Der Golemz offers bilingual “Der Golem Has Stolen The Stollen.” ‘Tis a simple story: Golem takes Christmas bread, eats and sickens. Celtic-like for a fairy tale feeling, but still alt-pop. And fun.

X Files-mas: Gojira

This city-sized monster debuted in motion picture form nearly 70 years ago and melted our hearts world-wide with its atomic flame breath. Rumors taint the icon as a rip-off and wannabe, but we root for him to save us from worse. He’s OUR monster. Or kaiju (gesundheit).

The Towels party up the place with “Godzilla Christmas,” a retrospective rocker that introduces us nicely. Escape to America!

Three Day Threshold dramatize “Santa Versus Godzilla” with kicky folk pop. Despite torpedos and reindeer attack formation, the Great Gifter seems outmatched. Then the caroling begins….

Reefus Monns ups the folk quotient for “The Devil, Godzilla, and Me (At Christmas).” This sing-along barely includes Godzilla (there’s also Cliff Richard, a horseman of the Apocalypse, the Pope, and a turkey) and seems an exercise in kaleidoscopic allusions. But, what fun.

While we’re weird, The Submensas present “Godzilla’s Gift of Life.” This BLUE ALERT rocks the figurative language so we’re not sure if the monster is paganism, commercialism, or just bad music.

The Benefit finally paint our menace in a warm light. “Godzilla Saves Christmas” narrates a Kaiju fight between Rodan and ‘Goji’ that’s keeping Santa from his purpose. Then, well you saw that title. Slow pop.

X Files-mas: Goblins

Perhaps a French version of the German kobold, perhaps a demonic mischief maker from a specific region, goblins may even be a nickname for orcs in Middle Earth. They get short shrift and are hard to take seriously as a category of evil. Wait’ll you get a load of these.

Nekrogoblikon’s album Goblin Island elevates the monsters into alien invaders here to kill all of us or at least set fire to our children. In their metal “Goblin Christmas Armageddon Part I” they unspeakably imitate Santa and crew to spread misery. [“Part II” is the species-cide aftermath where the goblins celebrate with a goblin clown. No kidding.]

Brokeback Jockstrap characterize “The Christmas Goblin” as a Santa-killing, reindeer-eating monster who mostly wants to go to the bathroom in your house. Metal rock funny.

The Christmas Goblins” according to Elina Laivera are protecting the Tree of Life from humans. So long as we burn the Yule log, they won’t come down our chimneys. So get them trees, kids. New Age confusion.