X Files-mas: Monsters

The notion of ‘The Monster’ predates all literature, and the Latinate root of the word seems to denote simply ‘Warning/Instruction’ (like literature is s’posed to do). Monstrophy tells us a lot about a culture. That’s what all these posts are about. Sometimes, monster’s a catchall for the odd outlier, the not-us. Here’s where those unspecific entries fall.

A+ Cake (feat. MC TC Mc) embody this generality with “We Wish You a Monster Christmas.” Listing centaurs, vampires, and your cat isn’t compelling. Nor is the parody (despite the rap coda).

The Universal Monsters were a successful film genre from the 1930s but reached great fame in weekend TV offerings during the ’60s. Lots of fun comedy and rock songs from that. Like Len Maxwell’s “A Merry Monster Christmas” album from 1964.

Santa’s Monster Bash” by Dwight Frye and the Crew of Creeps is a welcome bluegrass palate cleanser. It’s a who’s boo of creatures.

Peter Pan Records put out their own hodgepodge of silliness with the album Monster Christmas Mash. Lessons are definitely learned. Probably later ’60s, but rereleased in perpetuity.

“Monster’s Holiday” was covered here earlier (though i credited Bobby Pickett with Buck Owens’s version). The Plainsmen rock the hell out of a different edition (not exactly Xmas–but cool).

Monsters Christmas” from Ys is nearly subvocal rap about some injured victim trying to react to some threat of some kind. There’s a cool story in here somewhere.

Red State Update raises the roof with “The Day All the Monsters Came to Church and Got Saved.” They loved Jesus, too. A Christmas miracle.

Christmas Countdown: 700

Dionne Welch takes the reins of the church choir and announces “This Christmas” with soaring faith and awe. She begins: 700 years of our hearts crying out You sent your words through the prophets–and looks like prophecies of the Jayby’s birth rang out centuries before the first Christmas. If you’re counting (Matthew is).

Christmas Countdown: 1000™

Let’s keep the beat up with more exaggerations about how great Xmas is. Reminding me of John Denver (???) Clint Black wails “Looking for Christmas” to medieval instrumentation, but for a good cause: the Nativity. Does he find Xmas? Well, he closes his eyes and sees a thousand lifetimes since we’re all the Magi after all (hu-wha?).

Bonfire Band begins their “Christmas Medley (Joyful Song)” also back at the first Noel, in the land of a thousand. The other medlied songs blur together for me, but that phrase opened up some eyes–how many people for that Herod census?! Maybe that no-vancancied inn only had like two rooms?

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” is a hymn about proselytizing all ’round the globe. Takes a few mouthfuls. Ben Haake rocks it out with more a thousand words/years not being enough. His auditorium-full in this recording joins in to make it so. Raise praise for days.

Tunepushers ultimately amps up the adrenaline, though, with the cheesy pop of “There’s a Thousand Reasons to Love Christmas.” Pogo out the list! Oh Yeah! Can i get a Hey, Man!

Christmas Countdown: 1000

A thousand is like a lot. More than you could hold, puppy-wise. So get ready for the hyperbole section of the countdown (like millions wasn’t too much… though, Romans used M for 1000 and called it mille, ‘cuz a thousand thousands was like inconceivable). Christmas, after all, can be THAT much.

Silent Night” by Klip! Klap! from ‘Carol in a Box: A Christmas Musical for Children Young and Old’ is NOT the song you are expecting. Sure it’s pretty, but that’s because of the thousand lights ever twinkling. Percussive kidsong.

While we’re into the luminescence, Alan Jackson associates the Xmas city with where a thousand lights glow. (The country just gots the mistletoe, duh-huh. “Let It be Christmas” is gentle pop with a twinge of country.

Let’s go to God. The Carolleers sail through the hymnal “Now Light One Thousand Christmas Lights” to make the dark skies bright, which will signal the season, but–hey–let the Fire Marshall know, ‘kay?

Christmas Countdown: 1,000,000

A million names for God?

Minister Felix prays to God for “A Million Christmas Days.” Quiet country folk, so sentimental as all get out.

Taking the elevator music approach to gospel, Sandi Patty belts and suspenders out “Light of a Million Mornings.” This celebration of JC soars a little, so just relax and let it wash over you. (P.S. That’s 2738 years, so He’s still got some breakfasts to go before we get there.)

X-Claim: hallelujah

Praise God, it’s Christmas! Right? Well, that’s hallelujah. As exhortations go, that’s right up there. So let’s get serious. (Many songs hail the hell out of God, but we’re narrowing our play to Xmas tie-ins.)

Offering up a gratuitous hallelujah, We Grow Up offer the alt-rock “Office Christmas Party.” Pretty song, pretty odd song, so we’ll take this walk here.

Just as millennial, House Bat hollers out “Holiday Hallelujah.” It’s inclusive (see the Hanukkah reference at its end).

Leonard Cohen’s ubiquitous number gets the Xmas facelift with Cloverton’s “Christmas Hallelujah!” Likes it.

Doug Welborn means well, but “Hallelujah Christmas” comes off a bit clumsy. Could be country, could be blues….

.38 Special pops with an odd “Hallelujah It’s Christmas.” It is childlike in its reverence and guitar licks.

Folky bluegrass consumes The New Christy Minstrels with “Sing Hosanna, Hallelujah.” That first exclamation, btw, is a pious cry for help. Peppy!

Look Out, here come’s Dolly! “Hallelujah Holiday” is the slick corn pone you’d expect from the first lady of the big top.

Hallelujah, It’s Christmas” gets around, but Roger Whitaker’s laid back awe and reverence is what excites me.

Leona Lewis raises from orchestral to gospel in “Your Hallelujah.” This is all about the Lord, but i’m reading boyfriend subtext here. Is that just me?

ad silentnitum, repetitive

Here we go again. Songs about Xmas to infinity and beyond.

charizma! attempts to make us blush with their BLUE ALERT “Another Very Sunny Christmas,” blasting all their problems with some comme ci comme ça rap. Seems personal. Not professional.

Mine Like Me garage rocks “Another Lonely Christmas” with more feeling. Not so much catchy, as creaky.

Winning the loss game, Rev. Oris Mays (backed by Aretha Franklin and The New Bethel Baptist Church Gospel Choir eulogize “Another Christmas Without My Son.” This is how gramps rapped, kids.

Carol Told by an Idiot, 21

The return of Christmas is reminding me of something i read in a book one time. Let them tell you.

Let’s Have a Merry Christmas” is Mark Hand’s way of saying through somewhat dreary pop music to AGAIN give a hand to the King. Of Kings. It gets real repetitive.

Kiana Valenciano recounts the whole Jesus significance with “Once Again It’s Christmas.” this Childs version of easy listening is hard to sit still for. So kneel.

I’ll barely squeeze in the off-putting easy listening gospel annoyance of Brenda Russel and Howard Hewett with “Christmas Will Return.” They ring the rafters with song, but my ears are smartin’.

Then i should also let in Travis Cottrell’s grandparent-friendly smarmy pop “Once More.” Christianity is all about the guilt.

Jeff Stevenson and Ray Shell get all surfer pop to led you to the Lord in “It’s Almost Christmas Again.” Cowa-buon-natale!

Aaron Lindsey gets more animated with his gospelly “Christmas Time is Here Again.” Lots of instrumentation, but the R+B goes all disco–prepare ye.