Yuletide: Ferry Tales

Some people commute by boat. Sound fun? Smells terrible.

Hop Along” is a curse hurled at traveling. Yr Open Kitchen Window throws indie pop at all the poetical posings: And when you traveled for Christmas by the ferry Did they carve ‘happy’ or ‘merry’ into the granite? Curiously clubby.

More of an annual treat, Phil Ryder (feat. Olivia Barker) ferries to “Isle of Arran,” a hefty Scottish offshoot known for pretty scenery. This childish Celtic carol has that droll understating thing so you can’t tell if there’s any happiness to be had.

Peachy Keen also brings us kidsong twaddle in the form of “Christmas Eve in Sydney.” The ferries smile in sunshine! Well, it’s short.

We’ll just sail on, purrs Toni Braxton (feat. Shaggy) in their trip to have “Christmas in Jamaica.” R+B freestyling.

Just a few miles from L.A. begins Ron Bell with disco calypso to get to “Christmas on Catalina.” It’s an island. So there’s a boat to get there.

Even the ferry whistles chime in! soft rocks Jim Indell & The Indelibles with “Christmas on Staten Island.” Yeah!

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: 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: O Scale!

Scale O for toy trains is 1:48. That means just over an inch for the tracks’ width.

Memories of toys bring Scapeghost to folk pop the song “Christmas is Real.” the myths of childhood: No happier time than planes made of balsa wood, Train tracks laid out on your kitchen floor. Haunting.

The Kind of Christmas You’d Expect is asking around about wishlists, when lo and behold–“I Want a Train” is the self same answer for each. Poppin’ folk pop. Lovin’ it.

Good Trouble wants to be good in order to have “A Very Good Trouble Christmas.” Santa’s been watching, y’know. They don’t want clothes or coal. What they do want isn’t exactly clear–but there’s a train whistle blown.Fun rocking pop.

On Track to Xmas: Refill That Firebox!

Santa Train!

Patty Loveless hillbillies the country of her “Santa Train” with all the insouciance of a true Nashville star. Clickety clack!

Blake Shelton twangs the nasal chambers for his own “Santa’s Got a Choo Choo Train.” Lots of country fussin’ for this repeat.

The better reprise is The Tractors’ “Santa Claus is Comin’ (In a Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train).” This is gold.

Santa’s Train” from Artie Rossi & The Duck Band has a killer sax backup, but this rocker needs to be on the BACK porch.

According to The Hipwaders, Santa is coming down, down, down in “Santa’s Train.” Check out the inventory, this line is loaded. Rock’n’roll, but still a little country.

On Track to Xmas: Sorry for the Delay!

Pissy parody from David Goody jangles ‘Jingle Bells’ into “Train Delays at Christmas.” He’s pretty mad, wanting to nationalize the whole mess.

Goombay Dance Band brings the dance despite a late train “Wishing a Merry Christmas” to you and to me. Syncopated mush.

Musical comedy from Michael Mott (feat. Jessica Vosk) wants those relative hangers-on to catch a plane OR a train to JUST LEAVE the house. It was Hanukkah/Xmas, so prolly lots of people. “To All a Good Night” checks all the boxes and hits all the notes.

Then there’s just NO LATE TRAINS. Without you, Lizzy Hilliard warbles with alt-pop lightness, Christmas “Doesn’t Mean a Thing.” Pretty.

Dead Orchids layers the rock with militarism, grunge, and pop declaring that one or the other, they’ll be “Home for Christmas.” They caught the last train. That always helps.

On Track to Xmas: All Aboard!

Themes for this year are about Winter/Christmas people moving. Less seasonal would be the locomotive train. Horse drawn since 2000 BCE, steam driven since 1809, connecting all continental interiors since 1890… but then surpassed by automobiles and airplanes soon after that (and we’ve already covered those concepts/machines in this music blog). (Okay super speed trains revived us in the 1960s and their environmental edge becomes apparent by 2000). But here in the USA (esp. West), most people just don’t. Heard of ’em. Seen ’em in the motion pictures. But not all aboard.

Yet, Christmas and trains DO go together in so many ways: traveling home, choo choo toys, Santa’s magical ride, hey–even that little electric thing around the tree for decoration! Trains can even be a great metaphor for the holiday troubadour.

Merle Haggard tells of the family that wants Grandpa to visit. They won’t go see him, and he won’t get on a plane (what in the name of Hallmark is the story here?)–so it’s time for “Goin’ Home for Christmas” on a train. Maybe he useta be a hobo. It is country music, see?

Chet Nichols overlays the country with New Age in his “Christmas Train.” Another homeward run for one and all. Nice scenery!

Whispery country from Elle Carpenter whitewashes a “Colorado Christmas” in Norman Rockwell tones (kids in pajamas on the train drinking hot chocolate for cryin’ out loud). It’s a ride.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra growls out prog rock (knock me over with a shovelful of coal!) about a lonely man taking a railway trip. Something about no one meeting him at the station, and a single set of footprints… i’m not sure about the story here either. But “The Snow Came Down.” That’s for sure.

A Slippery Slope.29

Been having some fun bending the rules to find skiing songs. Let’s push the envelope a bit more (it’ll still be stationery).

Buddy Wassisname and the Other Fellers lead us into this fresh hello with “The 12 Elan.” Celtic folk salutes the Ski-Doo, a skiing machine! Clunk! Diddly-dump! Delightful!

David Anthony Berg tends more country with “Snowmobile Cowboy.” It’s all about that loud noise. It’s branded.

Imaginary Friends (w/Bert Collins) help a crashed Santa with a “Little Ski-Doo Christmas.” Jug band polka! For the kids!

Jud Strunk’s 1969 “Santa Song” celebrates the new mode of transpo, the Moto-Ski, with folky rock. Those reindeer were so unreliable.

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Taking a drive to the wintry slopes, Joey Clarkson elevates pop with killer pipes in “Cold Christmas.” I see a sled… and mulled wine. Might i suggest skis instead?

Fat Little Bastard’s “Impending Doom at the Ski Lodge” is a suspenseful drama of electronic twittering. Is that a helicopter closing in–?

Marcus Latief Scott sees people out ice skating, but My little brother said let’s hit the slopes! “It’s Christmas” shouts the R+B. Get wit’ it.

Danny and The Juniors twist and shout with their 1964 bandstand grandstand “Let’s Go Ski-ing.” Do you get the boogie woogie in there? I do! Get some!

A Slippery Slope.18

Dolly and Kenny two-step a pop country “Christmas to Remember.” Ski lodges, cuddling, and hitting the slopes frame some great romance of soulless syncopation.

Joe Paradiso’s “Back to the Ski Lodge” bends to SciFi more than ski-fi with its wobbly electronica. Druggy.

Pagan Holiday’s “Skiing” is a garage rock list of good/bads out of life. Just headband along.

Wondermint has got a “Ski Party” for you. Surf rock (natch) makes your sock hop into merino leggings hop. Fun!