CHRISTMAS CAT AND THE PUDDING PIRATES by married team Christopher Lillicrap & Jeanette Ranger is another kidmusical full of shouting and giggling. In a British way. On the SS Santa Claus the characters are colorful. The Captain checks in music hall fashion that everything is “Ship Shape.” Wot fun. “Myrtle the Beautiful Mermaid” is a siren song of fate and love. The old school R’n’R of “Pudding Rock” is a show stopper of enjoying the Christmas pudding. Danceable. The show degrades to treacle after that. No pudding thievery is sung about. Sorry.
Sometimes the ocean-going way is so seductive, it invades our carols without our faces filled with actual salt spray. These metaphors can be powerful.
Check out Carbon Leaf’s “Christmas at Sea.” C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-S. O. S.: A boat afloat at sea; Row you to me–Christmas at sea. Charming indie about missing you.
Alkaline Trio headbands the punk of “Snake Oil Tanker” with observations like: This time you’ve dug yourself an anchor too heavy to move ahead with. It’s never felt colder at Christmas. So there. Bang.
The Spongetones bring an elegant classiness to their mixed metaphor poetry piano bar tune “There’s a Star.” Starts with a ship and a shore. There’s Christmas in there… Must be something about redemption.
A tight squeeze in this category “Christmas Time in Motor City” is dandy industrial rock (multi-media) from Was (Not Was). An ugly cityscape ends with the image: I sit and watch the traffic panic, it sails away, Look at this…It’s Christmas Day… Noice.
Mostly sailors an conscripted onto their floating death traps. Few do it as a lark, a look-see ’round the world. Doesn’t mean they can’t have a good time, but no one cares that they do.
Classic The Who explore the Cold War tensions with “Rael Pt.1 and Pt. 2.” In this rock opera, China threatens Israel with naval might. Now Captain, listen to my instructions: Return to this spot on Christmas Day, Look toward the shore for my signal. Will it be war? Townsend never finished this….
In Doug Stone’s hokey country “Sailing Home for Christmas” the troops are headed to a foreign shore. They’ll be home ONLY in their dreams. Psych! (Which war? You decide!)
Little Red Ambulance’s “Sailing Home for Christmas” rocks pop in a responsible way. Besides which the sailors have been gone for seven months and are honestly homeward bound in time for the holidays. Celebratory.
Boats do many things well. Resting at the bottom of the sea it one. For Christmas.
Princess Ariel from Disney uses shanty-lite for “Christmas in the Ocean.” Buried treasure does make a good gift.
SpongeBob SquarePants uses doo wop to illustrate his “Wet Wet Christmas.” Splash squish. Better music!
Glad Host’s The Aquanauts do an experimental deep dive with “Christmas Underwater.” Dark and disturbing (throwing horses overboard!)!
“Sunken Letter” by The Christmas Band is a tragic turn of the mundanity of a sailor’s voyage made cruelly ironic by our knowledge of the title. Soft folk twists the knife.
Derivative (homage to ‘Octopus’), yet delightful, “Christmas Under the Sea” by Colin & AJ rocks and kidsong rolls with some alt-oddness. Fun (except for Lydia).
Love Boat, y’all. It’s the holidays!
R – Dot uses the metaphors like a rapper in his “Christmas Lap Dance.” He asks, he gets, but the rules are clear: Ima′ let her drive the boat but I′m the captain! Naughty Xmas.
Daniel Silverman has only one item on “My Christmas Wish“: you. But this amateur nasal rocking is boyishly charming in its earnestness. Sail away with him girl.
Ronson Kwan’s “Christmas in July” is more studio sophisticated, but its slickness is suspicious. It’s Autumn, it’s Christmas, it’s July… As I sail across the sea of summer days I search the space, the empty arid sky For the memory of autumn rain. Could be love… Poets and madmen, am i right? Pretty indie pop.
The Waitresses made a novelty splash in the early ’80s with “Christmas Wrapping,” which is as hip hop as ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’ But this missed cute couple don’t go out to lunch, or meet at his boat, or trick-or-treat together. The seasons pass until they are fated to cross paths at Christmas. Jazzy club rock.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.