Mr. Claus

Worth repeating: The Rubettes (feat. Alan Williams) sing us “Santa’s Song” as a party all in of itself.

Mitchell Musso (of Phineas and Ferb) honors Mr. 12/25 with the tedious pop of “Thank You Santa.” It’s a song.

Pirate shanty chanting from The Radish Friends hails “Santa! Danty! O!” They are all over the place, but they seem to love the old guy.

Scott Fagan chorales thanks when presenting “A Christmas Present to Santa.” Kidsong of the turd kind.

The Wiggles don’t OWN kidsong, but they swing a big didgeridoo when it comes to audience participation. “Let’s Clap Hands for Santa Claus” gets the li’l ones going.

Nooshi mashes up state and church with “Santa Doodle.” It’s that kidsong propaganda and the march step of faith together again.


Bunch of Believers turn ‘It Must be’ into a whole new ska game with “So Many Santas.” This is often a point AGAINST the Saint. And the comparison to JC doesn’t prop him up. But… it’s Ska! Cool.

I Don’t Know Margo grunges country to give us an adoring “Secret Santa.” Kinda rocks.

Allowing for the stupid fresh of Santa, Bob Seger & The Last Heard beseech with correct r’n’r reverence “Sock It to Me Santa.” Bud Logan reinterprets “Sock It to Me Santa” as electric country with disco twang. That IS different.

The Soul Saints Orchestra get back to the funk with “Santa’s Got a Bag of Soul.” This mid-’90s James Brown homage delivers on the henhs.

Brook Benton slops on the soul for a real “Soul Santa.” 1971 vulnerability. Man, that flute!

Flourish out with some fine War parody: “Sleigh Rider” by Santa’s Elves. That chingon es muy trucha.

Babbo Natale

Worth repeating: Martin Mull’s “Santafly” is disco down to funk.

D’modes plugs electric pop into rock while extolling that philanthropist who “Signs His Name with an S.” He’s so cool. {And IT’s cooler than Steve Earle & The Dukes‘s.}

Party the Hut and Friends funks out when detailing the positivity of “Groovy Santa.” The Cat with the Bag, that’s who.

Lounge lizard cool extends to “A Ring-A-Ding-Ding, It’s Santa.” Joel Kopischke smarms up the Big Guy’s rep, but he’s still a member of the Elf Pack. Hey hey–Ho!

Libandano Urfam leans into “Merry Zeppelin” with amateur rockishness. Santa comes off cool, though.

St. Nicholas

Worth repeating: Jimmy Allen & Tommy Bartella doowop the rock of “When Santa Comes Over The Brooklyn Bridge.” Killer sax solo makes up for the weak 1959 girl backup. (But, it was only a dream!)

Mr. C” from Luke Stanage is thoughtful indie rock about the swift rider of Christmas. It has childlike wonder ballooning out of a tempered body.

The lugubrious “The Spirit of St. Nicholas” begins with Jesus worship, then Bud Davidge extends plodding electric middle of the road pop to the strictures of our deliverer of gifts.

Spoken word poetry from Mary Thienes Schunemann sets the stage and the man in “St. Nicholas Verse.” Pretty intense.

Dinah Washington croons “Ole Santa” about how magical the reindeer man is. R+B, but i can’t believe it’s not gospel.

Rock Sugar metals the parody with “Don’t Stop the Santa Man.” I understand you’ve vowed never to hear Journey’s hit ever again. But, trust me on this one.

Tore Open the Shutters and Threw Up the Spinach

Pulling on the beard is just one more thing that happens because of a “Bahumbug Baby” in Dave Tough’s indie-pop cautionary tale.

Grampa’s got one of those Santa beards in JJ Heller’s pop/folk “Christmastime.” Not sure what’s so traumatic, but she insists we’ll all be fine in a week or two.

The Heebee-jeebees may be confused when they seek someone to “Arrest This Bearded Gentleman.” (To the tune of ‘God Rest Ye’.) They don’t seem to understand who this guy is. But then, the theme to Gilligan’s Island rears up. What? Now i’m confused! Skip-per-r-r-r!

Beard of Good Cheer

Preston Penn lead with their chins in the children’s rock’n’roller “Santa’s Beard” from 1965. He always wears it, kids. In case you were wondering.

The Quaint & The Curious turn green (and incarcerated) over the comparisons betwixt their own and Santa’s. The ukulele easy listening plodding seems at odds with the unfairness that “Everyone Seems to Love Santa’s Beard.”

Whale Holiday Marching Band served up a song parody of Cake’s ‘Short Skirt/Long Jacket’ way back in ’01. “White Beard/Red Jacket” points to the prime features of the Great Giver. The Enablers and Friends wore it better in 2015.

Royalty Free Lyrics “The Ballad of Kris Kringle”

Let’s try rewriting an actual song! This was my Christmas card for 2023, and it caused some confusion as i never said in so many words that it was based on the ballad of the legendary John Henry, the steel driving man. Now, that’s a tune!

The Ballad of Kris Kringle

Kris Kringle was a little elfling
Sittin’ in zero degrees
He picked up a doll and (a) wooden choochoo
Said: ‘Toys’re gonna be the death of me, Lawd Lawd
Toys’re gonna be the death of me’

Jeff Bezos said to Kris Kringle:
‘Gonna bring that AI on shift,
Gonna bring ChatGPT on the job
Gonna outdeliver all your gifts, Lawd Lawd
Gonna outdeliver all your gifts’

Kris Kringle told ol’ Siri:
‘A Saint ain’t nothin’ but a man,
But before I let your block chain beat me
I’d die with a present in my hand, Lawd Lawd
I’d die with a present in my hand’

Kris Kringle said to his reindeer:
‘Rudolph, why don’t you sing?
I’m throwin’ down chimneys bikes and baby dolls,
Just listen to that sleigh bell ring, Lawd Lawd
Just listen to that sleigh bell ring’

Kris Kringle said to Google Bard: ‘Hey
Google, you’d better pray
‘Cause if you miss that little ghetto boy,
Tomorrow’ll be your buyout day, Lawd Lawd
Tomorrow’ll be your buyout day’

    Alexa said to Kris Kringle:
    ‘We think this chimney’s cavin’ in’
    Kris Kringle said to Amazon: ‘Hey, Man,
    That ain’t nothin’ but my reindeers zeroin’ in, Lawd Lawd
    That ain’t nothin’ but my reindeers zeroin’ in’

    The man that invented the Turing Test
    Thought he was mighty fine,
    But Kris Kringle made billions happy
    And SantaBot only handled nine, Lawd Lawd
    And SantaBot only handled nine

    Kris Kringle barnstormed the suburbs
    Delivery was striking fire
    But went so hard, he broke his sleigh’s harness
    He smashed up his reindeer and he died, Lawd Lawd
    He smashed up his reindeer and he died

    They took Kris Kringle to the North Pole
    And they buried him in the snow
    And every child’s mother comes along by
    Says: ‘There lies such a nice boy, Lawd Lawd’
    Says: ‘There lies such a nice boy’

    Well, every Christmas mornin’
    When the carolers start to sing
    You can hear Kris Kringle’s joy start to rise
    You can hear Kris Kringle jingling, Lawd Lawd
    You can hear Kris Kringle jingling

I originally started with the idea of Santa Claus vs. AI, because it’s everyone vs. AI here in The Digital ‘Twenties. The idea percolated (or festered) without going anywhere in particular for a few weeks. Then John Henry came to me from somewheres and I did that switch-words thing for a bit. So, here we are.

Royalty Free Lyrics “Those Bells”

Another fun idea generator (theft) is to grab a song or poem that you like or just know well and swap out some words or phrases to ‘parody’ some other idea. It beats coming up with everything on your own. While only moderately impressed with EA Poe’s needy, greedy body of work, i do lean in on his so-called ‘last poem.’ It’s great for high schoolers, ‘cuz it’s atmospheric, complex, and freakin’ nuts. I would read this aloud to a class, gathering speed, until i was red-faced and spittling. Wot fun.

Those Bells


Hear the horses with their bells—
                 Jingle bells!
Signifiying Christmastime, they're better'n cowbells!
        How they jingle, jingle, jingle,
           While the beasts stay on the track!
        While the cold wind does its thingy
        All my fingers no more tingle
           Now I feel like a coatrack;
         Beating them, again,
         Against the wooden bench,
To the tinnitus and throbbing that so painfully swells
       Frozen bells, bells, bells, bells,
               Bells, those bells—
  Frozen jingling, endless jingling of those bells.


        Hear the house of worship bells,
                 Booming bells!
What a world of high tithing their insistency compels!
        Through the high mass at midnight
        How they test their acolytes!
           From the comfortable halls,
               And please stay calm,
           While they got you by the wall(et)
    To the altar boy with baskets, for your right
               To bear alms!
         Oh, from out of the pulpit,
What a gush of old phonies look like old hypocrites!
               How they smell!
               How they dwell
           Upon finance! Does it help
           To 'charge' more than they can 'sell'?
         To the bingeing and the cringing
           Of those bells, bells, bells,
         Of those bells, bells, bells, bells,
               And more bells—
  To the remand and the demand of those bells!


         Hear sudden telephone bells—
                 Brazen balls!
What crock of wonders, with their hard-sell sales calls!
       To the startled bread winner
       How they interrupt dinner!
         Too much garrulous to hear,
         They can only sneer 'Sir',
                  In my ear,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of my cash,
In a slick appropriation of my dwindling, poor stash,
            Calling again, again, again,
            Let me take it in the den,
         Become a charity member
         Hey, how'd you get this number?
       By the front of the living room
            Oh, door bells, more bells!
            What a sale the students sell
                  Fund Raising!
       How they smile, and ask for more!
       What a story at my door
While the carolers also expect something!
       Yet the bank it fully knows,
            By the debits,
            And the credits,
         How the budget ebbs and flows;
       Yet the bank distinctly tells,
            In the expense,
            Of the statements.
       How the budget sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the number of those bills—
             Of those bills—
     Of those bills, bills, bills, bills,
            Bills, bills, bills—
 In correcting and collecting of those bills!


          Hear the totaling of these bells—
                 Cashier bells!
What a stupid spending spree their long receipt retells!
        In the chaos of the mall,
        How we shiver in thermals
  At the condescending toy-sound of Ka-ching!
        For every sack that's stuffed
        With pajamas and earmuffs
                 Is parting.
        And the censors—so much tenser—
       They that picket at the Spencer's
                 Some marching.
        And who strolling, trolling, rolling,
          In that short dress--eye catching,
         Feel it's boring to be standing
          Waiting in line for Santa—
     Elves are neither man nor woman—
     Elves are neither cute nor Tolkein—
              They are Temps:
        Their 'head elf' it is controls;
        And he trolls, trolls, trolls,
             The long line from the elves!
          And his merry elf hat points
             To the next one he anoints!
          And he dances like he's twelve;
          Clocking overtime,
          On the shopping mall's fat dime,
             To the lineup of those elves—
               Of those elves:
          It's so asinine,
          He let short dress cut the line,
            To the winking of those elves—
          Of those elves, elves, elves—
            To the blinking of those elves;
          Keeping us in line,
            As he speaks, then spells,
          He can't even say your name,
            To the laughing of those elves—
          Of those elves, elves, elves—
            To the charging for photos,
      From those elves, elves, elves, elves—
              Elves, elves, elves—
  From the abuse of those obtuse little elves.

Whew. That took a minute. Original songwriting, it turns out, can be easier than stealing. I even think some of that was pretty good, though i’m not sure why i set in in 1991 (telemarketers? a phone extension in the den? the mall?). Now, as to its musicality… much has been made of the original Poe-m. I’ve even mentioned the cool folk Phil Ochs song of it in this blog before. Now i’ve discovered an Alan Parsons Project take on it–cuts fewer lines, though it is sonorous in its churchiness. I don’t believe i’ve ruined the musicality of the text by relieving myself on it. It plays itself.

Yuletide: Grog

Sailors work hard for their pay, and a ration of rum. Do they overindulge given the chance?

Christmas Card from a Drunken Sailor” is a gentle, almost soothing ballad from Rob Snarski. No F-bombs. Just regret.

What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor Early Christmas Morning?” asks the Windy City Gay Chorus. Frivolity ensues. And side-taking.

Not to be out-twisted, Alexander P. treats us to “What Shall We Do with a Drunken Santa?” The steps differ, and the tempo runs crazy. [Less imaginative, but Bee-you-ti-fully sung comes the Tawny Shantymen version.] [Amped up comes The Georgia Tech Glee Club with a rapid retelling.]

Yuletide: Tight Quarters

Is a boat the perfect place to party, or just another place to party? For Christmas, i mean. Or not.

Party the Hut & Friends chants out “Christmas on a Boat” like the party is in military formations. Swinging jazz rock.

Mark & The Mongrels reveal “Christmas on a Yacht” is an ideal never to be missed. They missed it. Indie mopeyness.

Time for a ‘Banana Boat’ parody! “A Latke Boat Song” from Merkel & The Merkelettes makes the holiday party a bit of a drudge. It happens. Drei-del!