Friday, December 24, 2021

It Was Christmas Eve In The Drunk Tank...

You'd think this would have to be the last Christmas Music Post for the year. (Stop cheering at the back!). No-one wants to hear Christmas songs after the twenty-fifth, do they? And no-one wants to be blogging on Christmas Day. That would just look sad.

Hah! You don't get off that easily! And like I ever cared about looking "sad"! 

I'm working on the twenty-sixth so there's a very good chance I'll come home and bash out another of these after tea on Boxing Day. Also, on Christmas Day Mrs Bhagpuss and I have generally had enough eating, drinking, movie-watching and cracker-pulling by the evening, leaving just enough time to get some dailies done and in my case bang out a quick post.

Most years it's not much more than a virtual greetings card, something I've already prepped for this year, but I've also not stopped rooting through YouTube for seasonal songs yet and I'd hate to waste all that work. 

Seriously, it is work. There are thousands and thousands of the things! I never noticed just how many people feel the need to record whole albums of Christmas songs. Nor how bloody awful most of them are! Anyway, I have enough bookmarked that I ought to be able to get at least two more posts out of them, including this one. Quite possibly three. 

And then we'll be heading into New Year, for which I will definitely be doing some kind of musical celebration, thankfully not seasonally themed. Do people actually write New Year themed songs? I guess U2 did. Anyone else? Hmm....

On New Year's Day itself I will once again be working - always assuming the Head Buffoon hasn't shut everything down for the widely-anticipated post-Christmas circuit-breaker - but chances are I'll have blown my musical stack on New Year's Eve. Oh well, I expect I'll think of something.

And now - the Christmas Eve tunes! If I'd thought of it before this very moment I might have tried to find some songs that do, in fact, mention the night before Christmas, but I didn't. Oh, wait...

 Assassination on Xmas Eve - Jeffrey and Jack Lewis

When I began getting back into music after the decade-long interruption that began when I first set foot in Norrath back in 1999, one of my earliest discoveries was Jeffrey Lewis, the anti-folk anti-pope. I love his deadpan delivery and he's very funny, although he can also be very political, as I think he's probably being here, when he and his brother cover an Archers of Loaf song. It seems to be about... something. Maybe a real-life incident? I knew I should have done some research. It's a pretty faithful cover, anyway, although somehow the original contrives to come over as considerably more tuneful. Arguably it could hardly be less tuneful than Jeff and Jack but that would be uncharitable and entirely out of keeping with the season.

Winona Ryder Hates Christmas - Fake Shark Real Zombie

Does she? Does she really? I kinda doubt it. It's strange how often her name gets thrown in to lyrics or band names. This isn't even the first time a song about her has popped up on this blog. I realise that makes it sound like I had nothing to do with it but of course I'm just as prone to dragging her name out for effect as anyone. She's almost as much a cultural artefact as a real person. Weird how that happens to certain actors, usually but by by no means uniquely women. I've always liked her, since I first saw her in Heathers. She's had an up and down sort of career but she's been great in a ton of things I rate highly. She's wonderful in Stranger Things so there's plenty more to come from her, I'm sure. Just not a Christmas movie, if these guys are right about her.

Don't Believe in Christmas - The Sonics

Winona hates it but the Sonics deny it even exists. This is two great songs bolted together (Subterranean Homesick Blues and Too Much Monkey Business.) to make one more. It's barely more than a minute and a half long, too, which makes it perfect.

Must Be Santa - Bob Dylan

I just stared at this open-mouthed when I first saw it. I mean, where do you even start? It opens like the Pogues then lurches sideways into something that sounds unnervingly like the theme tune to the Smurfs. Bob himself looks like Iggy Pop having a relapse and the video looks like Francis Ford Coppola directing an episode of Peaky Blinders. This man has a Nobel Prize. For Literature!

Linus & Lucy (Charlie Brown Christmas Theme) - Geoff Downes

This is what you get if you type "Prog Rock Christmas Songs" into YouTube. Well, it is after you've scrolled through about a thousand unlistenable covers of Greg Lake's I Believe in Father Christmas and Jethro Tull doing their imaginatively-titled hit, Christmas Song

If this is prog there must be something wrong with my ears because all I hear is jazz. It's fun, though, and the video's great. Also the person who posted it put it up in memory of a friend who died of Covid this year, which is a bittersweet note on which to end.

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