Except for these songs. WordPress has provided this nifty player, so you can listen by just clicking the little arrow. Or not, since you’ve probably heard each of these songs several times today if you’ve left your house, or turned on your television, or spent more than two minutes awake and not wearing noise-cancelling headphones.
“Last Christmas” by Wham!
Yeah, we're totally straight.
Easily my favorite Christmas song. Firstly, you have to love a musical act that finds it necessary to include punctuation in their name. Wham!, Panic! at the Disco, . . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of the Dead–these are all my people. Secondly, the lyrics make it sound like maybe someone carried around a year-long grudge after their crappy gift was returned. Last Christmas/I gave you my heart/but the very next day/you gave it away. Was that a gold-plated heart on a cheap chain that you bought at the Gold Connection kiosk at the mall? Because I would have returned that garbage too. Thirdly, I imagine George Michael singing this to a guy, which makes me feel really progressive.
“Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano
I don’t know the words to this song. I’m under the impression that “feliz navidad” is the Spanish equivalent to “Merry Christmas”, but I like having the rest of it shrouded in mystery. I’m worried that if I Google the lyrics I might find out that Spiro Agnew is not actually mentioned, and this will RUIN CHRISTMAS FOREVER.
“Mele Kalikimaka” by Bing Crosby
Last year I had to have a root canal a week before Christmas. This sucked in a way that I can only describe as falling somewhere between “flat tire in an ice storm” and “sitting on a public toilet seat you thought was fairly clean but realizing too late that it was wet”. I decided I wasn’t going in bareback for this event, so I coughed up the thirty bucks for the N2
O. I highly recommend this. In fact, if you have a dental care regimen that is keeping you away from procedures requiring nitrous oxide, you may want to stop doing that. I had a high old time on this stuff. I was in the chair for two and a half hours, during which time “Mele Kalikimaka” played three times. True to its reputation as laughing gas, the nitrous oxide elevated the mildly enjoyable song to absolute hilarity for me, and the dentist had to stop every time it came on so I could degiggle myself. At one point, the entire staff came in to watch me, I was so entertaining. Really, stop brushing. The N2
O is worth the pain and dental bills.
“Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt
What on Eartha Kitt . . . ?
Once upon a time, there was a miraculous claymation program called “The PJs”, subtitled, “The Last Funny Thing Eddie Murphy Ever Did”. Every now and again, Thurgood Stubbs would break out a ridiculous statement of surprise or exasperation, my favorite of which was, “What on Eartha Kitt?!?” At the time I didn’t know who Eartha Kitt was, but I assumed based on her name that she was a giant woman whose girth rivaled that of the planet. Later I was introduced to the tiny goddess who sat right down at a White House luncheon and had the balls to tell Ladybird Johnson that her husband was fucking up in Vietnam. Eartha died last Christmas, but she did “Santa Baby” in a way that Madonna and Marilyn only wished they could.
“All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
Normally, Mariah Carey at the microphone sends me running for the earplugs, but she owns this song. Also, this song is pivotal in “Love Actually”, my favorite Christmas movie that’s not really a Christmas movie, even though Carey didn’t sing the version on the soundtrack. It makes me want to show up at some guy’s door with a boombox and a series of posterboards telling him I will love him until he’s a rotted corpse, but I’m guessing that move doesn’t work in reverse.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid
When I was nine or ten years old, it was en vogue for bands to do massive concerts and put out compilation records for charity. Live Aid, Farm Aid, Band Aid. Pick a noun and add “Aid” to the end and you’ve got an instant 80s fundraiser. This song is like “We are the World: Christmas Edition.” The participating artists reads like an eighties who’s who: Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Culture Club, George Michael, Kool and the Gang, Sting, Phil Collins, Jody Watley, Bananarama. Actually, I don’t love this song as much as I love to hate it. The lyrics
are steeped in privilege: “Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you.” Yes, this is the point of altruism, to feel superior to people dying of hunger and disease. Who approved that line? I’m looking at you, Bob Geldof.
“Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C.
This song has it all: illin’ and chillin’, a morality story about returning dropped wallets, collard greens. I thought I was a real badass with this song. My budding white girl brain thought I was getting a peek into the holiday customs of African American families. I felt quite diverse. Since then I’ve experienced several Christmases with black members of my own family, only to find out they do pretty much the same boring crap that white people do; discovering this was worse than finding out about Santa.
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by U2
This is the first song I knew was a U2 song, and I decided right then and there that I would spend at least one Christmas with a man begging me to come back to him. This has yet to happen.
“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Gayla Peevey
The only song on earth that could make me overlook the painful grammatical inaccuracy of "rhinoceroses".
You love this song too. I know you do, because only two kinds of people say they don’t love this song:
So which one are you, huh? Liar or robot? That’s what I thought. Besides, this song resulted in an actual hippo being purchased, which blows my mind. Immediately following this post I’m sitting down to pen the lyrics and music for “I Want a Gorgeous Young Guy to Move Into My House and Clean it All Day Until I Come Home at Which Time I Want Him to Pleasure Me and Feed Me Tasty Things”.
“Blue Christmas” by Porky Pig
The first time I heard this I had to pull over, I was laughing so hard. Since then, I’ve become somewhat immune to its LOL-inducing abilities, but come to my house in a week and I guarantee you’ll find me full of tequila, splattered with chocolate and powdered sugar, giggling through mouthfuls of Muddy Buddies
while this song plays on a loop in the background. Not because of Christmas, it’s just what I do every Monday night.
“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft
You're as charming as an Orc
Holy shit. I just found out the name of the guy who sang this song. He sounds like a World of Warcraft character. This is based completely on my uninformed bias, since I don’t follow World of Warcraft and have no idea what the character names are like. Bonus: the song is completely constructed of insults you can use year-round. “I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole” is my personal favorite.
That’s it. All the Christmas songs I can tolerate. Basically, you’ve just been subjected to an elaborate public compilation of my holiday mix tape. Merry Christmas.