We all have Holiday rituals. Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, I begin the season by listening to Elvis Presley’s Christmas Album. I rock out to Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me and Santa Claus is Back in Town. Then I shed a few tears when I listen to Blue Christmas, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and If Everyday was Like Christmas.
Next, it’s on to The Carpenters’ Christmas Portrait and Merry Christmas Darling along with their wonderful renditions of classics like Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
While writing this, it becomes clear that I relive my childhood wonder, teenage angst, and early adulthood all in that one day of listening to those three Christmas Albums. I laugh, I cry, I have a drink (not always in that order) and enjoy a day of complete nostalgia before the Holiday madness.
Now here we are on Christmas Eve and as I wait for the big guy to arrive, I thought it’d be fun to look at some more, shall we say unusual Holiday songs I have enjoyed through the years. Here it is: my list of ten Christmas/Holiday Songs for your pleasure and/or horror!
1. Robert Earl Keene’s Merry Christmas from the Family. We’ve all been there! I love this video and its humorous take on family dysfunction – my favorite theme.
2. Grateful for Christmas by Hayes Carll, one of my favorite song writers. If you’ve never listened to Carll, I highly recommend his KMAG YOYO (And Other American Stories) as a late Christmas gift to yourself or someone you love.
3. Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother (Christmas Version) Jerry Jeff Walker is another favorite. I’ve seen him many times in concert and he always delivers. Back in his early days, he was known for getting kicked out of towns that didn’t appreciate his after parties. But he’s slowed down a bit. For a listen of the original click here. And for full disclosure this is a Ray Wylie Hubbard song.
4. Ray Wylie Hubbard’s marvelous sing-a-long at the 2010 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is a great song. What I love about this video is Hubbard’s interaction with the crowd. He’s one of the cool ones. Here’s a bonus track from his album Delirium Tremolos. Though not a Christmas or gospel song, it is about a family reunion, so I think it’ll count for Christmas. Choctaw Bingo.
5. Emily Lou Harris did a wonderful Christmas album back in the 70’s. I was so happy she included Christmas Time’s A-Comin’, a song Mama used to sing to us when we were little. So this one’s for Mama.
7. Keeping in line with SNL and my favorite Holiday songs and skits, here’s a 2005 TV Funhouse Video, Christmas Time for the Jews.
8. And of course, could we forget Justin Timberlake and Andy Samburg’s Dick in a Box? Parental warning: this is the uncensored version, as you could probably tell by the title.9. Here’s one from my childhood. The great Buck Owens with Santa Looked a lot Like Daddy. Love that Bakersfield Sound! 10. Before I tell you the last choice, I have to admit it has been called the worst Christmas Song of all time. BUT it’s Dylan! So here it is: It Must Be Santa from Christmas in the Heart. And for a bonus song, I’ll add John Denver’s Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas.) You may like the Alan Jackson cover. It’s more old-school Country. So there you have it. Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year, whatever you celebrate may it be a time of joy and peace! Catch you in the new year! If any of you have a favorite Christmas Song a little off the beaten path, I’d love for you to share!