Saturday, December 08, 2018

holiday tunes to ruin your jolly

Even before I had any reason to be melancholy around the holidays, I have always been a fan of the most melancholy of holiday songs.  For years, my mom made fun of the fact that from around ages 5-7, we owned a record (yes, it was that long ago) that featured a song about an unloved little homeless Christmas tree.  Because was too young to do it myself, I would make her keep playing said song while I stood in the middle of the room and bawled my eyes out (if this isn't a pre-curser to using art as a release, I don't know what is.) She would whip this story out often, but actually, my tastes in holiday tunes always swayed a bit a bit sad rather than happy and bright.

1. Hard Candy Christmas  (Dolly Parton/ Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Sndtrk.)

This is hands down my favorite Christmas song and second only to Jolene in my Dolly faves.  While I love the Dolly-only version too, I like the multi-singer rendition from the musical best...

2. River  (Robert Downey Jr / Ally McBeal Christmas Album)

Sure, the Joni Mitchell is a classic, but I spent the entire first few years of Christnas in my current apartment with the Ally McBeal Christmas album listening to this version. This was when RDJ was on his comeback from serious drug problems, but before Iron-Man. (swoon)

3.Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (Mariah Carey)

While I also appreciate the original Darlene Love version, X-Mas is pretty much the only time to say you like Mariah Carey and have it be at all acceptable...

4 Blue Christmas (Elvis)

I am not usually a very big Elvis fan in general, having came of childhood in his less than stellar later years, but this always reminds me of grandmother's Christmas celebrations...

5.Baby Please Come Home (Jon Bon Jovi)

I get fun of for liking the Eagles too much, and their version is great, and sometimes in the first few bars, it's actually hard to tell this one and that one apart.  But I like the music more in this one as the song progresses than the original..

6. Last Christmas (Taylor Swift)

Perhaps my most contentious choice of a version, but while I like the song, I pretty much got over Wham in the 6th grade...

7. All I Want for Christmas is You  (Mariah Carey)

This one is always an infectious romp (see no. 3).  But, hey this is one that's actually not a little sad, except maybe in an unrequited love sort of way..

8. Have Your Self a Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland)

There are many great versions of this one, but I think Judy nails it best.  When I was a kid, I never picked up on the sad undertones of the song..

9. Same Auld Lang Syne (Dan Fogerty)

Stick a fork in me.  I'm dead.

10.  Carol of the Bells (Trans Siberian Orchestra)

I was strapped for a 10th one to round out the list, and while othe versions of this song leave me cold at best, and are annoying at worst, I've always loved how this one particular sounds like the soundtrack to a Christmas horror movie, so it made the list...

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