Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Sunday Memory Drawer - Those Dreaded Christmas Songs One More Time

It's back!  Just like stale fruit cake.   And since it's Sunday, the piece does have some memories sprinkled throughout.

Okay, folks.  This is one of those Christmas pieces that you have seen before.   But you've also seen "Charlie Brown Christmas" and "It's A Wonderful Life" dozens of times.  If you can do that, you certainly can read some comedy blog entries more than once.   And this is now a holiday tradition for me on this blog, so I have compiled several years worth of these snarky comments.  You should read through it, because there is some new stuff peppered in.
I'm talking about those wonderfully bad Christmas songs you can't avoid at this time of year, or really after Labor Day for that matter.

There's always some radio station playing nothing but one Christmas song after another. Some are terrific and I could listen to them over and over. And, yet, there are others that should come around just once a year and that's it. And, when you listen to some of the asinine lyrics (and subtext), your mind wanders...

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: So, you know that, on the first unfoggy Christmas Eve, Rudolph was downsized right out on his sorry ass.  Technically, with the power he wields, Santa Claus is clearly part of the evil 1%.  Or maybe he brings in newer and younger reindeer.  From Mumbai.   I recently heard a version of this done by Dean Martin. In German. I'm wondering what bottles were finished off in the recording studio that night. Meanwhile, remember that stupid little Rudolph didn't even exist until the Montgomery Ward store invented him in 1939!

Santa Baby: Every female singer in the world has attempted this ditty. But, only  the ultra slutty Eartha Kitt does it justice. Meanwhile, is that one gold digging whore or what? Honey, I'd get you some nice Christmas earrings but your ankles would probably knock them off.  Let's all be thankful that some Real Housewife hasn't tackled this mess...yet.  Meanwhile, poor Eartha Kitt actually died on Christmas Day several years ago.   This should have prompted some updated lyrics.

"Santa baby, there's a question.  I have to ask it.
I think next year, I'm gonna need a casket." 

Frosty the Snowman: A wonderful Christmas memory for children. A friend whose shelf life is maybe three weeks tops.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: This song suggests the onset of more psychological problems. "You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout. I'm telling you why." So, some poor kid grows up afraid to show one single emotion. No wonder we wind up with school shootings. Can you imagine some innocent 8 year-old boy? "My grandpa died last night, but I can't cry about it because then Santa Claus won't come." I do, however, have a fantasy rendition of this. I would have loved to hear it sung by Joan Crawford.

Same song as above sung by Bruce Springsteen:  Okay, I have an announcement.  I have never been a big fan of the Boss.  Totally overrated and a virtual fraud as a human being.  He's a tax cheat and doesn't back up his political viewpoints with his own actions.  That aside, this record sounds like it was recorded in Bruce's basement and I can't stand the laughing and mugging done by him and that dead fat bastard Clarence Clemons.  Oh, how did you handle your five wives at Christmas time, Clarence?

The Little Drummer Boy:  "The ox and lamb kept time.  Pa rum pum pum pum."  Wow, that's impressive.  Sign them up for "America's Got Talent."  I hate this song, but my mother bought the 45 rpm record when it first came out.  She played it over and over and over and over.  Pa rum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum.

Deck the Halls:  "Don we now our gay apparel."  Only valid for singing in certain states.

The First Noel:  Noel?  Either a Christmas carol or a Chicago lamentation about a transit strike.

Baby, It's Cold Outside:  Every screwball pairing has attempted a version of this song, which was originally in the movie "Neptune's Daughter" as sung by Red Skelton and Betty Garrett.  When are Barack and Michelle going to put out their version?  They have only a month left.  Meanwhile, the best rendition I've ever heard was done by Pearl Bailey and somebody named Hot Lips Pages.  They ad lib dialogue throughout it and the record is hilarious.

Winter Wonderland: The lyrics from the fifth grade always stick in my head. "Walking around in women's underwear."  Except I am now aware that somebody actually put lyrics to the whole song. 

Lacey things, the wife is missing. Didn't ask for her permission.
I'm wearing her clothes, her silk panty hose.
Walking around in women's underwear.

In the store, there's a teddy.  With little straps, like spaghetti.
It holds me so tight, like handcuffs at night.
Walking around in womens underwear.

In the office there's a guy named Melvin.
He pretends that I am Murphy Brown.
He'll say "Are you ready?"
I'll say, "Woah man! Let's wait untill the wife is out of town."

Later on, if you wanna, we can dress like Madonna.
Put on some eye shade, and join the parade.
Walking around in women's underwear.

The Christmas Song: Same thing. The fifth grade version. "Chet's nuts roasting on an open fire."  Mel Torme had a big hit with this.  He was a known dirtbag in Hollywood.  I hate him.  I hate the song.

Last Christmas: First done by George Michael and Wham in 1984. Think about the song's refrain. "Last Christmas. I gave you my heart. But the very next day, you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears. I'll give it to someone special." How warm and special does that make you feel? This is the first ever Christmas FU song.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Underneath the Christmas tree last night. Does Little Sally question this behavior? Probably not, because she's already seen Mommy kissing the cable guy, the mailman, "Uncle" Phil, and her "best friend" Muriel.  Wait till little Rufus does a DNA test on himself and discovers that Santa is his baby daddy.

We Three Kings of Orient are:  Since not everybody digs myrrh, I hope they bring gift receipts.

Do You Hear What I Hear by Whitney Houston:  Oh, boy, Whitney, I hope not.

Sleigh Ride by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme:  Now that says Christmas to me.  Holiday tunes sung by two Sephardic Jews.   Eydie left us a few years back and I am still inexplicably wistful when I heard this tune.  Blame it on the Bossa Nova.

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful: Now, why the call for the faithful, joyous, and triumphant to come forward? These folks have already bought in. It should be "Oh, Come, All Ye Despondent, Broken, and Agnostic." No wonder less people are going to worship these days. They're been literally preaching to the choir.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: This is indeed my favorite "modern" Christmas song. I love Judy Garland's version first introduced in "Meet Me in St. Louis." And, Michele Lee did a tremendous job with the song in a 1990 episode of "Knots Landing." But, the rendition that always makes me sad is Karen Carpenter's. A voice lost too, too soon. And hearing her always makes me want to reach for a snack.

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer: Another absolute knee slapper from the morons who live in red-colored states. Guffaw, guffaw. If I laugh anymore, my wooden teeth will fall out. Only some jerk in Arkansas would enjoy this despicable mess. Meanwhile, Grandma has no idea how lucky she has it. Ending a life of Midwestern misery after being a head model for one of Blitzen's hoof prints.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow:  A big hit with NYC Department of Sanitation who's always looking for overtime.

Silver Bells:  We did a version of this when I was a kid.  "Silver bells, Santa smells, and Easter's on its way."

Here Comes Santa Claus Right Down Santa Claus Lane:  Because the song doesn't really work if Santa's coming down the Belt Parkway.

Holly Jolly Christmas:  Rhetorical question---is holly a noun or an adjective?  From this song, I can't really tell.  Another annoying ditty by Burl Ives, who worked just one month a year.  Yes, I know he was a respected actor and Oscar winner, but nobody really paid attention except for when he showed up with these annoying Christmas records.

All That Soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas:  It took 50 years but that crap is now officially overplayed.   Please break Schroeder's fingers immediately.

Feliz Navidad: The annual reminder that Jose Feliciano once had a career. Gee, Jose, don't the lights on the tree look wonderful? Oh, never mind.

The Chipmunk Song: I can hear this once a year and no more. I remember this being played constantly when I was a kid. Not only did it sell tons of records, but it also probably drove up the sales of helium tanks.

Happy Christmas by John Lennon and Yoko Oh No:  A new candidate for most annoying and overplayed song.  That whispering to the kids at the beginning literally creates cavities in my teeth.  My finger can't get to the pre-set dial fast enough.  If John Lennon had not been shot in December and so close to the holidays, this record would have been in a dumpster behind the Dakota years ago.  I wish we could redo it a bit so one of the whispers you hear at the end is "can I have your autograph?"

Mamacita, Donde Esta Santa Claus:  This apparently was a big hit in 1958, but I never heard the song until I moved to California.  And with good reason, because it's straight from below the border.  Mamacita, there's a border??  What the hell-o is that-o?  Check out the lyrics that essentially turn Christmas into Cinco de Mayo.

Mamacita, donde esta Santa Claus?  Donde esta Santa Claus?
And the toys that he will leave.
Mamacita, oh, where is Santa Claus?
I look for him because it's Christmas Eve.

I know that I should be sleeping,
But maybe he's not far away,
Out of the window I'm peeping,
Hoping to see him in his sleigh.

I hope he won't forget to clack his castinet,
And to his reindeer, say,
"Oh Pancho, Oh! Vixen, Oh! Pedro, Oh! Blitzen,"
Ole! Ole! Ole! cha cha cha.

Mamacita, donde esta Santa Claus?
Oh! Where is Santa Claus?

Okay, where the heck do I start?  Santa clicking a castanet?  Changing the names of the reindeer?  Meanwhile, Santa Claus better be one smart cookie to know that the Perez household needs more presents than might have been reported in that letter to the North Pole.  You see, there's a whole family of cousins, aunts, and uncles living in the basement that nobody knows about.  And, if you're really looking for Santa Claus, little Mexican kid, you might want to look in the car trunk.  Probably not played at Trump Tower.

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams:  Yeah, this fun song is a hard listen now that Andy's gone.  I have a friend out in LA who once went out caroling with him.  How freakin' cool is that?

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas:  A huge hit in 1953 and, given it was the Eisenhower administration, I will just assume most people were asleep at the time.  Some annoying ten-year-old urchin named Gayla Peevey sings it and she wants a big, smelly animal under her tree Christmas morning.  I guess her drunken uncle isn't the answer.  Authorities always tell us to avoid giving puppies as Christmas presents since people don't realize that the dog is probably shitting all over the house on December 26.  I guess the same goes for bigger animals.  Are there a lot of returns to a hippopotamus pound?

The Christmas Shoes:  Hands down, the worst Christmas song ever! As somebody who has actually spent two different Christmases watching my parents' ultimately fatal illnesses play out against a backdrop of merriment, why would you want to infuse a joyful holiday with such incredible sadness? But, that's just what the song "The Christmas Shoes" does.

This piece of dreck has been around for about 10 years, and allegedly was a big hit on the country charts when it first came out. It's all about some poor little boy who wants to buy some new shoes on Christmas Eve because his mom is on her deathbed. There's no Christmas miracle at the end of the song. I'm guessing Mommy checks out as predicted. Off to meet Jesus wearing some Payless specials. And this little boy's left alone. Merry F-ing Christmas!

I am sure many, many people are forced to endure such sorrow every year around this time. I certainly had my share. I once spent a Christmas Day shuttling between two different hospitals visiting my father and my mother. But, like we all must do, I tried to move forward. Yet, every damn Christmas, this song gets played as a constant reminder. Can we at least appreciate joy for one single moment without thinking about dire consequences? The writers of this disaster should go off to meet Jesus themselves. Real soon.

Do They Know It's Christmas:  That horrible Band-Aid song from 1984 which supposedly donated all profits to curbing famine in Ethiopia.  The tune has the reverse effect on me whenever it comes on the radio.  I stick my fingers down my throat and puke up everything I ate for dinner last night.  A group of new British rock singers did a new version of the song with lyrics tied to fighting the Ebola virus.  Meanwhile, more people will likely die from the flu this winter.

Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses:  Folks, for me, the most infectious Christmas song is this one.  It just makes me bounce up and down.  It's actually ideal as background for cutting off a driver in a mall parking lot as you fight for that last space.   Or when you still have one present to wrap and you just hit the end of Scotch Tape roll.  Oh, shit, I can't tell where the last piece ended. Whatever the case, listen in and enjoy.

Dinner last night:  Beef and mushroom risotto at Il Fornaio.

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