Let’s hear some old songs about time! Happy New Year, everyone!
“Christmas at Ground Zero,” ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, 1986
The world was still in the throes of the Cold War in the 1980’s, so this holiday themed apocalyptic tune from the Prince of Parody (dunno if that’s his actual title but it sounds good to me) hits a nerve in addition to being pretty darn funny. Look for President Ronald Regan about halfway through in the video. The air raid sirens fading out at the end genuinely creeped me out at a teenager, because fear of someone ‘pushing the button’ and ending the world was still a thing back then.
That’s all, folks! Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas!
“A Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack,” Vince Girauldi Trio, 1965
I don’t know that there’s much more I can say about the seminal TV special and its jazzy soundtrack. TRIVIA: The tune everyone calls “The Charlie Brown Song” is actually named “Linus and Lucy.”
“Blue Christmas,” Elvis Presley, 1957
While Elvis was not the first person to record this holiday staple, his version seems to have struck a chord with folks over the years. For the more musically inclined, the song also contains an inside joke in its use of ‘blue notes.’
“We Need A Little Christmas,” Percy Faith & His Orchestra and Chorus, 1966
Originally written for the Broadway musical “Mame,” this version adjusts the lyrics a tad. The ‘grown a little leaner/colder/sadder/older’ section is removed. The ‘Its one week since Thanksgiving now’ interjection is also not present, which makes sense as this version is sung by a chorus. Either way, its a happy little song.
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings,” Barenaked Ladies featuring Sarah McLachlan, 2004
From the holiday album “Barenaked for the Holidays,” this mash-up of two holiday standards combined with the wonderfully up-tempo performance makes for a refreshing change of pace.
“Merry Christmas Darling,” Carpenters, 1978
Christmas songs old and new are frequently covered by different artists over the years, and such is the nature of these things. Personally, I think this one shouldn’t be touched.
TRIVIA: the official name of the duo was just ‘Carpenters’ without the definitive article.