First of all, this post is late. Sorry about that. Yesterday I was just too darn busy baking cookies to get this thing up in a timely manner. I know. It’s a crying shame.
Second of all, this post features holiday music. I’m also sorry about that, because this is the Special Time of Year of Holiday Music Overkill. I have mostly avoided it by avoiding shopping at actual stores, but the other night I had the misfortune of spending 25 minutes inside of a Sur La Table and by the time I left I was on the verge of murderous rage over the term “Jingle Bells.”
Yet just because I am an evil, cranky cynic who doesn’t enjoy some holiday music doesn’t mean I have to hate all holiday music. And so I present to you: a list of holiday music I like. It’s kind of long this time, but then again it’s the Special Time of Year of Holiday Music Awesomeness. Commentary and explanations below.
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Merle Haggard — If We Make It Through December
I sure hope they do.
Patterson Hood of the Drive-by Truckers — The Thanksgiving Filter (acoustic version)
Perfect and poignant vignette of the family you love but don’t necessarily always like. Sample lyric:
“You wonder why I drink and curse the holidays
Blessed be my family from 300 miles away”
Frightened Rabbit — It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop
For anyone who’s ever been in that kind of relationship.
Barenaked Ladies — Lovers in a Dangerous Time
OKAY. OKAY OKAY. This is not actually holiday-related in the least. This is just the Barenaked Ladies covering a regular old Bruce Cockburn song. But the official video was shot in the snow somewhere in Toronto in the early 1990s and features a couple in mom jeans running across a field. Somehow my brain has come to associate this with Christmas time. Regardless, it’s a nice follow-up to the previous song. Notable also for the lyrics that helped me through the bad winter of 2004: “Gotta kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight.”
Vince Guaraldi Trio — Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)
Is it weird that I associate this song more with The Royal Tenenbaums than A Charlie Brown Christmas? Because I do.
Bing Crosby — I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas
Aren’t we all? At least, I always did. Damn all those December 25ths spent pretending it wasn’t 62 degrees and sunny.
Frank Sinatra — Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Traditional, yes. But you don’t hear this one as much in the usual shuffle of holiday songs. Perfect happy glow.
Frank Sinatra — I’ll Be Home For Christmas
There’s so much yearning in his voice. If only in his dreams? My heart, it breaks.
Guy Lombardo — Auld Lang Syne
You can’t move forward without looking back.
For more Mixtape Master madness, peep the playlists on these blogs: