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I thought I was the only one/Bert's leading off column...
Jack Howard, Photographer
Somerville | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:12 AM on 12.22.05
->> I admit it too, I'm a year-round closet Christmas song listener.

I thought I was the only one. My fiance doesn't get it. My father doesn't get it. The reaction when someone hops in my car in mid-July and hears "Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues, or 'O little town of Bethlehem' by the Young Fresh Fellows has always been a quizzical look and a confused "Christmas Music, now?"

I find that there are some times, in the car, when you just need Christmas music...An August saturday morning, crawling down the Garden State Parkway at roughly a foot a minute trying to wend your way through a toll plaza en route to some silly assignment, I find that Christmas tunes help to put it all in perspective, or at least, keep me calm enough to deal with the situation. It's hard to drive like a jerk and get angry at every other car on the road, while singing along in a falsetto voice to The Primitives rendition of 'Silent Night...'

It just does something: it's like an audio drug that kicks my happy meter up a good number of notches. If I'm a little down, it brightens me up and makes everything seem OK. If I'm in a good mood, a couple of favorite Christmas songs can put me over and make me positively goofy happy. Best of all, there's no hangover!

Here's a few of the songs in my Christmas Playlist:

Almost the entire "A Lump of Coal" album, released by First Warning Records in 1991 or thereabouts. This album features the songs listed above, minus the Pogues, plus several other cool tracks, such as 'We Three Kings' by the Odds, a rocking swing version of 'Here Comes Santa Claus' by Clockhammer, and a strangely haunting version of 'The First Noel' by the Crash Test Dummies with some of the vocals in that Basso Profundo that makes Barry White seem chirpy. Also on this album is a bizarre nihilistic spoken wordish reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' by Henry Rollins, which would probably scare any kid into being good, out of fear of a bad Santa...(this isn't in my main Christmas Playlist btw...)

Oh yeah, there's also a really cool Surf guitar version of "Little Drummer Boy" by the Hoodoo Gurus on this album, and "Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella' by The Wedding Present which breaks into the Whoville Song towards the end...

'You're a Mean one, Mr. Grinch' by Thurl Ravenscroft, from the original 1966 animated feature...(Thurl Ravenscroft was also the voice of Tony the Tiger, BTW...)

"Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses. Yup, hokey eighties new wave, but still brightens my day. Just a great little modern happy song of eternal optimism.

"White Christmas" by Bing Crosby. Just a classic. Reminds me of being 5 in the living room, while mom made oatmeal butterscotch cookies.

"First Snowfall of the Winter/Let it Snow" "I'll be Home for Christmas" "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" by the Carpenters. Again just brings me back to my childhood home, playing with toys on Christmas night, drinking Welsh Farms eggnog and far too many peanut butter cookies.

"Christmastime is here" Vince Gauraldini Trio, from the Peanuts Christmas Special...

"It must have been old Santa Claus" by Harry Connick Jr. (Somehow Cor got this song into the playlist, and it's really grown on me...) Happy Ho-Ho-Ho to you!

Mosts of the songs on a Frank Sinatra Christmas Album. Hey, its Frank!

"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" by Bruce Springsteeen. I'm from New Jersey, need I say more?

"So this is Christmas/War is Over" by Lennon/Ono. Just so touching.

"2000 Miles" by the Pretenders. Just read what Bert said.

"Do they Know it's Christmastime/Feed the World" The original BandAid version. I heard an awful remake of this song the other day and it made me sad to think that someone thought they could even come close to the wonderful feeling and multi-vocaled chorus of the original. Great song, great activism, great reminder to give back a little each year.

And many more...


Thanks for writing the column Bert!

Merry Christmas everyone!
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Kate Falconer, Photographer
Santa Cruz | CA | United States | Posted: 12:31 PM on 12.22.05
->> It was fun reading Bert's take on his christmas music. It was also fun looking up some of his playlist titles on iTunes and giving them a listen. For kicks - here is a Christmas playlist I finished up yesterday (though it is a work in progress sort of thing).
Santa Claus And His Old Lady (Cheech & Chong), Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt & Henri René), Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (Bruce Springsteen), 'Zat You, Santa Claus? (Louis Armstrong & The Commanders), Joy to the World (Whitney Houston & The Georgia Mass Choir), Christmas In Hollis (Run-DMC), What I Want for Christmas (Macy Gray), Run Rudolph Run (Chuck Berry), Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (Brenda Lee), Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy (Bing Crosby/ David Bowie), Gabriel's Message (Sting), Silent Night (MercyMe), Please Come Home for Christmas (Willie Nelson), Here Comes Santa Claus/Right Down Santa Claus Lane (Elvis Presley), Jingle Bell Jamboree (Keb' Mo'), Frosty the Snowman (Jimmy Durante), White Christmas (Bing Crosby)
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington | IL | United States | Posted: 2:15 PM on 12.22.05
->> My personal favorite (I find myself humming it in July)

Thistlehair the Christmas Bear - some have probably never heard of the group Alabama who sings it.



LIGHT the Tree, GIVE a Picture Book

AL
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 3:00 PM on 12.22.05
->> My favorite is "The Chrismas Song" (Chestnuts roasting on an openfire...) It was written by Two Jewish guys (Mel Torme and his writing partner) on a scorching day in the San Fernando Valley. It was so miserably hot that they wanted to write about something cold.

--Mark
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Brian Light, Photographer
Pennsville | NJ | USA | Posted: 3:03 PM on 12.22.05
->> I actually sent him an email after reading it stating the same thing Jack. I too listen to some year round when I need something to brighten my day. I suggested Jimmy Buffett's Christmas Island CD as some Christmas Music to try. I keep in in my Car and pop it in year round when I need it.

Brian
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Jerry Laizure, Photographer, Assistant
Norman | OK | USA | Posted: 3:17 PM on 12.22.05
->> No Christmas song list is complete without Robert Earl Keen's Merry Christmas from the Family.
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Adam Hemphill, Photographer, Student/Intern
Willimantic | CT | US | Posted: 3:38 PM on 12.22.05
->> The other day I burned "A Christmas Album" by Bright Eyes and it contains interesting renditions of lots of classics.
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Jim Comeau, Student/Intern, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 1:36 AM on 12.23.05
->> O Holy Night is on of the most beautiful songs in my humble opinion. Great meditation/relaxation song.
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Dave Amorde, Photographer
Lake Forest | CA | USA | Posted: 2:01 AM on 12.23.05
->> Hear-hear Jim. The only reason I listen to X-mas music is to hear OHN.
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Stephen O'Brien, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | Tx | USA | Posted: 2:41 AM on 12.23.05
->> Mark brings up "The Christmas Song." The version sung by Nat King Cole is the best I've heard. Awesome voice.

I forgot about "Santa Claus and his Old Lady" by Cheech and Chong. A classic in it's own way. It's always a HIGHlight to listen to. I haven't heard it this year on the radio and there's only three days till Christmas. Darn.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 2:20 PM on 12.26.05
->> It's funny ... I have received more emails and comments about this column about listening to Christmas music year round than anything else this year!

Thanks!

(Listening to Frank Sinatra's Christmas album as I type this ...)

The Kahuna.
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Cameron Davidson, Photographer
Arlington | VA | USA | Posted: 5:17 PM on 12.26.05
->> I go for the Merry Axemas Series by Steve Vai. Steve put together an incredible collection of rock guitarists to put a new spin on the old tunes - Think of Ted Nugent doing "Deck the Halls" or Jeff Beck playing "Amazing Grace." They're really good albums. A very different approach to Christmas tunes.
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Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Somerville | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:47 PM on 11.21.06
->> As I wander weak and weary through a keyword Search of "Christmas" on iTunes Store, I thought I'd revive this thread and see if anyone's discovered any cool new holiday tunes.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 10:51 PM on 11.21.06
->> "O Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel...."
well..not a Christmas song but for the other holiday around the same time (You say Chanukah, I say Hanukah)

PS.."Merry Christmas Baby"..the other Christmas tune by Bruce Springsteen
I also liked the Christmas song by the Chipmunks
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 11:03 PM on 11.21.06
->> For some reason these past few days I can't seem to get Patty Smith's music out of my head.

What does that mean?
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 11:09 PM on 11.21.06
->> do you mean Patti Smith as in "Frederick" and who did a killer version of Springsteen's "Because The Night" (I wanted to be a musician after hearing her sing this. Since I knew that would NEVER happen, I decided to photograph musicians instead)
or Patty Smyth, who is married to John McEnroe?

If it is the first one, you have great taste in music
if it is the latter, you feel the need to argue with someone over a match point, or something like that
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Jeff Gritchen, Photographer
Long Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 12:32 AM on 11.22.06
->> I prefer Adam Sandler's Hanukah Song
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Lucas Jackson, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:35 AM on 11.22.06
->> *blech*

Working in a Restaurant while listening to this stuff for months around Xmas time has turned me forever.

Enjoy!
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 7:31 AM on 11.22.06
->> Debra

LOL

So shoot me. Everyone, I mean everyone, wants to spell my last name with two 'L's, so why can't I spell Patti wrong?

The ball is in your court. Grin.
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Thread Title: I thought I was the only one/Bert's leading off column...
Thread Started By: Jack Howard
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