5 Christmas Songs You Forgot About (or Never Heard)
We're a week away from Christmas, and at this point, there's no avoiding holiday songs. Whether on your radio or in the store, "Jingle Bells" is playing for the 11-trillionth time, and Band Aid is once again feeding the world. Just when you thought you've heard every Christmas song there is to here, the internet comes to the rescue and surprises you with a few tunes you forgot existed or didn't know existed. Here are a few we recently (re-)discovered.
"Christmas Day," Squeeze
Recorded in 1979, British new wave band Squeeze extols the virtues of Laurel and Hardy, Morecambe and Wise, and other then-contemporary holiday traditions in their native land. Wrapped around those references is a tongue-in-cheek revisionist history of the nativity. It might take some time for this song to grow on you because it's out there, but it's a solid tune.
"The Twelve Days of Christmas," Bob and Doug Mackenzie
Comedians Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas created the Bob and Doug Mackenzie characters for their "Great White North" segments on the cult classic comedy TV program SCTV. Their success with those roles allowed them to record a movie (Strange Brew) and release an album as the Mackenzies (Great White North). On that album, they included a Canadian version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" that lampoons Canadian stereotypes. You'll be singing " . . . and a beer!" to yourself for the next week after hearing it.
"Christmas Wrapping," The Waitresses
The Waitresses are best known in the United States for their minor hit "I Know What Boys Like" and for performing the theme song to the TV show Square Pegs. In 1981, they released this holiday effort. Although it didn't catch on when it was first released, it later was featured in an episode of Glee and has been included in a bunch of TV commercials. The title is a pun, referring to both wrapping paper and vocalist Patty Donahue's rapping delivery.
"Knockin' Boots for Christmas," H-Town
Back in 1993, H-Town scored a #1 R&B hit and a #3 pop smash with "Knockin' da Boots." Apparently, the group thought they could cash in on the song's success by recording a Christmas version of the song. The result is this unintentionally funny cut.
My former WPRB colleague Jon Solomon is responsible for introducing me to this song. This has been an occasional entry in his annual 24-hour Christmas marathon on 'PRB.
"867-5309/Jenny (Christmas Version)," Tommy Tutone
Yes, Virginia! Tommy Tutone recorded a Christmas version of their 1982 hit single. Essentially, they took the words to "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and applied it to the music of "867-5309/Jenny." The result is something you'll be able to unhear for as long as you live. Thanks to the aforementioned Jon Solomon, I know I won't.