Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's Christmas Time in the City....

December is a time for tradition - and don't we know that most of them are terrible! From fruit cake to sickly sweet cookies, we all have war stories to tell about the holidays.

For me, one of the truely terrible traditions of the season are the painful tunes that we are blasted with day and night. You may remember Burl Ives and Dean Martin fondly, but are these guys going to perform at the Met? Not likely!

For your holiday pleasure, here are but a few examples of truely terrible holiday music that can be found for free online, in no particular order. God help us, every one.

1: Our first example comes way of Wisconsin (the land of cheese, not a coincidence!). Elmer van Lannen is an elderly organist who's been at for decades. Some of his fans at the Asp-Inn in Lena convinced him that he ought to record some music before he passed on, so he rented a studio and has now shared his gift with us! Gee thanks, Elmer!

Best Example: "Deck These Halls". (h/t Neatorama, of course)

2: Next up, MIDI Christmas songs from a site called Christmas Gifts. My god, Magnum, just because MIDI offers 40 voices doesn't mean that you need use them all. But the cheesey stylistic changes to go with each voice is almost too much for anyone to handle! Is that a shout out to Kraftwerk in the middle? No - that's just the sound of my brain exploding.

Best Example: Jingle Bell Mix

3: What happens when you cross the previous examples with one of the most successful pop artists of all time? If this example isn't it, then I don't know what is. The same man who brought us "Yesterday" bring us "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas" - although my understanding is that Sir Paul's first version of "Yesterday" began "Scrambled eggs, baby I love your legs."

Example: Paul McCartney's Christmas Disaster (h/t The Phat Phree)

4: Nothing says "Holiday" like a club song about Scrooge! Replete with joyous lyrics like:
How about a present for you,
Hmmm... a Hindenburg,
Would that do?
Or, maybe a Titanic,
That comes complete with iceberg?
Hey, if by now ya didn't drown,
What about an "all expense paid" vacation,
To Jonestown.

...this example, performed by King Arthur should be on everyone's Christmas playlist! And yes, I get the joke. That doesn't mean I like it.

Example: Bah Humbug

5: Ah, nostalgia for the past...we're all guilty of that sense of wonder at seeing TV dinners, dancing the jitterbug, listening to know, getting that "retro" feeling. Some great pop music has that feel - like the B-52's. But not this example, found at Songs of Praise. This page has the added benefit of an auto-playing MIDI version of this terrible Christmas song to welcome you. Click at your own risk.

Best Example: An .mp3 version of Retro Christmas

Well, kids, that's all for now. If you like these, I'll post more (after time to recover from losing your lunch). If you have any suggestions, post 'em in the comments.


Anonymous stephen f lilly said...

Sadly all of these pale in comparison to the A John Waters Christmas, a CD released two years ago that has been a staple of my holiday music collection ever since. So disturbing it made me cry in my Egg Nog. While I'm plugging holiday favorites, who can forget Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics...

12/14/2006 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you like overblown (literally!) trumpet arrangements try out this one:
I recommend their version of the Hallelujah Chorus from their "Screw the Classics" disc.

12/14/2006 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Dad said...

Don't have the McCartney song in our collection, unfortunately, but we do have a Christmas single by John and Yoko--HAPPYXMAS.

A recent addition does make the "Worst" list. Whitney Wolanin, a local high-schooler with a rich and obsessive father, is trying to pay her way into stardom. Enjoy her latest album, Christmasology, and especially, "Frosty":

12/14/2006 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Painful.....hmm. The broad brush with which you paint seems to be dripping with quite a bit of sarcasm. I think we all trust that time will sort out the billions of tunes selected over the eons as a bit of a built in filter. It may be on the blink on occasion, but I think it has given us its sorted as it may be...heehee

ps....I see you got my Christmas Card photo---oh, what a night!

12/15/2006 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Sparky said...

What about "Back Door Santa"

And this is a great list of i-tunes available stuff that surely must rank....or is that how they smell?

12/15/2006 4:08 PM  
Blogger Child of Darkness said...

Ha ha ha ha ha.....nice picture!

12/18/2006 2:57 PM  
Blogger hazzy said...

Hope you had a great vacation. For me, I just like the old fashioned classics sung by a good choir. When singers butcher classics like silent night by trying to show you how soulfull they are to the point where you no longer recognize the melody, it makes me want to vomit. It makes me want to do what Belushi did to that guys guitar in Animal House.

1/08/2007 3:41 AM  

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