Ten on Tuesday: My 10 or 20 or so Favorite Holiday Songs, presented in no particular order

Yeah, who knew I was a member of Ten on Tuesday, eh? πŸ˜‰ Obviously, I don’t participate very often, but I couldn’t resist the holiday songs topic.

I’m not religious. At best, I’m agnostic. I’m a fan of SuperGuppy Kat’s term “gwfgwf” (pronounced “gwif-gwif”: “generic winter festive gathering with food”), which would include Christmas, Hanukka, the Winter Solstice/Yule, Kwanzaa, etc. (Tangentially, Wikipedia has an impressive list of winter festive gatherings believed to be inspired by the Winter Solstice.) So the holiday songs that I prefer tend not to be religious. Often, they decry commercialism or address holiday loneliness. Even Charlie Parr’s Biblically themed song “Bethlehem” is definitely not traditional.

  1. Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake & Palmer) – “I Believe in Father Christmas”listen
  2. Dar Williams – “The Christians and the Pagans”listen (the audio stream is only a snippet, but the video’s the whole song)
  3. The Therapy Sisters – “Pachelbel’s Tantrum” – listen
  4. Charlie Parr – “Bethlehem” listen
  5. The New Standards – “River” (originally by Joni Mitchell). Since I can’t find anything about this song online (although you can order their holiday EP by scrolling to the bottom of this page), how about the Captain Polaroid version of “River”? listen
  6. Annette Walowicz – “Time Goes” listen
  7. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – “Cold White Christmas” listen (hey, it’s set in St. Paul!)
  8. Neko Case – “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” (originally by Tom Waits) listen (hey, it’s set in Minneapolis!)
  9. Gentleman Auction House – “Home for the Holidays” listen
  10. Jim White – “Christmas Day” listen
  11. Johnny Bertram – “Merry Christmas (You Won’t Get What You Want)” (from Peace On Earth: A Charity Holiday Album)
  12. Love Axe – “All I Want for Christmas Is What I Can’t Take Back” listen
  13. Okkervil River – “Listening to Otis Redding at Christmas” (from their Golden Opportunities Mixtape, which was a free download in 2007)
  14. The Priestess and the Fool – “Fairytale of New York” (originally by the Pogues) (you have to download their free Christmas EP, Ride On, Santa to listen)
  15. Steve Earle – “Christmas in Washington” listen
  16. Sufjan Stevens – “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever” listen
  17. Chris Hatfield – “Born Again Pagan” listen
  18. Trailer Trash – “Hard Candy Xmas” (you can’t listen to this song at their website, but you can listen to some of their other holiday songs)
  19. Aimee Mann – “I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas” listen (the audio stream is only a snippet, but the video’s the whole song)
  20. Wormburner – “Bells of St. Ignatius” (you can listen to a preview via Amazon)
  21. Young Bison – “Lee Winters’ Last Christmas” listen
  22. Lightning Love – “Holidays” listen
  23. Sleeptalker – “This Is Christmas” (from Peace On Earth: A Charity Holiday Album)
  24. Bing Crosby & David Bowie – “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” (you can listen to a preview via Amazon, if you haven’t already heard this hundreds of times – I was a huge David Bowie fan when I was an adolescent, and I have fond memories of watching that tv special)

“But I don’t want to be the first cat famous for singing gwfgwf music, Mom.” -Mayhem