Christmas Blues

Today I’m working while listening to my collection of “weird Christmas music,” which I’ve compiled over the years. Things like the “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” mashup duet — by Bing Crosby and David Bowie in 1977. Yeah, really.

Or the mashup of a very young Michael Jackson singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with a background of John Lennon’s “Imagine” (which is chilling; see below).

And if you’ve not heard a then-10-year-old Gayla Peevey singing “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” (from 1953), you haven’t lived! You won’t believe that voice is a 10-year-old’s.

Happily, Youtube has that one, and it’s a must-listen:

And while I don’t like “The Tractors” much, their “Silent Night, Christmas Blue” is fantastic. Here is that one on Youtube:

Christmas Blues
Lyrics from the song. (Click to enlarge.)

Just listening to it completely chokes me up when Silent Night comes in.

Why? Well, there’s a story….

Christmas Blue

Some years back when I was a young medic, I had to deal with a wrong-way drunk driver taking out a carload of college kids coming home for the holidays. Christmas sucked for me for quite some time after that. This song doesn’t exactly bring back memories of that night, but it makes me mourn for those boys and their families, and way too many more like them.

(Later addendum: I don’t remember how many of the college boys died there that night, but at least one was killed, and one severely injured. The wrong-way drunk, in a big Cadillac, was also killed.)

While I have gotten over my anger about that crash from Way Back When, it gives me a deeper understanding of how so many feel everything from loneliness to despair this time of year, in stark contrast to those who feel joy.

And that’s OK: I get that better than most.

But that’s why I wish others “Peace” during this season. That doesn’t just mean “absence of war” but inner peace. I wish you both senses of the word.

“Maybe Someday There Will Be, another Merry Christmas for Me.”

That’s where I was for some time after that ambulance call, but it got better. Yet I like that the song still makes my eyes well up …or even makes me sob: that memory is a part of who I am, and why I understand the loss so many others feel.

May it be better also for you, if you’re not there now.

“Until then I dream of you. And wrap myself in Christmas Blue…”

Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Some of My Fave Christmas Blues

By popular request after running the above, here’s my “playlist” of great Christmas Blues. Though some may not be considered true “blues” genre-wise, they are for me!

Included in that Lineup:

  • “Sam’s Christmas Blues” – Anson Funderburgh And The Rockets Featuring Sam Myers
  • “Blue Christmas” – Collective Soul
  • “Donna & Blitzen” – Badly Drawn Boy
  • “Santa Don’t Let Me Down” – Earl King
  • “Nutcracker Rock Of The Toy Soldiers” – Roy Shakked
  • “Silent Night” – Al Green
  • “O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night” – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • “Please Come Home For Christmas” – Shannon Curfman
  • “Red Nosed Reindeer Blues” – Asylum Street Spankers
  • “Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get The Blues” – Roomful Of Blues
  • “Last Christmas” – Jimmy Eat World
  • “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” – Michael Allen Harrison (a tear-jerking version!)

Getting Weird

By “weird” Christmas songs, I mean non-traditional (or traditional songs sung in …uh… non-traditional ways), here’s a sampling of some I have (full listing below the video):

Included in that Lineup:

  • “Imagine Santa” (John Lennon/Michael Jackson mashup) – DJ BC
  • “Christmas In New Orleans” – James Andrew
  • “Twas The Night Before Christmas” – Art Carney
  • “The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas” – Allan Sherman
  • “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings” – Barenaked Ladies
  • “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Bill Evans
  • “Merry Christmas Baby” – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • “Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You” – Billy Squier
  • “Sleigh Ride” – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
  • “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” David Bowie & Bing Crosby
  • “Deck The Halls” – R.E.M.
  • “Christmas Night In Harlem” – Louis Armstrong
  • “Silver Bells” – Twisted Sister
  • “The Restroom Door Said, ‘Gentlemen'” – Bob Rivers
  • “Jingle Bells” – Brave Combo
  • “Deck The Halls” – Gary Hoey
  • “The Little Drummer Boy” – Hoodoo Gurus

Again, this is just a sampling of things I have (and are also available on YouTube). There are scores more. Hell, I even have Porky Pig doing “Blue Christmas”!

By Request: The Full List

  1. ‘Big’ Tiny Little – Frosty The Snow Man
  2. +Al Green – Silent Night
  3. Alan Jackson – Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)
  4. Allan Sherman – The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas
  5. Analogue Model – We Wish You A Merry Christmas Medley
  6. Andrew James – Christmas In New Orleans
  7. +Anson Funderburgh And The Rockets Featuring Sam Myers – Sam’s Christmas Blues
  8. Art Carney – Twas The Night Before Christmas
  9. Arthur Lyman – Silent Night, Joy To The World
  10. Asylum Street Spankers – Red Nosed Reindeer Blues
  11. Asylum Street Spankers – Silent Night
  12. +Badly Drawn Boy – Donna & Blitzen
  13. +Barenaked Ladies – Carol Of The Bells
  14. Barenaked Ladies – O Holy Night
  15. Beach Boys – Christmas Medley
  16. Big Al Carlson – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
  17. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Merry Christmas Baby
  18. Bill Evans – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  19. +Billy Squier – Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You
  20. Bob Rivers – Christmas Party Song
  21. Bob Rivers – Decorations
  22. Bob Rivers – Goin’ Up To Bethlehem
  23. Bob Rivers – Parking Spaces
  24. Bob Rivers – The Little Hooters Girl
  25. Bob Rivers – The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen
  26. Bob Rivers – There’s a Santa Who Looks A L
  27. Bob Rivers – Wreck the Malls
  28. Bob Rivers – Yellow Snow! Yellow Snow! Yellow Snow!
  29. Booker T & The MGs – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  30. Brave Combo – Frosty The Snowman
  31. Brian Dolph And Larry Tilander – Cedric The Christmas Elf
  32. Brian Setzer Orchestra – Sleigh Ride
  33. Burl Ives – The Twelve Days Of Christmas
  34. Celia Cruz – Jingle Bells
  35. Charlie Daniels – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  36. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – Butch the Gay Santa
  37. Chris Hatfield – Born Again Pagan
  38. +Collective Soul – Blue Christmas
  39. +DJ BC – Imagine Santa
  40. Dave Fuller – Cluck Of The Bells
  41. Dave Mckenna – O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
  42. +David Bowie & Bing Crosby – The Little Drummer Boy
  43. Denis Leary – Merry Fuckin’ Christmas
  44. Drifters – White Christmas
  45. Dukes Of Dixieland – Christmas Time In New Orleans
  46. +Dukes Of Dixieland – Have A Holly, Jolly Christmas
  47. +Earl King – Santa Don’t Let Me Down
  48. Eddie Dunstedter – Happy Holidays
  49. Eddie Lockjaw Davis – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  50. Emerson Band – Nutrocker 2006
  51. Emerson, Keith – It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  52. Emerson, Keith – O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  53. +Emerson, Keith – Silent Night
  54. +Emerson, Lake & Palmer – I Believe In Father Christmas
  55. Eric Cartman – South Park Christmas
  56. Ferrante And Teicher & Les Baxter – Sleigh Ride, Santa Claus’ Party
  57. Gary Hoey – Deck The Halls
  58. +Gary Hoey – Greensleeves
  59. Gary Hoey – Hark The Herald Angels Sing
  60. Gary Hoey – Ho! Ho! Hoey II
  61. Gary Hoey – Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
  62. Gary Hoey – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
  63. Gayla Peevey – I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas
  64. Harry Connick Jr – Sleigh Ride
  65. Herman Apple Ses Carillons Et Ses Percussions – Le Bonhomme De Neige
  66. Hoodoo Gurus – The Little Drummer Boy (Up The Khyber)
  67. How The Grinch Stole Christmas – You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
  68. Jimmy Buffett – Run Rudolph Run
  69. Jimmy Durante – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  70. +Jimmy Eat World – Last Christmas
  71. Jimmy Haskell With The Jackie Ward Singers – Jewish Jingle Bells
  72. Jingle Cats – White Christmas
  73. +Joe Loco Quintet – Jingle Bells
  74. Kevin & Bean – Christmas Blues (Are Getting Me Down)
  75. Klezmonauts – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  76. Klezmonauts – Oy To The World
  77. +Lester Lanin And His Orchestra – Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairie
  78. Lionel Hampton Orchestra – Boogie Woogie Santa Claus
  79. Louis Armstrong & The All Stars – Christmas Night In Harlem
  80. Lucky Wander Boy – Angels We’ve Heard On High
  81. MF Jingle Bells
  82. Manhiem Steamroller – Silent Night
  83. Marie Osmond – Blue Christmas
  84. Mark Kazanoff – Hung Ornaments & Blue Christmas
  85. Martin Denny – Exotic Night
  86. Meryn Cadell – The Cat Carol
  87. Mexicali Brass – Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
  88. Mexicali Brass – Singing Jingle Bells
  89. +Michael Allen Harrison – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
  90. Miracles – Winter Wonderland
  91. Monkees – Riu Chiu
  92. Moog Machine – Jingle Bells
  93. Nat King Cole – Away In A Manger
  94. +Nat King Cole – O Holy Night
  95. New Black Eagle Jazz Band – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  96. New Black Eagle Jazz Band – White Christmas
  97. Peggy Lee – Winter Wonderland
  98. Phantom Planet – Winter Wonderland
  99. Porky Pig – Blue Christmas
  100. Project Pimento – That’s Christmas
  101. REM – Deck The Halls
  102. Radio Free Vestibule – Christmas On Acid
  103. Ray Stevens – Santa Claus Is Watching You
  104. Relient K – 12 Days Of Christmas
  105. Rhythm Pigs – Sleigh Ride (Hardcore Holiday)
  106. Ronnie Aldridge – Sleigh Ride
  107. Ronnie Aldridge – White Christmas
  108. +Roomful Of Blues – Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get The Blues
  109. +Roy Shakked – Nutcracker Rock Of The Toy Soldiers
  110. Roy Shakked – Sleigh Ride
  111. Rubber Band – Last Christmas
  112. Rudolph And Gang – Here Comes Fatty Claus
  113. Sammy Davis Jr. – Jingle Bells
  114. +Santa Cow – Santa Cow
  115. +Shannon Curfman – Please Come Home For Christmas
  116. +Skip Jacks – Here Comes Santa Claus
  117. South Park – Christmas Time In Hell
  118. South Park – The Lonely Jew On Christmas
  119. South Park Christmas – Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel
  120. South Park Christmas – Merry Fucking Christmas
  121. Squeeze – Christmas Day
  122. Temptations – The Little Drummer Boy +(Especially <a href=””>this version</a>)
  123. Tex Beneke – Sleigh Ride
  124. The Alarm – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
  125. Tom Lehrer – A Christmas Carol
  126. Tom Meijer – Joy To The World
  127. Tom Meijer – O Come All Ye Faithful
  128. Tom Meijer – We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  129. Tom Meijer – Winder Wonderland
  130. Tommy Snbach’s Nisseband – Feliz Navidad
  131. +Tractors – Silent Night, Christmas Blue
  132. Transiberian Orchestra – Christmas Medley
  133. Twisted Sister – Silver Bells
  134. Wayne Holton – Deck The Hall
  135. Wayne Holton – Frosty The Snowman
  136. Wayne Holton – Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
  137. Wayne Holton – Jolly Old St. Nick
  138. Wayne Holton – Silver Bells
  139. Wierd Al Yankovic – 12 Pains Of Xmas
  140. Wilde Konecky – Happy Hanukkah, My Friend
  141. +Willie K – Silent Night
  142. Woody Phillips – Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy
  143. Woody Phillips – Good King Wenceslas
  144. Woody Phillips – Jingle Bells
  145. Woody Phillips – Joy To The World
  146. Woody Phillips – Ukrainian Carol
  147. Woody Phillips – We Wish You A Merry Christmas

+Particularly good

- - -

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79 Comments on “Christmas Blues

  1. Mr Mojo’s Christmas, sung to the Doors “The End.” Pretty good. And “The Restroom Door Said ‘Gentlemen'” about a wrong turn. I bought a CD called Dr Demento’s Christmas or something to that effect, and there’s Bob Rivers’ Twisted Christmas. All pretty good. “The 12 Pains of Christmas”….

    I don’t know what it is about the Christmas holidays, but even when I was depressed in those times, I wasn’t, really. Childhood held no “fond memories” in that regard. Even a fairly nasty divorce during the season failed to drive out the spirit. I’m told that Christmastime just augments the loneliness that some people live in. But there have been certain years of difficulty with no one to share the load; yet Christmas offered a distant hope, however melancholy.

    I think that it’s because the rest of the world is optimistic about it, and even when I couldn’t share it, it was still available for me when I was ready. In fact, it was the holiday spirit that gave me hope that all was not wrong with the world.

    Now, with just my wife and me, kids and family being a thousand miles away or more, we don’t do much for Christmas celebration, but we still participate, even if just for the neighborhood. Offering that little bit of hope for, as you said, Inner Peace.

  2. How about giving us the whole list, and maybe where to get the songs?


    I’ll consider compiling the whole list, especially if I get more requests. As to where to find them, well, it took me some time to compile them all. It will take you time too, but Youtube probably has a good number of them! -rc

  3. I love the songs you listed. The whole list would be wonderful to have! I have a wide variety of weird Christmas songs too. My children grew up with my very eclectic musical tastes, and have continued in that vein.

    Oh, and I love the Tractors! They are certainly out standing in their field.

  4. With all the anguish and pain in our world today, I think your sentiment of “peace” is quite beautiful in its simplicity. Perhaps if more people possessed an inner peace, we wouldn’t have drunk drivers taking out carloads of college kids headed home to their parents, or suicides on Christmas Eve because others felt so utterly alone. Take that extra few seconds this year to smile at someone, as trite as that sounds, to speak to them, and wish them peace in whatever fashion you’re comfortable with…you may be the only one who took that time today to do it, and it could make a world of difference to a person who is otherwise completely alone this Christmas. Peace and blessings to you all.

  5. Thanks for both links. I really, really love the Blues. It’s my all-time favorite music.

    I too would like to have the entire list, if you are so inclined.

    Until then, thanks for sharing. Peace.

    OK, I’ll compile the list and post it soon. -rc

  6. +1 for the whole list.

    I think I can appreciate your anger over what people do or what can happen over the holidays, but I also appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with all of us.

    I wish you and yours peace as well.

  7. You really owe it to yourself to check out Darryl Purpose’s CD — The gift of the Magi — or at least buy the download of You Must Go Home for Christmas — the best cut on the album. It’s only $.99 at Amazon. I see there are several copies of the CD used for about $8 (including shipping). Hope you like it.

    And yes, put me down as a request for your whole list. I love the Bowie, Crosby cut. I assume you have the whole version with the conversation at the beginning? Good stuff.

    Hope your Christmases continue to get better.

    No, I just have the music for Crosby/Bowie. I’m listening to “You Must Go Home for Christmas” now. It’s on Youtube. -rc

  8. It took me a minute to make a correlation between ‘weird’ and the Crosby/Bowie duet. I enjoy that particular song, mostly due to the velvety voices. Allow me to add my request for ‘The List’….

    Peace to all of you this holiday season; gods know I could use some… 🙂

  9. This time of year I try to listen from inside myself. I can remember Christmases of childhood that seemed to be great … but most had “strings attached” when I look back at them. I know, first/second/third-hand that this time of year can be killer.

    That is why I have come to where I simply tell people I wish them a comfortable holiday season.

  10. I’ve always liked Mannheim Steamroller, especially the bells. Add me to the “publish the whole list” list. May your days be merry and bright!

  11. Randy, the wish for peace that you extended is very much appreciated. I would like to return the sentiment and also wish you a helping of joy to go with the peace. With Kit in your life, you obviously have love.

    PS I would like that list, too.

  12. Similar Christmas experiences, Randy; meat wagon, police and fire service. The only good Christmases were those when the phone didn’t ring.

    Excepting childbirth, of course.

    Had one call to a major mall the week before Christmas. A woman in labor on the floor in the middle of the mall had drawn a large crowd. We showed up, “Everybody, form a tight circle around the scene. Now, turn and face outward.” Full compliance. After twenty minutes, the baby’s cries filled the mall. Almost instantly, a flood of stuffed toys and baby blankets started flowing into the scene over the top of the crowd.

    We had some good calls.

    I’ve only assisted in one birth (we don’t “deliver babies” — the mothers do!), and that one was at …San Quentin prison! Another story for another time. -rc

  13. From the days before CISD became a big thing eh?

    The scars we bear from our profession rarely show. Know that all the rest of us stretcher jockeys are here for you, we do “get it” more than others can.

    Shalom, Peace brother.

    CISDs are “Critical Incident Stress Debriefings” — an attempt to avoid PTSD in emergency responders. And no, there was no such thing in my earlier career, but I’ve been part of CISD panels twice in recent years to help others. Elias is a CCEMT-P (as noted by his name) — a Critical Care Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic, otherwise known to me as a “brother medic.” Thanks, Elias. -rc

  14. I get Christmas Blue as well. A few days before Christmas many years ago, I was in a motel in Aurora, Colorado, chatting with the owner when a woman came in. Her English was poor, but we gathered that there was some issue in the pool area. I went with her to the pool and saw an 18 month old laying on the deck — not breathing and blue.

    I told her to call 911, which she didn’t understand until I screamed at her to call 911. She went back to the office and repeated my words, which caused the owner to rush in and call from the pool. I had no training in first aid on an infant and guessed how much inflation to apply. I felt the child’s pulse stop just as the medics arrived (from across the street at Fitzsimons Hospital). He didn’t recover.

    My Christmas Eve was spent in a funeral home with the mother and her other child. It turned out that she had come to Aurora to try to reconcile with her husband, stationed at Fitzsimons — he didn’t even come to the funeral. She didn’t have enough money even to pay the bill and travel home. The motel owner, funeral director, some of the ER staff, and I chipped in.

    I’ve gotten over the anger at a mother who would leave a child in a pool area, a father who didn’t care as much as a stranger, and maybe me for not being able to do more (the docs said it was too late when I entered the room), and a huge amount of grief for that family. 30+ years later, I can still taste his vomit and tears run when I remember the last heartbeat.

    However, I have gone from Christmas Blue to” I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (Usher’s rendition is on Youtube). I get that one as well. Christmas is a joyous time, partly because I actively seek people who are in a bad place where I can do something about it. Mostly that’s listening.

    Why write all this? I guess because I feel a bond in sharing the loneliness of a grief only “samaritans” can feel. I greatly respect the profession that can experience events like these and then do it again — and again. Thanks for being one of those.

    I wish you peace, friend.

    Thanks — and thanks for showing that one doesn’t have to be in “the profession” to have such experiences, and to make a difference. -rc

  15. Randy, I love you man, and all the work you do. I also collect and enjoy “weird” Christmas music, “Roadkill Deer” being one of my alltime favorites.

    But, to another (albeit related) subject: When you mentioned “The Tractors” I thought you were talking about these guys who I absolutely LOVE!

    I have, indeed, seen that one. Sweet Georgia Brown! -rc

  16. As long as we are posting our favorites from Youtube, here is mine, the classic I Am Santa Claus.

    Been a premium reader for many years, first blog I have commented on, big fan of This Is True!

    Thanks Randy, Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    Yeah, that qualifies as weird! -rc

  17. Randy, that was a terrible tragedy you had to deal with; it’s understandable that Christmas would suck for you. I am glad it’s getting better.

    You are the first person who has made it “okay” to not be a part of the hustle and bustle and merrymaking of Christmas. I believe Christmas Blue feelings are intensified due to the fact that we know it’s taboo to talk about them. Those who are happy do not want to hear about others’ sadness and loneliness. They think if you would just go to a party, your mood would lift. Deep emotions don’t work that way. It helps to know someone out there understands.

    Peace to you and Kit.

  18. I used to not understand how people couldn’t be happy during the Christmas season, but in the last few years, I’ve come to understand how it happens.

    A few years ago, my daughter’s great aunt was very sick on Christmas and passed away on the day after Christmas. The following year, my grandmother passed away a couple weeks before Christmas, and the funeral wasn’t until after the New Year. Needless to say, those two Christmases were very sad for our family.

    The next year, we celebrated Christmas to its fullest. In fact, my daughter (who was 16 at the time) refused to let us take down the Christmas tree until June! She said, “I didn’t get the last two Christmases, so I want to keep this one as long as possible!” She really taught me something when she said that, and I’ll never forget it. Christmas is another day on the calendar, and some years, that day sucks. But it helps to remember the spirit of the season, celebrate when you can, and reach out to those who can’t.

    I will be spending the next two Christmases in Afghanistan, 8,000 miles away from my family and new fiancee. Lots of tears are being shed as I prepare to leave, but we got to celebrate our Christmas early, and next year we’ll celebrate it a little late — after I get home. Even if we didn’t get to celebrate it on the calendar day that the rest of the world does, we still get a measure of joy mixed in with the melancholy.

    Thanks for the great post, Randy! (And, by the way, I saw the lyrics and have NOT listened to “Silent Night, Christmas Blue” yet. Not ready…)

    It’s a beautiful song. If it doesn’t make you tear up, I’ll be surprised. -rc

  19. Not what I expected from your facebook post.

    Rivers Comedy project’s twisted Christmas “The Restroom Door Said Gentelmen” is one of the comedy ones that gets a laugh from me. About the only one in fact.

    What I was thinking… I used to have a serious issue with what is called Holiday Depression till one year when some stuff happened. But it’s a long story, so I’ll cut to the chase.

    Played a harmless practical joke, cost me 10 bucks, wound up donating not 10 but over sixty dollars to the Salvation Army as a result. Not only was this the kind of practical joke where nobody got hurt. But, well, Folks actually got HELPED as a result.

    Whatever it was, it sounds like it changed things around for you, which is a Good Thing. -rc

  20. has a nice list of Blues Christmas albums.

    I grew up with The Sinatra Christmas Album, as my mom was a big fan of Frank. His ultra-hip, jazzy “Jingle Bells” will always be on my weird Christmas songs list.

    I’ve also been a fan of other genres taking a stab at Christmas covers. For Swing fans, I can’t recommend enough the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s first Christmas album, Boogie Woogie Christmas. Another of his Christmas albums, Dig That Crazy Christmas includes “Santa Drives a Hot Rod”, which is just good fun.

    Good, bad, or otherwise, your music can help your mood during the Holidays. Please share your whole list, as time permits, and thank you for your column.

    Sinatra’s JB is on Youtube here. I do have a bit of Brian Seltzer in my list, which I hope to have posted by Friday. -rc

  21. Check out Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Christmas Album. They do a mean “Mr. Heatmiser” rendition. Its awesome!

    Thanks for all your hard work throughout the year!

    That’s also on YouTube. Amazing resource, isn’t it? -rc

  22. I always enjoy your posts, but have never responded before now. Thank you for voiceing the feeling many of us have around this time of year. Everyone is different and not all of us “get that giddy feeling” and we can enjoy those that do without having to be just like them.

    I wish you and yours Peace, Joy and Contentment.

    I love the odd christmas songs too.

  23. Randy, for the many years of laughter and opportunities to think a little more, thank you. I hope to be able to subscribe to you for many more years to come.

    Peace, love and harmony to you and yours, and to all your readers; their comments have helped broaden my perspective, as well.

    And to add to your growing list of music — “Snoopy’s Christmas” by the Royal Guardsmen; it was on a Charlie Brown’s Christmas album we had when I was a kid.

    I remember that one from my childhood too! Haven’t heard it in years, but here’s a video of them doing it live. -rc

  24. I was in the medical profession years ago, I am 87 now. I know that you were affected by the car crash and I know I had several bad memories of Christmas blues, but I really enjoy your news notes and the follies of humanity that bring me mirth today. I face a move into a retirement facility Christmas week(!) Devastating to me, I am a china painting teacher and had to part with many antiques…sadly.

    Hopefully you (or someone!) found new homes for them, where they will be treasured for years to come. -rc

  25. Many years back, I was in Beirut, Lebanon, as a civilian. This is not the forum to describe the horror I saw there, the desolation of people’s homes, the bleakness of their lives, the losses of their children. And, it was not at Christmastime. Yet not long after my return, I listened to an unpublished track of “What Child Is This?” by the Moody Blues, and it superimposed over my memories of the carnage I saw in Beirut. The music now seems to be on Youtube.

    A desperate plea for world peace as the charred bodies of dead children lie in the street because parents cannot go out and bury them for fear of being killed by snipers. I enjoy Christmas, but I still cry when I hear this song nearly 20 years later.

  26. I drove a truck for two years. Just before the last Christmas I drove we were going down the New Jersey turnpike when a crazy man decided to use our truck for suicide. His wife and three-year old girl were with him and he was going the wrong way. We managed to almost stop because we were empty. However, his car was wedged under the truck’s front bumper. He escaped with a broken arm and his wife’s legs were pinned under the dash. She had to be cut out of the car. The girl was not in any restraints and was thrown up against the dash. This really took the joy out of Christmas that year. We were told later the little girl would never be the same again. This wasn’t his first suicide attempt.

    Want to commit suicide? OK, that’s his decision. But to involve others — you, his family, and perhaps others — is slimy selfishness. -rc

  27. For a carol nothing beats “Do You Hear What I Hear.”

    For me, Christmas will always be the short, out-of-shape, middle aged, white collar working man on his way home with his Christmas bonus in his pocket. When he was accosted by the 6′ 4″ body builder, he quickly gave up his wallet, but the lousy, rotten perp shot him in the abdomen anyhow. He was still conscious and talking when he arrived in our ER. Despite massive transfusions and my best surgical efforts, he died on the table.

    Peace … it would be wonderful especially if we could stop killing each other without reason.

    Yep: world peace is pretty difficult, and out of the control of mortal men. That’s why I wish you inner peace, Marc. That is, indeed, in our control, if sometimes difficult to achieve. -rc

  28. I have to share MY personal favorite humorous Christmas tune. Ray Stevens Santa Claus is Watching You. It is somewhat ironic because I have a brother named Marvon and my name is Bruce. He includes those names as the first two reindeer names after he says the traditional eight. A close second is the classic by Yogi Yorgenson, I Just Go Nuts at Christmas.

    Both help make the Christmas season more enjoyable. Merry Christmas to all.

  29. I completely understand what you mean about anger during the holiday season.

    I am a police officer who specializes in DUI enforcement. Especially and specifically drug impaired driving. Having investigated many fatalities due to this, I can understand the anger. I have found though, that many things are out of our control. We do the best we can to make this a better place to live, to educate, and to help others. At the end of the day though, everybody makes their own decisions. Try as we may, we cannot stop people from making stupid decisions. All we can do is educate and enforce, and sometimes, unfortunately, pick up the pieces.

    Yeah, I let the anger go many years ago — but the memories remain. Thanks for your efforts to prevent it all, and for helping to pick up the pieces of those who won’t listen (and their victims). -rc

  30. Thanks for the song recommendations. We will definitely look for some of those on your list that we don’t already have.

    Brian Setzer’s “(Everybody’s waiting for) The man with the bag” is also a favorite – even if it’s not a blues number.

    Another tune you might check out this year is the version of Jingle Bells that Steve Miller is giving away on his website (yes, that Steve Miller!). It’s a jazz inspired take — but it’s fabulous, and all they ask is for your email address.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    I’m wary of sites that “just” ask for my email address. If I want to hear from them regularly, fine. But it’s rare that I do. Check their privacy policy before giving up your address. -rc

  31. I have to say that my favorite is Carol of the Bells as that I play the English handbells. I love listening to them. Of course I find this Muppets rendition.

    I also love Weird Al’s two forays into Christmas with “Christmas at Ground Zero” and The Night Santa Went Crazy. I can’t watch “Christmas at Ground Zero” here in Canada…sucks…but anyways, search for it and enjoy.

    Peace to you and your family.

  32. I am really enjoying the various suggestions for great Christmas songs- I only wish I could find decent copies (not YouTube, as a rule!) of “Santa Got a DWI”, “Five Pound Box of Money”, “Christmas is Revolting and So Are the Elves”, and “Mail Me Home For Christmas”. Not very likely, but it is something to search for every year about this time. Merry Christmas to all you music lovers out there!

  33. Randy, you posted the link to the Royal Guardsmen doing the Snoopy vs the Red Baron song. That is the original, not the Christmas version. Here is the sequel.

    Actually, someone else posted the link, but I’m glad to have the “correct” one. -rc

  34. Randy, now you have to put a “Like” button in your comment sections. Every one of these comments struck a chord. Everyone has a story. I loved all of the songs listed. Thank you for your insight. A Christmas present to you: One additional Premium Subscriber. Thank You & for all you do. 🙂

  35. Best wishes for you and yours, and may I never need your emergency services!

    The Bob’s Christmas Album is worth a listen, especially their Christmas In Jail. (And thanks to YouTube’s habit of recommending related videos, I’ve got a whole lotta twisted holiday music to listen to!)

    Don’t worry: Washington is a bit outside my response area. -rc

  36. I hate myself for mocking, but the comment from Dan of Illinois cracked me up when he wrote about The Tractors being out standing in their field!

  37. Merry Christmas to you and all of my co-subscribers, Randy!

    Thank you for sharing such interesting music/lyrics with those of us who may not have been familiar with the genre 🙂

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness in every commentary you post.

    Happy New Year and hopefully many, many more to come!

  38. Got to love Bob Rivers and Twisted Christmas — classics like “Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire” and “Walking ‘Round in Women’s Underwear”, and a whole lot of others. I too have the Dr. Demento Christmas collection and some other weird holiday music. “Rusty Chevrolet” by Da Yoopers (who, I believe, are from the upper peninsula of Michigan) is a major favorite.

    Also available on Youtube. -rc

  39. Randy, thanks for adding lots more of your fave Christmas songs. I’ve enjoyed them so much I’ve listened to them over and over.

    Happy New Year!

  40. “Weird Christmas songs” kind of jumped out at me while reading the latest issue of “This is True,” so I had to check to see if one of my favourites was included. It wasn’t, so I thought I’d mention it.

    It has the geeky yet whimsical title “A Spaceman Came Traveling” and was created by Chris de Burgh over a 1/4-century ago. My baby brother (he’s been Mormon for over 15 years, now ) and I (born Jehovah’s witness but I’m a human being now) both love it; it’s a nifty re-telling of the nativity story with an almost “Chariots of the Gods” (if you aren’t old enough to recognize that bit of newage, look it up in your local library) point of view. It’s still awfully sweet, albeit weird. You can find the lyrics here.

    And on Youtube here.

  41. Second the comment re The Bobs — my fav is Rasta Reindeer (reggae version of Little Saint Nick by the Bleach Boys).

    Brave Combo has a Christmas album — my favs are O Christmas Tree (Brazilian street samba) and Little Drummer Boy (latin jazz). They also do O Holy Night Cha Cha (not on the Christmas album).

    The Three Stooges also covered I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas.

    Oh, and, yes, my alltime fav Christmas song is Silent Night Christmas Blue by the Tractors.

  42. I’m surprised no one has yet mentioned “A Christmas Carol” by Tom Lehrer. Written and recorded over 50 years ago, it’s still entirely valid today.

    Another one that rips on commercialization of Christmas is Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” (lyrics by Pete Sinfield). This is one that keeps getting played at Christmas, even though Lake himself didn’t consider it a Christmas song. The original video, which the link goes to on YouTube, is not particularly light-hearted, especially the scenes using Vietnam War footage.

    Both songs are in my collection. -rc

  43. An addition in recent years, Joe Diffie’s country rendition of Leroy the Redneck Reindeer, who had to stand in for Cousin Rudolph one Christmas

    Yeah, and “Porky Pig’s” rendition of Blue Christmas. Now I can’t listen to ANY version without hearing “I’ll have a bidee bidee uh bidee b-b-blue Christmas w-without you…”.

  44. I stumbled into your Christmas music list at 1:30am. Gotta check out those, esp. Porky Pig, but not tonight. 🙂

    I have maybe 150 Christmas CDs, mostly straight, but some “different” ones, too. In the meantime, I recommend The Night Before Christmas by Timothy P. Irvin and The Rocky Mountain Stocking Stuffers

    For the past ten years a group of Denver area musicians has performed this bluegrass version of “The Night Before Christmas”.

    Keep up the good work!

  45. Red Nosed Reindeer Blues (and 194 other songs) by the Asylum Street Spankers can be found on their myspace page. As a word of warning, do not click on their cover of Lucille Bogan’s “Shave ’em Dry” if you are easily offended by racy lyrics.

    Their entire “A Christmas Spanking” album can be found here at Yellow Dog Records.

  46. Hi..I was an Army MP, so I also had my share of holiday disasters. Hang in there.

    One of my favorite all time oddball xmas songs is Root Boy Slim & The Sex Change Band’s “Christmas at K-Mart”…an under-appreciated gem if ever there was.

  47. Don’t forget Jingle Cats Meowy Christmas and Barking Dogs “Jingle Bells”.

    Maybe even Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah songs. Those get me going all the time.

  48. I used to dispatch 911, so am more able than most to understand what you are going through. The one that really damaged me was the old reliable “I fell asleep and rolled over on top of my baby!” one… Giving infant CPR directions over the phone, knowing in my heart it was a useless gesture….

    But let me suggest a tune or two for the season, both so obscure I don’t know who did them — I think one used to be on YouTube a long time ago in an incomplete version of barely tolerable sound quality. One is “Mail Me Home for Christmas” (about an elf at the post office) and the other is “Christmas is Revolting and So Are the Elves!” about the true spirit of the holiday.

    Dispatchers are even more unsung heroes of emergency response than EMS. As for your song suggestions, I don’t find “Mail Me Home” on Youtube, but here is “Revolting”. -rc

  49. 2 entire albums that I find rather awesome this time of the year are the Twisted Christmas by Twisted Sister (yes the 80’s hair band), and the Jethro Tull Christmas album. Some traditional, and some unfamiliar songs done in really awesome ways.

    I do have some of the Twisted Sister stuff, but not any from Tull. (But do from Emerson, Lake & Palmer). Will have to check out some Tull. Thanks! -rc

  50. A few years back I did an 80s radio show and one of my favorites to do was the 80s Christmas show. My, and a lot of fans, favorite was The Waitresses — Christmas Wrapping.

    Fun! It’s also on Youtube. -rc

  51. Those songs are great.

    I get the Christmas blues, too. Christmas songs, no matter how good they are, make it worse. I break the blues by getting out and doing something for someone else. I ring for the Salvation Army on Black Friday and every Saturday Thanksgiving to Christmas. This year I helped the Salvation Army and the Open Door Mission (a homeless shelter) with toy distribution.

    Nice that you found such a good solution for your blues. -rc

  52. You don’t have Bob Rivers “There’s something up the Chimney”?

    It’s actually called The Chimney Song — but I can’t stand listening to the whiney voice, so it wasn’t added to my collection. -rc

  53. My favorite “unusual” Christmas song is Mel Blanc’s “The Hat I Got for Christmas is Too Big”, which is unlikely to be heard over the air any more due to its unfortunate political incorrectness. If you’re old enough to remember Jack Benny’s TV show, and particularly the comedy skits where Jack talked with Mel, who portrayed a Mexican immigrant named “Sy”, then you’ll have an idea why it isn’t broadcast anymore.

    It sounds familiar! -rc

  54. My favorite ‘off the wall Christmas song’ is ‘Grandma Got Run Over by Some Reindeer’. I’m widowed, a Baby Boomer who never could have children, live across the country from my sister, have numerous health issues — but whenever I hear that song it brings a smile to my face. It used to be played on the radio a great deal but not lately.

    Two days ago while eating dinner, tears started running down my face for no particular reason. People make it seem like everyone is having a wonderful time during the holiday season but I don’t even have anyone with whom to exchange presents. I do give some but I don’t receive any. I know I’m not the only one with a disjointed family and former friends who’ve left me for dead. I have a few outstanding acquaintances, but no real ‘friends’ especially nearby, so I’m always glum this time of year. I enjoy seeing the holiday decorations but they have no significance for me….

    Yeah, you’re far from alone in this. I can tell you the vast majority of my local friends are through my EMS volunteering. Not saying you should volunteer for ambulance duty, but if there’s something you have interest in that has a volunteering aspect to it, you’ll meet great people. For Thanksgiving this year, we volunteered at a place that was feeding people turkey dinners, and met a ton of cool people. Getting out will help you, I’m sure. Meanwhile, my top-line wish for you remains: peace. -rc

  55. Christmas hasn’t been the same since being rendered bedbound in 2009 and my husband passing away in 2011. I wish I had known about Silent Night Christmas Blue before now!

    Randy, I just wanted to wish you and Kit peace.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Thanks, Laurie. You too. -rc

  56. You could check the lyrics to ‘Walkin’ round in Womens Underwear’ to cheer you up. Almost drove off the road when I first heard it.

    Yeah, I’ve heard that one too! 🙂 -rc

  57. Having read your blog post on blue Christmas songs this is the one that comes to mind for me.

    John Denver Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)

    It unfortunately described my Christmases as a young teen with a brand new mother.

    A couple years ago my wife put our large collection of Christmas cd’s onto a IPOD playlist for the season.

    When this song from one of the John Denver albums came up unexpectedly, seeing my reaction to it she kindly removed it from the playlist.

    My abusive alcoholic single parent dad married Mom when I was 13. I finally had a mother for the first time since infancy. It was the best thing he ever did for me but unfortunately the worst for her and my little stepsister.

    Mom stayed with him despite all the fear and abuse until I graduated from high school and left the state for college.

    She sacrificed a lot to stay around and give me at least one good parent.

    They have now both passed on and I have forgiven my father but the painful Christmas memories still periodically surface many decades later. My wonderful wife and children have always understood why I periodically get depressed at this time of year. Their love, and now the joy of my grandchildren, at Christmas time have always kept me mostly happy this time of year.

    I can relate to your melancholy due to bad EMS Christmas memories as my son is a Paramedic in an urban setting who works weekend nights and has had his own difficult Christmas calls.

    I wish you and Kit “inner peace” for this season and evermore, and also wish to thank you from my heart for the selfless service to the community you both provide.

    Thanks, Michael. The song is rough, but your story is more powerful. You had a good mother; may she rest in peace. -rc

  58. I have a rather dark sense of humor, so my favorite wacky Christmas song is “The Pretty Little Dolly”. It always makes me laugh.

    Yep, right up my alley in the “weird” dept.! The definitive version is the songwriter’s, performed on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson — on December 15, 1966.

  59. I’ve never commented before, but as a fellow healthcare professional; Radiology, specializing in CT, I’ve worked more than my fair share of Christmas tragedies. I work mostly nights and generally closely with ER staff so that’s who I identify with most. I’m also a punk rock fan and The Vandals’ Oi to the World is a favorite of mine. The title track is especially enjoyable and less offensive to most than the majority of the rest of the album. (Note, the lead singer is not British although a lot of of the album is in such an accent for reasons I’ve yet to explore). Often the abnormal anthems are the more fun.

    Yeah, you’ve seen plenty. When someone is busted up, radiology helps determine the extent of the bustedness. As for the Vandals, the title track doesn’t do a lot for me, but I’m not much of a punk type. But I’m glad you enjoy it! -rc

  60. I’m so glad you mentioned Bob Rivers. I’ve got two of his albums and they are hysterically funny, and a bit naughty. Which makes them even funnier.

  61. Ok, for weird/offbeat/fun, there’s the catchy song from “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”:(1964): Hooray for Santy Clause. I hear the Senor Tonto version on the Princeton college radio show (the venerable DJ Jon Solomon would do 25 hour shows over Christmas annually, with a bag of continuous weird stuff), and as I love surf/garage music (nice call on Hoodoo Gurus), the Fleshtones do an excellent job, also on YouTube.

    Playlist of this year’s Jon Solomon’s 25 hours of Christmas, chocked full of wonderful weirdness:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    That playlist is an excellent resource. Thanks! -rc

  62. Uh oh. 12 Days of Christmas has been blocked due to copyright infringement. So disappointing.

    Found another version, and updated the page. -rc

  63. Thanks for all your wonderful work Randy — both professionally and on all the This is True and related ventures. All the best wishes to you and Kit for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’m going to try to enjoy as many of your list as possible!!

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ve found replacements for all of them. -rc

  64. I love you! Everytime I am down you send something funny! My grandkids were taken by their dad to Neb., so I am all alone for Christmas. But you and Bob Rivers have made it better! Thank you! Have Peace this holiday.

    Glad to be there for you. -rc

  65. Thanks! Your mail hit my box as I was feeling alone and blue. Thanks for reminding me that it’s not just me. By this time next year, I may be in a nursing home rather than being alone. I’m not sure if that will be better or not. Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and Kit! Peace,

    Glad the timing was good for you. -rc

  66. According to Dr. Demento, that is not Porky Pig singing “Blue Christmas”; it’s his cousin, Seymour Swine.

    Thanks for the clarification. Whatever the case, I didn’t think it was Mel Blanc doing the voice. Here’s the song on Youtube. -rc

  67. Have you considered Stan Rogers song “First Christmas”? Each verse deals with a different scenario of a first Christmas away from home. The heartbreak and loneliness of a runaway girl who spends the night at the Sally Ann where, at least, she has “no beatings from her dad”. The couple who find themselves in the old folks home and all the changes from their beloved traditions. The young man who is now out in the world and appreciates the overtime pay, and more.

    Definitely this is no exhaustive list. Hadn’t heard of that one before (available on Youtube). Thanks for the addition. -rc


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