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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Do You Hear What I Hear...Every F***ing Year?

When I was a kid, I couldn't get enough of Christmas music. My parents would play Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas" as we decorated the tree. I thought Elmo and Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" was a HEE-sterical. Amy Grant's "Grown-Up Christmas List" was one of the most prolific songs I'd heard...ever.

But as the years have passed and I have grown older, my interests in all things Christmas have waned. In fact, lately I find myself groaning at the lack of originality that comes along with Christmas. This is not to say that I have a "Bah Humbug bravado", but I mean really, how many ways can you say joy to the world, goodwill towards men or even Feliz Navidad?

Beyond the lack of original phrasing, the fruit cake is all the more nutty since no one seems to have anything new to say about the season, period. Case in point, Band-Aid 20's remake of the classic "Do They Know It's Christmas?" I can sum up this remake in one word: UNNECESSARY. Sure, they all 2004'ed it up by adding Robbie Williams AND a rap, but other than that, I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The only good thing about this rehash is that I suppose the money goes to charity. That's a plus. Otherwise it's only purpose in my mind is to irritate and remind me of the startling and disturbing fact that it has, indeed, been TWENTY FREAKIN' YEARS since the original. Good lord.

All that being said, in the spirit of the season, I have compiled a list that breaks down my feelings on the ghosts of Christmas music past:

Top 10 Christmas Songs I'm Not Sick Of

1. "Must Have Been Ol' Santa Claus"- Harry Connick Jr.-
This my friends, is a classic waiting in the wings. Not only is this a great, original song, but Harry is also an equal opportunity holiday greeter, wishing warm Happy Hanukah from Harry Connick-ah wishes to all.

2. "Do They Know It's Christmas?"-Band-Aid
The only way to go is with the original no name crew, minus the famous a million times over, Bono.

3. "All Alone On Christmas"-Darlene Love
Cheesy? Yes. Classic. Hell yeah.

4. "All I Want For Christmas Is You"-Mariah Carey
see above

5. "Christmas Wrapping"-The Waitresses
One year, many opened presents ago, I made it my mission to memorize all the lyrics to this song. ("You mean you forgot cranberries too?") I am proud to say I still have it all up in the ol' noggin, just waiting for A Rock N' Roll Jeopardy-like duel.

6. "Last Christmas"-Wham
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the last Christmas song that I can recall that actually had something slightly new to say about the holiday. Not to mention that to this day, it still remains Andrew Ridgeley's biggest claim to fame. Darren Hayes of Savage Garden redid this one a few years back. He's currently Ridgeleying it up somewhere along with John "Jingle Bell Rock" Oates.

7. "Same Old Ayne Syne"- Dan Fogelberg
I like to refer to this gem as my obscure Christmas favorite, but let's call a spade a spade here, most of my interests are nothing if not obscure. Believe it or not, this is actually one of my favorite songs...ever. It's not a traditional Christmas carol, but they usually pull it out and dust it off every year around this time. If you're a sadistic martyr like me and want a little drama with your egg nog, this one's for you!

8. "Reggae Christmas"-Bryan Adams
No, I most certainly will not apologize. This is a fun song. Christmas is meant to be fun. Now go away.

9. "Dominick The Donkey"-Lou Monte
Speaking of fun...when you take fun and add Christmas what do you get? Why Lou "Dominick The Donkey" Monte, of course! This song reminds me of my half, but who am I kidding, more like a 100% Italian heritage. "A dress for Josephine!" That line kills me everytime. Incidentally, if you like this song by Lou you would most certainly like his others considering they are

10."So This Is Christmas"- John Lennon
This one is the biggest "oldie" on my list that I still love. There are others that are good, but nothing that captures the season as well. It succeeds every year in making me reflect upon another year gone by with the opening line. "And so this is Christmas. And what have you done?..." It's in that second I both love and hate Lennon; both for his rhetorical question and his uncanny ability to make me feel inadequate about another 365 days, all at the same time. Thanks, John. You've given a gift that keeps on giving.

On the other hand, I hate, loathe, despise, detest, dislike, deplore, spit upon, shudder at the thought of, dread with the heat of a thousands suns....Paul McCartney's "Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time". No Christmas song before or since has made me want to stab myself repeatedly in the eye. How this can come from the same man who gave us classics such as "Hey Jude", I have no idea. It's like McCartney's musical skeleton that should have never gotten out of the closet.

So there you have it, my recommendations for repeat offenders this holiday season. Feel free to share one of your own. You can also feel free to kiss or dismiss one of my picks. I don't care. It's Santa Claus who sees you when you're sleeping and when you're awake. I just blog here.



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