Christmas music update

The onset of Christmas music (and more generally, “holiday music”) began at Halloween and is now in full flow. While in general I feel unpleasantly imposed on by the onslaught, especially in public places and especially by dreadful renditions of cutesy or boring songs, I’ve accumulated quite a lot of Christmas music on my iTunes.

Last year on Christmas Eve I posted about this music on this blog. Here’s an update.

By very crude categories (slightly adapted from last year), with the 2010 items first and then the additions:

folk, shapenote, and early American music:
2010: the Chieftains, the McGarrigle Family, the Columbus Consort, the Boston Camerata (2 albums)

add: Judy Hauff (Angels on the Wing)

choral settings, mostly of carols:
2010: Andrew Parrott/Taverner Consort (2 albums), the King’s Singers

add: Elmer Iseler Singers

other clasically oriented:
2010: Anonymous 4 (3 albums), Chanticleer (4 albums)

add: Philharmonia Baroque with Corelli’s Christmas Concerto

hard to classify:
2010: Inner Voices, the Roches, Patty Loveless

add: John Fahey (The New Possibility)

very hard to classify:
2010: Brave Combo’s It’s Christmas, Man! (polka, samba, cha cha, and more)

add: Take 6’s He Is Christmas (R&B versions), Palast Orchester / Max Raabe with Vom Himmel hoch (quirky jazzy 1930s versions, in English and German)

Then there are single tracks that I didn’t catalogue last year, among them:

Downey Moravian Trombone Choir, “Christmas”; The Watersons, “Christmas Is Now Drawing Near”; several versions of the Sacred Harp song “Christmas Anthem” (and of other shapenote Christmas songs)

Allan Sherman, “The Twelve Gifts of Christmas”; Fiddlin’ John Carson, “Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over”; Kenny Laguna, “Home for Christmas”; Ramones, “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”; Paul Simon, “Getting Ready for Christmas Day”; Tom Lehrer, “A Christmas Carol”

(spoken) Stan Freberg, “Christmas Dragnet (Yulenet)”, parts 1 and 2; David Rakoff, “Christmas Freud”

There are probably more. I didn’t include Kinky Friedman’s “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore”, though local radio station KFJC (at Foothill College) regularly includes it in its array of weird Christmas music.

Last year, Tané Tachyon recommended a version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” sung to the tune of the Sacred Harp song “Northfield” (#155: “How long, dear Savior, O how long / Shall this bright hour delay”), but it’s no longer available on the site, so I don’t have it on my iTunes.


5 Responses to “Christmas music update”

  1. Rudolph in Northfield « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] my Christmas music update (here), I reported that Last year, Tané Tachyon recommended a version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed […]

  2. Tané Tachyon Says:

    I can send it to you if you let me know which address to use.

    I should try to get everyone to sing it at the local Shape Note holiday party next month!

  3. 2012 Christmas music bulletin « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] of Christmas music (much of which is decidedly odd). The 2010 bulletin is here, the 2011 one here. What’s new this year: the hyperkinetic Clubbing Christmas 2008, found by Elizabeth […]

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