Sunday, 14 December 2008

Get Behind Me, Santa!

Seven Festive Favourites

Our modest Christmas tree is illuminated, a few presents have been bought and so far I've eaten two mince pies this month. If you're not feeling festive yet these seven songs should help.

MP3: Sufjan Stevens - Get Behind Me, Santa!

This is from Stevens' Songs For Christmas box set. Not the greatest Christmas song of all time but certainly the one with the best title.

MP3: The Blind Boys of Alabama - Last Month of the Year

The Blind Boys' Christmas album contains more hits than misses and starts brilliantly with this track. This is usually the first festive song I play each year and for much of December Jo has to out up me constantly asking, "When was Jesus born?".

MP3: The Blind Boys of Alabama w/ Tom Waits

The Blind Boys have covered a few Tom Waits songs so it makes sense that he guests on this. Plus, his growl is perfect for preaching. (For those who care about these things, Danny Thompson plays double bass on this track).

MP3: Tom Waits - Silent Night

Recorded for a 1989 charity compilation, SOS United, I'm not sure that this version of Silent Night works as a lullaby.

MP3: The Staple Singers - Who Took The Merry Out of Christmas

I love this song. Like so many Staple staples it's full of righteous anger but remains utterly joyful.

MP3: Low - Just Like Christmas

A Christmas song that isn't actually about Christmas but does have plenty of sleigh bells with nods in the direction of Phil Spector. Perfect.

MP3: Captain Beefheart - There Ain't No Santa Claus on the Evening Stage

What can I say? Certainly one of the strangest Christmas songs ever recorded. You can find it on the Captain's Spotlight Kid album.

Happy Christmas! As usual please leave a comment with your thoughts on yte tracks. For an even more interesting collection of Christmas songs I recommend a visit to Big Rock Candy Mountain - twang, truckers and tinsel abound.


John said...

In recent years, the Low song has become a personal favorite, but all of these get a spin in our household come the Yuletide season (the Waits reserved only for nighttime listening, per usual).

Happy Holidays!

Cocktails said...

Nice selection of tunes - not too schmultzy! I particularly enjoyed the Blind Boys of Alabama stuff.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those who cares about the Danny Thompson thing. or maybe THE one. I care enough to know that he also played bass on Cliff's classic 'Congratulations'.

Anonymous said...

Christmas Song by the occasionally amazing Mogwai. From their Mogwai EP which also features the songs Stanley Kubrick, Burn Girl Prom Queen and Rage:Man. All worth a listen. Tom Waits is very nearly an anagram of moist twats, I just realised. Merry Christmas. And sorry about the anagram thing, I'll be in my office.

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