Before I get to my Top Five albums of the year... I suppose I better do this. Because it's that time of year again. The time when you can't walk into your local Co-Op without hearing Macca wishing you a Wonderful Time, Elton imploring you to Step Into It and Noddy screaming at the size of his royalty cheque. I'm even getting sick of Shane & Kirsty. And I swear if I hear Chris Rea get into his car one more time...
To counteract that... here's ten less-well-played songs "celebrating" the other side of the season...
(Bonus points if you can identify my celebrity Santa. It's not too difficult.)
10. Matthew Thiessen & The Earthquakes - I Hate Christmas Parties
Matthew Thiessen is the lead singer of Canadian Christian alt-rock band Relient K, so you might imagine he'd be more into the festivities than he actually is. Turns out someone left a broken heart under his tree for him this year. Poor sod.
9. Loudon Wainwright III - I'll Be Killing You This Christmas
What better time of year to take a jab at the second amendment? Good old Loudon.
8. Jim White - Christmas Day
I remember quite clearly, a bad Muzak version of James Taylor's big hit,Plus: songwriters are bastards. Don't ever date / dump one. Especially at Christmas.
Called "Fire and Rain" was playing as you crouched down and tearfully kissed me,
And I thought, "Damn, what good fiction I will mold from this terrible pain."
7. John Prine - Christmas In Prison
One of my favourites from JP. I didn't realise it was as old as it is. 1973? That's just a year younger than me!
It was Christmas in prison and the food was real good6. Everclear - I Will Be Hating You For Christmas
We had turkey and pistols carved out of wood
I dream of her always, even when I don't dream
Her name's on my tongue and her blood's in my strings
I'll never understood why Everclear weren't massive...
5. Frank Kelly - The Christmas Countdown
Father Jack, before joining the clergy, recorded this alternate version of the 12 Days of Christmas back in the 80s and it was a firm favourite of mine growing up because Terry Wogan used to play it every year. I play it here in tribute to both Frank and Terry, since we lost both of them this year.
4. Jesse Malin - Xmas
There was a time I believed Jesse Malin was the future of rock 'n' roll. Around the time this album, The Fine Art of Self-Desturction was released. I'm still waiting...
3. The Killers - Don't Shoot Me, Santa
The Killers release a new Christmas song every year. They've just compiled them into a collection, Don't Waste Your Wishes, for charity. I would buy this. With money. Unfortunately, they've made it exclusively available on iTunes which means I can't buy it. With money. Because iTunes breaks my computer every time I try to use it and I hate it with a passion. Still.
I do love this one, from a few years back.
2. Spearmint - Oklahoma
The title track to one of my favourite Christmas albums. Shirley Lee's ode to a tragic homeless drunk from his local town who spread the Christmas spirit with his rendition of Rogers & Hammerstein songs. They miss him when he's gone...
1. The Handsome Family - Stupid Bells
Christmas is the season where most folks kill themselvesLeave it to the Handsome Family to give the grinch a run for his money...
Christmas is the reason for all those stupid bells!
This pagan holiday full of tree worship and fairy lights is an affront to Jehova!
The candy cane is Satan's walking stick!
Merry Christmas from the Handsome Family!
"Happy" Christmas to you all. What's your favourite not-so-festive Christmas song?