Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #24: Some of My Favorite Christmas Songs

Thirteen of My Favorite Christmas Songs

In case you missed it last year, this week's T13 is a repeat listing some of my favorite yuletide tunes.

1. Christmas In Hollis- Run DMC: Hip-hop holiday cheer by the rap trio from Queens. This tune was orig. featured on the 1987 album "A Very Special Christmas".

2. Christmas Wrapping- The Waitresses: Recorded in 1981 by the group that also did "I Know What Boys Like" and "Square Pegs", "Christmas Wrapping" tells the story of a single woman who (because of an exhausting year) plans to sit out the normal Yuletide activities. However, fate intervenes in a positive way.

3. Dear Santa Claus- Bobby Womack: This beautiful ballad was included on Womack's 1999 Christmas album "Traditions".

4. Father Christmas- The Kinks: Recorded in 1977, this song details the misfortune of a department store Santa who gets beaten up by a gang of kids asking him for money.

5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus- John Mellencamp: This rocking version of the classic was also part of the 1987 compilation "A Very Special Christmas".

6. Jingle Bell Rock- Hall & Oates: Recorded circa 1985, I remember that this song was accompanied by a "so bad it's good" music video. Click here to watch it.

7. Merry Christmas Baby- Otis Redding: Released posthumously in 1968, this song was the flip side to Otis' version of "White Christmas". I love when Otis sings the line, " Santa came down the chimney. Half past three, y'all."

8. Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy- David Bowie & Bing Crosby: Definitely one of the oddest music pairings, but it works! This medley was recorded in 1977 for Bing's Christmas special.

9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- The Temptations: Motown magic from the Emperors of Soul. This song was orig. included on the 1970 album "The Temptations Christmas Card".

10. Run Rudolph Run- Chuck Berry: Although it's been recorded by several artists (Bryan Adams, The Grateful Dead, and Sheryl Crow to name a few), this 1958 version is my favorite.

11. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town- The Jackson Five: The brothers from Gary, IN recorded this for their 1970 release "Christmas Album".

12. This Christmas- Donny Hathaway: This 1970 classic has been remade by a wide range of artists, including: Usher, Gloria Estefan, Harry Connick Jr, Boyz II Men, and the Cheetah Girls. It also inspired the 2007 film starring Regina King, Loretta Devine, and Chris Brown.

13. You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch- Thurl Ravenscroft: For the longest time, I thought the vocalist for this song was Geoffrey Holder (you may remember him from the 7-Up "Uncola" commercials from the 1970s). However, the man giving the verbal thrashing to the creature with a heart "two sizes too small" is Thurl Ravenscroft. He is best known as the voice of Tony the Tiger in over 500 commercials for Kelloggs' Frosted Flakes.*

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ellen b. said...

Love your spirit! Enjoy your rockin Christmas...

Holly Smith said...

OK, I know this is bad, but the Hall & Oates video made me think of the spoof that Justin Timberlake and that guy from Sat. Night Live did last year (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about - I refuse to type the title :). I also LOVE #13. Great list! Now I'm going to go back and listen to a few more.


Nice lists of songs. Jingle bells, I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus are just one of my favorites.

Sandee said...

Great list. Lots of great artists too. Have a wonderful, musical TT. :)

SJ Reidhead said...

You will probably get ticked when you read my TT. I list some of the music I don't like.

The Pink Flamingo

Nicholas said...

I didn't realize that #8 was a posthumous hit for Bing.

Lori said...

You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch. I never would have thought to add that to my list. But I love the song. Not only have I been known to sing it, every now and then it's sung to me (aka Mrs. Grinch). LOL

The Waitresses "I Know What Boys Like." Wow, haven't heard that song since my MTV days, back when they still played videos.

I love Charles Brown's version of "Merry Christmas Baby."

But what about JB's "Santa Claus, Go Straight To the Ghetto?! (LOL). Well, it's one of my favorites.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Would you believe that your rocking and rolling (Jewish) friend here LOVES the Bowie/Crosby Little Drummer Boy? One of my all-time favorite renditions of an all-time favorite song.

Happy TT, babe!

Crimson Wife said...

I'm unfamiliar with several of your choices, but you've got some great ones on your list! Happy TT :-)

pjazzypar said...

Hey Malcolm,

You got some real good ones here. I would added The Emotions "What Do The Lonely Do at Christmas", The Ojays "Christmas Just Ain't Christmas", and Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song". Happy TT.

PamelaMKramer said...

I can't get to the music because I don't have Napster. I may have to go search for some of these! Salsbury Hill makes a great walking or running song. If you are alone on the track and it's just you and your ipod/mp3 player it really keeps you going! Happy TT

Greatfullivin said...

I am not much for rockin out the season but I do like #12. Thanks

Open Grove Claudia said...

I haven't heard most of these songs. But, sorry, Malcolm, I'm so bah humbug on Christmas music. Prejudice - I know! Hrm....

Happy TT!

My TT is up A little kindness

BookMama said...

I've always loved that David Bowie/Bing Crosby song! (Even the extremely cheesy video from 1977.)

My TT is up - my best Christmas presents ever.

Cynthia said...

Oh man, you left out the best one...The Wham Christmas Song (I can't remember the name of it) "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart...The very next day, you gave it away. This Christmas to save me from tears, I'll give it to somebody special..." C'mon, that's poetry;)

The Gal Herself said...

#5 is one of my all-time favorites. Love that fiddle! (Thanks for visiting my TT)

SandyCarlson said...

This is just plain fun. I'll try 'em all except for the Jacksons. The one that looks like Diana Ross creeps me out.

Thanks for a fun post.

Malcolm said...

Ellen B.: Thanks... you do the same!

Holly: Yes, I know the skit of which you speak. I listened to "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" about 10 times today.

Friday's Child: Thanks

S.J. Reidhead: I read your TT and yes, I am pissed!! Seriously, I am not... I like how you put yourself out there.

Nicholas: Yup, Bing died about a month after this was recorded.

Lori: I think I might have "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" memorized by the time Christmas comes... that's how much I have been playing it.

Susan: On paper, a Bowie/Crosby duet doesn't sound promising, but their voices blended really well together. By the way, I won't tell anyone about your listening to Christmas songs.

Pjazzy: The Ojays "Christmas Just Ain't Christmas" probably would have made my list, but I don't have a copy of it. At least I don't think I do.

Pamela Kramer: Since some of the tracks aren't from Napster (the ones that don't have an asterisk), you may be able to download some of these. Solsbury Hill does have kind of a marching beat. I may have to purchase it so that I can listen while I walk.

Greatfullivin: It's funny that you mention #12. It was a last minute replacement for The Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick".

Open Grove: Since these songs aren't of the "Fa-la-la-la-la" variety, you might like some of them. If you are in a "bah humbug" mood, "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" fits the bill.

Bookmama: You are right about that video. Some of the dialogue that Bing and David recite is pretty lame.

Nap Warden: The Wham song you are talking about is called "Last Christmas". Sorry, but it doesn't do a thing for me. :-)

The Gal Herself: I think you or somebody else mentioned Mellencamp's version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" last week. A few days earlier, I knew that it would be one of the songs on this week's TT. Just as you do, I love Lisa Germano's work on the fiddle.

Sandy Carlson: Thanks for the kind words. It was fun putting together as well. I also hate what Michael has done to himself physically. When I hear him songs from the Jackson Five days, I picture him as a little black boy... not the white woman that he morphed into. :-)

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Excellent selections Malcom - I totally concur!

Unknown said...

You know what - I've heard and I like #8 - Bing and Bowie - it worked though.

(and yeah, I do all my shopping online)

Happy TT-13!



Lori said...

How about "all I want for Christmas is you" by Mariah Carey?? Great tune. Loved the list. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by:)

Natalie said...

I haven't heard most of those. What a fun idea for the list!

My T13 post is up, come check it out if you get a chance. :)

damozel said...

Excellent list--you always have great suggestions, so I'm bookmarking this list so I can listen later to the ones on it I don't know.

The Grinch song IS a personal favorite, though. And even though it's not a Christmas song, "Lucy and Linus" always reminds me of the holiday season. I can remember the first time I watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

No politics this week; I thought I'd do an alternative posting. The Flatland Almanack --Damozel

Red said...

My favourite Christmas song is actually not a Christmas song at all, but it has become one in the UK because it was a big hit at Yuletide several years ago. It's I Believe, by (I believe) Elvis Presley.

I also love Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow by Dean Martin. Haha, sounds like I'm old school like that!

Xakara said...

Merry Christmas Baby by Otis is one of the first songs I remember growing up. I need to search out soem of the others I remember.

Thanks for the prompt.

~Xakara <----Please use this link

DEHausfrau said...

The David Bowie/Bing Crosby "Little Drummer Boy" is a classic. I love the video for it because they make such an odd pair in person.

Thanks for checking me out! Happy TT!

Bloggers said...

I have been singing I saw mommy kissing santa claus for the last several weeks. I love that song.

Joyismygoal said...

fun and differnt ones then the usual fare

Dane Bramage said...

I did not know that about Thurl Ravenscroft. What a voice. Christmas Wrapping and This Christmas are songs I must here every year. And Christmas Time is Here by the Salsoul Orchestra.

Thanks for visiting my T13 13 Things I Want For Christmas But Will Never Get!

Your Halle Berry clone is being wrapped at this very momment.

Lisa said...

I completely forgot about those songs by The Kinks, David Bowie & Bing Crosby, The Jacksons, and The Temptations. Those are really great songs.

And that Hall & Oates video. Geesh. I tried to block that memory out in 1987, but now it's fried into my brain.

Malcolm said...

Works For Mom: Thanks... you have excellent taste. :-)

Holly: Talk about an Odd Couple... Bob Hope's "Road buddy" and the Artist Formerly Known As Ziggy.

Lori: To tell you the truth, the thing that I remember most about that Mariah Carey Christmas CD is how tasty she looked in that little Santa number she was wearing. :-)

Natalie: Thanks for stopping by. I must have visited yours at about the same time you were here. I hope that you take the opportunity to download some of the songs you don't know. You just might gain some new faves. :-)

Damozel: Thanks... it's always cool to hear some positive feedback about my TTs. "Lucy and Linus" has the same effect on me. I had it on CD, but I believe I sold it in an effort to scale down my CD collection.

Red: I don't believe I know that Elvis song that you mentioned. I may have to look into that.

Xakara: Come to think of it, Otis' version of "Merry Christmas Baby" is one of the earliest Xmas tunes that I remember also. That and the Donny Hathaway tune I included.

Mommychicky: I was thinking about it this morning and the Bowie/Crosby pairing would be akin to someone like Johnny Mathis and 50 Cent teaming up for a duet. Imagine that.

Bloggers: I had "I Saw Mommy..." playing in my car on the way to work this morning. Like I mentioned earlier, I love the fiddle playing on Mellencamp's version.

Joyismygoal: Thanks for noticing that I didn't stick with the usual fare. For people who love Christmas music, I thought it would be cool to share some tunes that they might not have in their collection.

Dane: Although my voice is deep, it can't compare to Thurl's. Plus, outside of the shower, my singing voice isn't all that hot.

Thanks for letting me know that my Halle Berry "present" is on the way!

Lisa: I had never heard The Kinks' song until last year. I listener to my radio show requested it. Since I didn't have it, I purchased it from Napster shortly thereafter.

By the way, I hope that I didn't cause you any permanent brain damage by mentioning the Hall and Oates video. :-)

My Busy Life said...

A lot of which I haven't heard. Sounds like good listening. DH- Dear Husband and DS- Dear Son, or Darling H/S. Thanks for stopping by!

stephanie said...

Fantastic list - the first two are the bomb. For a long time, I only had a scratchy recorded-from-the-radio cassette version of "Christmas Wrapping" but I held onto it Grinchily.

Merriest Christmas to you :)

Samantha_K said...

These are all great, and it's definitly hard to pare down to 13. I love Jim Carrey's "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch". It's a good'un.
Happy TT!

Dreamer said...

I love the Grinch song. It makes me crack up.


Rebecca said...

Lots of good ones on there!! Happy TT :P

Michelle said...

I've always thought of Donny Hathaway's This Christmas as the 'African American Christmas Song' no matter who else does it!

Happy TT!

Siani said...

Interesting Christmas list - and a big improvement on the horrid stuff that normally gets pumped out through store speakers at this time of year. Thanks for the visit. Happy TT!

Rian Fike said...

What is it about Christmas and the corniest songs of all time?

Gotta love it.

Denise Patrick said...

Great list. I like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by the Jackson 5. And, of course, your Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer is right on!!

Happy TT!

Jenn said...

Great choices! Thanks for stopping by my TT!

Sharon said...

LOVE your song choices. The Chuck Berry one is a favorite of mine, too.
Another I love (didn't see it here) is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen By BNL and Sarah McGlaughlin (sp?). Are you familiar w/ that one? I love that version of the song.

Have a great holiday!

Tara said...

Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry and This Christmas by Donny Hathaway are two of my favorite Christmas songs. Great list!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog!

Melissa said...

LOVE this list. I knew the thing about Thurl though. And it just isn't Christmas until I hear Christmas Wrapping. Actually makes me tear up for some reason.

Glad you liked my D2 recap. Thanks for stopping by.

Janet said...

there's so many songs on here that I love...Father Christmas being my favorite! Love Christmas Wrapping, Jingle Bell Rock (love that video, corny as it may be...I just saw Hall & Oates last Saturday and they did it!), Run Rudolph, I saw Mommy...this'd make a great CD!

Thanks for visiting :-)

Anonymous said...

Killer list man! And Run DMC at the top. Awesome! And by some great artists too. I dig it!

Malcolm said...

The Mocha Mom: Thank you for swinging by. I hope you take the opp. to give some of these a listen. By the way, thanks for confirming what "DH" and "DS" mean. I figured it was something like that.

Stephanie: You brought back some great memories when you mentioned cassettes of songs recorded from the radio. I wish I had saved some of those because they would be fun to hear which songs made my "playlist" back then.

Samantha K: I came really close to saying "screw it" and making it a Thursday Fourteen. I still haven't seen Jim Carrey's version of "The Grinch"... one of these days.

Morgan Leigh: Probably my favorite line from "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" is:

The three words that best describe you are, and I quote: "Stink. Stank. Stunk."

Michelle: Thank you for stopping by! I never thought about it, but you made a good point about "This Christmas".

Siani: When I read your comments about horrid Xmas music, I literally lol. That is one thing I don't miss about working retail... being bombarded with Xmas music while working.

Rian: How do you like your corn? In the can or on the cob?

Denise: I forgot that you are also a Tempts fan like I am. I love it when the Tempts singing backup say "Hey Rudolph!"

Sharon: No, I am not familiar with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by BNL and SM. I'll have to look for it because I am a bit intrigued. Pairing those two acts is interesting because of BNL's goofy sense of humor and SM seems so serious. I guess the fact that they are Canadian acts may have something to do with them teaming up.

Tara: I think the first time I heard "Run Rudolph Run" is when I bought Chuck Berry's boxed set. I was surprised when I read that he didn't write it.

Melissa: When I was putting this list together, I listened really closely to the lyrics of "Christmas Wrapping". Call me crazy, but I can see the storyline from the song serving as the basis for a movie.

Janet: That's so cool that you saw Hall and Oates live! To give you an idea of what I think of them, I have seen them in concert three times.

Michael T: Thanks for stopping by! The reason that "Christmas In Hollis" was at the top was because I alphabetized the list by song title. However, if I did compile it based on how much I liked each tune, it would still be near the top.

I am surprised that there aren't more Christmas rap tunes. Maybe there are and I just haven't heard them.

Candy Minx said...

Well...I am going to have to go out and get some more've inspired me some songs that I do not know!!!! Thanks...

X. Dell said...

My favorite Christmas song: "Money," by Barrett Strong.

Malcolm said...

Candy Minx: If you haven't already, have fun downloading the songs I provided.

X. Dell: If that's all I got for Christmas (Money), I would be satisfied.

The Gal Herself said...

#5 is far and away my favorite, though I can't believe it was released back in (gulp) 1987. God, I'm old!

#8 is such a trippy video.

Anonymous said...

Hiya! Yes, there are some real earworms and faves here! :)

I have two TTs, the one I liked below and the other one, at :)

Happy everythings!

Anonymous said...

I hardly know any of those, but the I try to tune out Xmas music. The Crosby/Bowie pairing was very unusual, though it would take more talent than those 2 possessed to make a bit of drek like Drummer Boy into something enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

Okay, you got me on the first 3 and on #12. On my way to hunt 'em down and give a listen. 'Cause you know when they call you Carol, y'gotta know 'em all.

Merry Christmas from She Lives!

Unknown said...

I haven't heard some of these. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa is one of my favs. Happy Holidays!

kandyblossom said...

Good list. I love the Mellancamp version of that song. And you are right about the Bowie/Crosby pairing...very odd, but it definitely worked.

Merry Christmas.

Debbie@Like a Rose said...

#5 and #13 are a couple of my favorites too.

Janet said...

I love your positive lists! Quite a few of my favorites on here:

Christmas Wrapping- The Waitresses
Father Christmas- The Kinks
Jingle Bell Rock- Hall & Oates (corniest video EVER, but man they were big on SNL back in the day!)
Run Rudolph Run- Chuck Berry
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town- The Jackson Five
You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch- Thurl Ravenscroft (just heard this one on the way home last night!)

Cinnamon Girl said...

Bing and Bowie for the win!!
Happy TT =)

Anonymous said...

Oh, #5!!!! I love that song and this version.

My all time favorite Christmas Song will always be "I'll Be Home For Christmas" by Bing Crosby. It always evokes memories of my family, especially my Mom.

And I love #13 - There's just something about The Grinch and that song.

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