Christmas will be here in a few days and after that a new year. One of the best things about the holidays is that people tend to get over themselves. After the removal of sticks from rears en masse there is a list of good things that make folks happy this time of year. The time with friends and family is priceless. Then there’s the choice of eating yourself into oblivion. After that, I’m sure there’s some distilled “spirits” involved. Let’s not forget the smell of a new bike too. One of my absolute favorite things about this time of year is the music. Christmas songs come in two forms: Awesome and horrifically bad.
Since most folks are already in Christmas mode, which means they’ve checked out mentally, I won’t waste a lot of words. Here are eight of my favorite Christmas songs for your listening pleasure.
Charles Brown — Please Come Home For Christmas
As sad and melancholy as “Please Come for Christmas” is, hearing Charles Brown singing this still makes me feel alright about everything. Isn’t that what good songs are supposed to do?
Otis Redding — White Christmas
I always liked Redding’s version of “White Christmas” but Love Actually made me like it more. You can’t go wrong with Otis.
Donny Hathaway — This Christmas
Without fail, “This Christmas” will be played the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s the official gateway song to the holidays.
The Temptations — Silent Night
Six minutes and seven seconds of dope singing. If you don’t like this song you probably hate puppies too.
Ray Charles & Betty Carter — Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Whenever I hear Ray Charles & Betty Carter go in on this song I think of Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert-Wayne lip-syncing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” for a classic scene from A Different World. This song always makes me want to drink too. (As if I need any further prompting.)
TheVince Guaraldi Trio — Christmastime is Here (The Peanuts)
“Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.” Charlie Brown should have stole Linus’ punk-a** in the face before he could finish this sentence.
Charles Brown — Merry Christmas Baby
If “Baby it’s Cold Outside” prompts me to want to drink, “Merry Christmas Baby” should be belted out after you’re already hammered.
Outkast — Player’s Ball
Yes, this is a Christmas song and I will not entertain any arguments to the contrary.
James Brown — Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto
I grew up not far from Augusta, Georgia, which was James Brown’s stomping ground. Soul Brother Number One was a complicated individual. If the term “Ghetto Superstar” is ever to be placed into Webster’s Dictionary, Brown’s picture should be near the entry. It was nothing to see Brown, who was always a presence in Augusta and the neighboring region, meting out food and gifts for those who could not afford it. Tight pants, perm, and all Brown played Santa to the ghetto.
That’s my hard eight. I hope everyone is safe, well-fed, and happy during Christmas and the following days. Enjoy life and stay out of the damn street.
Vaya con Dios.