Alternate Title: Where’s Jona Been All My Life?
I used to think Christmas music was inherently bad. I’ve since learned that I just didn’t want to hear “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “Last Christmas” or any other pop renditions of Jesus’s birthday.
I’m old enough, maybe sappy enough, to enjoy some Christmas music. I never had anything against all the oldies, except the most played out like “White Christmas.” But I’ll still go for Darlene Love, “Rockin’ Around,” “Jingle Bell Rock” or of course Jose Feliciano (old or new, doesn’t matter).
I don’t know what it is about Mariah or George Michael that drives me up a wall. I don’t have much more to say about it than that. If you agree, maybe you’ll dig these. I’m inspired to opine by a discovery yesterday, an English tune as old as myself, and a gamechanger in my festive nativity repertoire.
Stop the Cavalry
The song was composed as an anti-war anthem, but the public converted it into a Christmas song. In hindsight, hard to see it go any other way.
Every time I come across a new English musician I come back to the same conclusion, that somehow they’re just better at music. While Americans invent all the genres, and the English may never may worthy hip-hop, they are undeniably better at rock and pop. Or at least punch well above their weight, given their fraction of the U.S. population.
Fairytale of New York
My new pick from Jona is great, but nothing will ever dethrone Fairytale in my book. Maybe resonates more for those of us who have been in the drunk tank on Christmas Eve. Or those who refuse to give up the broken dreams. Still makes me choke back a tear. You get sappy with age. This is claimed by the Irish, but technically score another for the English.
Christmas in Hollis
My first love. Featured in Die Hard, but I first heard it on the compilation it originally appeared on. At some point my father obtained it on CD, which would have been years later in the 90s, which I remember because they would always skip past it while my brother and I would play it on repeat. That kind of action ruined the track, made it skip.
Almost embarrassed to put a hip-hop track here. But in my defense, I’m a product of the 80s and 90s. If you didn’t listen to rap, you had underweight testicles. As the male body matures, it discards rap at around 40 years of age. Those who don’t discard it likely have an underweight brain. It’s science.
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)
Is this one really a standout? It’s The Ramones. If you like one, you like them all. For the rest of your life. That’s my experience anyway.
Vamos Pastores, which keeps with the less commercial Nativity celebrations of Latin America, was my first favorite in Spanish, discovered while living in the land of Santa Rosa and San Martin de Porres.
Mi Burrito Sabanero
There’s a full genre of children’s Christmas songs in castellano. For those looking to teach the language of Cervantes to their children, singing these is a fun lesson we’re doing.
While we’re celebrating the Son of God, have you heathens hit your knees yet? This one helps me keep out of the drunk tank.