Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Una's Pagan Playlist


It’s the day before Thanksgiving.

Do you know what this means?

It means as of 5 pm EST tomorrow I can start listening to Christmas music!

(Yes, I am one of those people. But I don’t care what you say; it’s not a choice. I was born like this.)

If I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life, it would probably be the skating theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Well, that or “Pussy Control” by Prince.

(Or a mashup of the two, like on Glee! Consider that gauntlet officially thrown, Ryan Murphy.)

Also, when I hear Frank Sinatra sing about snowflakes and holly sprigs and stockings, it’s like my ears are filled with butter-drenched puppies and there’s mistletoe hanging over my crotch.

(I take away the mistletoe when he sings about the baby Jesus, though.)

Also, since you asked, yes, I WILL share with you my ultimate pagan holiday playlist:
  • Cool Yule, Louis Armstrong
  • Santa Baby, Eartha Kitt
  • Skating, Vince Guaraldi Trio (Charlie Brown Christmas)
  • Nutcracker Suite, The Brian Seltzer Orchestra
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside, Ella Fitzgerald
  • Let It Snow, Lena Horne
  • Christmas Every Day, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  • All I Want For Christmas Is You, Olivia Olson (from Love, Actually--don't hate)
  • The Christmas Waltz, Frank Sinatra
  • Saludo (Aguinaldo), Luis & Maria (from Merry Christmas From Sesame Street, 1975)
  • Run, Run Rudolph, Chuck Berry
  • Merry, Merry Christmas Baby, Dodie Stevens
  • Put A Little Love In Your Heart, Al Green and Annie Lennox (Okay, this is not a holiday song per se, but it's at the end of my favorite Christmas movie, Scrooged, so it counts).
Leave a comment with your guilty pleasure holiday tune* and I'll pick one lucky** reader at random to receive an old-school mix of the above Christmas classics.

*This is optional; you can also just tell me how I'm going to burn for eternity***, or how surprisingly good Prince looks with Farrah Fawcet hair.

**No, I am not being sarcastic.

***You probably won't get the CD, though.

UPDATE: I'm capping this contest at 69 comments, because that is awesome. And since there are 69 I'm picking three winners (in celebration of the inadvertent dirtiness). Using a random generator they are:

1. Stated4all
2. Kristie Lynne
3. Erin (the 4th comment from top; sorry, other Erin!)

Congrats, guys! You just won something of absolutely no real value! I'll be contacting you for your addresses. Get ready for some sweet mix tape action.



  1. All I want for Christmas Is You - Vinva Vance and the Valiants

    Mostly because the music video is amazing.

  2. I honestly love N'Sync's O Holy Night. I even judge myself for it but I just can't help it.

  3. Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis"

  4. I would love to get this. Seriously. As for guilty, my dad is OBSESSED with Christmas music so any new CDs are like little gifts from angels. You could be my foul mouthed angel, Una! Otherwise, he'll just mash together "Jingle Bells" and "Dashing Through the Snow" and any other tiny snippets that pop into his head NEVER FINISHING ANY SONG COMPLETELY. Save me, Una, you're my only hope!

  5. Love your list! The masochist in my really loves I'll be Home for Christmas because I won't be and who doesn't like a good, hard holiday cry?! Runner up is definitely Santa Baby, preferably by Eartha Kitt but Madonna will do...

  6. John Lennon's So This is Christmas isn't on your playlist?? I love that song. I also have The Beach Boys Little Saint Nick. And Martina McBride's version of O Holy Night. I actually have several versions of that song because it's my all time fave Christmas song. I have the entire John Denver & The Muppets Christmas album (if you've never heard it that's just sad). And a new fave is Evan Taubenfeld's Merry Swiftmas, which is hilarious. I've been listening to Christmas music for weeks, which is completely unlike me. My sister even took some of the old LP's we used to listen to as kids when we decorated for Christmas and sent them to some company that copies them to CD. Pretty cool. Incredibly nostalgic.
    P.S. I think this is my longest comment ever.

  7. My favorite guilty pleasure Christmas song is Bing Crosby's Mele Kalikimaka Hawaiian Christmas but Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses comes close!

    I could never wait until after Thanksgiving to start listening to Christmas music, it's hard enough for me to hold off until November! (Yes, I'm one of THOSE people!)

    Happy Holidays!

  8. Oh, I love love love Judy Garland's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." (And only her version. I'm a terribly snob).

    I know it's rather sad for a Christmas song, but it's also chock full of hope. It's gotten me through a couple of less exciting Christmases.

    (Psst - I too am counting down the hours to Christmas music. Squee!)

  9. Barbara9:33 AM

    Snoopy's Christmas, by the Royal Guardsmen -- a favorite ever since I had the 45 as a little girl and played it on my portable record player!

  10. In a blog post of yore, you said you were mortified to learn of a friend's affection for Amy Grant's A Christmas Album. I would like to admit that I am that friend.

  11. I love "Baby, it's cold oustide," but it's hard to overlook it's undertones. I think it's the official date rape Christmas song. The more she says she needs to go, the more persuasive he is.

    Check out the lyrics:
    "I really must go.."
    "But, baby it's cold outside..."
    "I really can't stay..."
    "Just drink this and everything will be fine"

    OK, that last one really isn't a lyric, but it fits!

  12. Last Christmas - Wham. Yeah I said it.

  13. That is a superb holiday song list!

    One of my newest favorites (but I am listening to on repeat because it is crack for my Christmas lovin' soul) is Straight No Chaser's "The Twelve Days of Christmas (Live)"

    It starts out like any regular a cappella version of "Twelve Days" but then they mix in some other classic Christmas favorites, and one that you do NOT see coming! Or, well, I didn't. If you haven't heard this song, I highly recommend it. As long as you aren't averse to a cappella songs. Then I would tell you to avoid this song.

    Actually, you know what? Here:


  14. On Prince's Crystal Ball, there is a version of Pussy Control that features a full choir of people chanting and repeating PUSSY in the background during the chorus.

    It's awesome.

  15. Kermit singing Only One More Sleep till Christmas! And the rest of the soundtrack to A Muppet Christmas Carol :)

  16. It's not Christmas to me without John Denver and the Muppets, the best Christmas album ever! I have it on vinyl, but didn't have a record player for awhile, had to get it on CD.

    Love your list - especially All I Want for Christmas is You - love how she sings it.

  17. Dominic the Donkey
    ***Warning: it may get stuck in your head...

    or Bob and Doug McKenzie's 12 days of Christmas
    Merry Christmas from Canada...

  18. Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas

    I can't stand Mariah Carey, I really can't stand her. But I love Christmas music (my mom starts the music Nov 1st and I got it from her)and when she hits that high note I can't help but fart rainbows of seasonal joy.

  19. It's impossible to pick one, I love them all...but one of the embarrassing ones that I love is Tom Petty's Christmas All Over Again.

    And the Love Actually version of All I Want For Christmas Is You is the best!

  20. I have been fighting the urge to listen to Christmas music early! My favorites are Silver Bells and Carol of the Bells. I also loved Christina Aguilera's Christmas album.

  21. Anonymous10:35 AM

    Nice mix! If I was going to make a holiday mix (which I totally will now) it would have to have some NKOTB, the Judds (long story) and the Waitresses. Good luck to everyone!

  22. Maria, mpistorio@aol.com10:42 AM

    Duh, Feliz Navidad!

  23. I love this song. It's so cheesy but delightful! It's Bing Crosby singing "Christmas Is".

    I first heard it on a Better Homes & Garden's Christmas CD. That should reveal the true shame in this song.

  24. Yes yes yes. Santa Baby, Eartha's and Madonna's versions both for their own merits.

    I can't lie, I have a dance for "Jesus (oh what a wonderful child)" from the Mariah Carey Merry Christmas Album (That entire album is GOLD and in every single Christmas mix I make. I will not even dignify that new Christmas album she made with a mention...oh wait.)

    I cannot believe Wham! Last Christmas isn't on your list...its like all the "gay man in a woman's body" cred you've established is gone in the blink of an eye!

    And Tom Jones's version of "Baby it's cold outside" is the most menacing version of that song I've ever heard. Take a's terrifying, and amazing.

  25. bermtopia11:01 AM

    WHAT!!!!????? You leave out "Christmas Is All Around" from Love Actually. I'm dashed against the rocks on that one.

    But for your listening pleasure -- "Evergreen" by the Squirrel Nut Zippers

  26. The Pogues - Fairytale of New York
    Tom Petty's - Christmas All Over Again
    Better Than Ezra - Merry Christmas Eve (I defy anyone to listen to this song and not get a little misty)
    Blink 182 - I won't be home for christmas (because sometimes I too am one big scrooge)

    I have a 'Family Christmas' record that has all the classic Christmas standards and it's my very favorite of all time - Nat King Cole's Christmas song, Burl Ives holly jolly xmas etc, you get the idea. I'm also a big fan of the Charlie brown Christmas soundtrack in it's entirety.

    I bought a Boney M christmas a few years back and it's pretty great too.

  27. While this is not my contribution to a Christmas tune, and the vision may sully your appetite just before the best day of gluttony all year long (that's not cool, and I apologize), it still manages to be mostly relevant.

    I once saw Jared the Subway Guy singing a karaoke version of "Pussy Control" in a bar near my home. It was years ago, but believe me, the image is still seared upon my brain.

    Hope you laughed, not cried. Happy Turkey (and Wine) Day!

  28. Okay I got a couple more worth mentioning... Barenaked Ladies 'Barenaked for the Holidays' is a great album, and once a year I have to listen to Bob And Doug Mackenzie's 12 Days of Christmas.


  29. Gah.. this may be the best Christmas post I've ever read on any blog ever.

    I just remembered I really want to get my hands on 'Christmas with the Vandals'. There's some great tracks on that one.

  30. psychsarah11:13 AM

    I have so many old favourites, and I tend to buy at least one new Christmas album a year. My classic fave is the David Bowie/Bing Crosby "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy". It's ill how happy I get when the video comes on TV, especially when it's the full version where David knocks on Bing's door and they chat first. Cool Yule is an old fave I sang in Jazz Choir in high school (oh yeah, I was that cool!!)

    New favourites include the Barenaked Ladies holiday album (they are good little multiculturalists and do some Hannukah songs too). I love Green Christmas and they do a good version of Baby It's Cold Outside with Holly Cole.

    I also adore the Love Actually version of All I Want for Christmas Is You, because that kid is precious, and it means I can like that song without listening to Mariah Carey, to whom I morally object. The "Christmas is All Around" song from Love Actually is pretty funny too, given the context of the movie.

  31. I don't particularly like Christmas music but your pagan list is awesome enough to inspire me to comment.

    My guilty pleasure is the not particularly pagan "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."

    should I be lucky enough to win, shoot me an email at leahmili at gmail dot com

  32. Fine, I will admit it on the internet -Josh Groban's version of Oh Holy Night is the best. I honestly believe a unicorn is born every time that song is played. It's magical like that.

    Also, Go Tell it on the Mountain by...Jim Nabors. Why? Because its GOMER PYLE! THAT IS NOT how you would expect him to sound. I spent much of my youth trying to get my girlie voice to sound like this.
    (Still trying, actually.)

  33. Anonymous11:39 AM

    I love your line-up. I don't feel guilty about listening to any of them. Charlie Brown's theme is the one that makes me smile, and I think Jewel's version of Silent Night is beautiful. Basically, I love them all. And I'm not going to pick just one. So there. Hey, who is the guy in the pink bow tie down there.

  34. Kenny Loggins "Celebrate Me Home"

    Bruce Springsteen "Merry Christmas, Baby"

    and last but certainy not least...

    The Drifters version of "White Christmas"

    I'm a little be less grinchy now! Happy Thanksgiving, Sassy!

  35. Claudia11:50 AM

    Bob Dylan "singing" Here comes Santa Claus.
    Plus, totally Last Christmas by Wham! Why would someone even be ashamed of that?!

  36. mariah carey, all i want for christmas is you and joy to the world. ridiculous.

    celine dion, the prayer (with andrea bocelli) or o, holy night. always makes me cry.

    i agree with you about the charlie brown christmas soundtrack. so good.

  37. I love the 12 Beers of Christmas by Bob & Doug MacKenzie. It is a true Christmas classic!

  38. My family always traveled to Thanksgiving dinner and my mom was forbidden to start playing Christmas music until the drive home.

    For years, I have loved Bing Crosby and David Bowie's "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" - old school mashup.

  39. Love love love Bing and Bowie singing "Litte Drummer Boy." Always makes me tear up. And embarrassing but true: Feed the World/Do They Know It's Christmas. It's more a sentimental thing, as my sister and I were totally into that save the world crap when we were young and innocent, and I loved Bob Geldof's hair, so there's that. So now we have a contest every year to see who hears it first on one of those "we play Chrismas Music from Aug. 31 through February 3" stations. Whoever hears it calls the other, regardless of time, and blasts it over the phone. Yes, I am 41. Why do you ask?? (oh and it does without saying that I would love to win that mix!!)

  40. It's a tie between Vince Guaraldi's Christmas Time is Here and Mel Torme's Christmas Song.

    Although Eartha Kitt's Santa Baby is amazing, too - her raspy voice and raw sexuality used to make me feel awkward when we'd play that song around my family. It just seems like she's asking for a bit more than a diamong ring and Corvette!

  41. I enjoy "Buffalo Gals" sung by Jimmy Stewart & Donna Reed, and the whole soundtrack to Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. And the Muppets Christmas Songs. And of course the super sad version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas sung by Judy Garland.

  42. Love Christmas music! I also practice my tiny reserves of self-restraint to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start tormenting my family. I am way into original hipster holiday tunes, and I know I have the winner. I can't say it makes me warm and fuzzy inside, but I can't help but listen to "Little Altar Boy" by Jack Jones a couple of times each season. Give it a listen before you crown me the winner and send me some new holiday delight!


  43. I love me some Santa Baby, but Dominic the Donkey is the hands-down winner. Nothing makes me grin like Dominic.

  44. Last Christmas- George Michael

  45. I have two-

    Winter Wonderland-Annie Lennox

    I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas-Gayla Peevey

  46. Santa Can you Hear Me? - Britney Spears
    It's so damn catchy and upbeat...

  47. Santa Can you Hear Me? by Britney Spears

    It's so damn catchy

  48. Dominic the Donkey. If you haven't heard it, download it ASAP. Haha. What could be better than an Italian Christmas Donkey?


  49. My two faves:

    Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey

    And that Ray Charles Christmas song from "Christmas Vacation" when Clark is locked in the attic watching old film strips!


  50. "Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer" by Elmo and Patsy
    I can sing this stupid song word for word. I mean, how can you get tired of a drunk blue-haired old lady getting lambasted by a Santa menace year after year?! Yeah, I don't know how! LOL! ;0)

  51. Santa's Stuck Up In the Chimney


    Christmas Wrapping

    Tough call, depends on how young I'm feeling.

  52. I own over 100 Christmas CDs, and while I'm not a fan of Christmas shopping, I love Christmas music, especially those that rock.

    Bobby Lloyd and the Skeletons recorded a "mash up" of "Do You Hear What I Hear / You Really Got Me" that numbers among my favorites. Imagine "Girl, you really got me now, you got me what I really want for Christmas!" Too much!

    If I'm going to reference a Kinks song, then I'd best mention their angsty holiday chestnut, "Father Christmas." Definitely not a heartwarming tune, but certainly better than "Santa Got a DWI," or the Everly Brothers' "Christmas Eve Can Kill You."

    But I'm not a complete non-traditionalist, as I adore Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters' take on "Jingle Bells."

    Mistletoe over a cameltoe? That definitely sounds more Prince than Sinatra! Although that does remind me of another favorite Christmas song: Bill Mumy and Sarah Taylor's "I've Got Some Presents for Santa (and He's Got a Big One For Me.)

  53. "Colorado Christmas" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band!
    Thanks to the internet it is now available online. Im always home in Colorado at Christmas, but that song instantly takes me to a happy and joyful Christmas morning in the high country....

  54. I like the Band-Aid Christmas song "Do they know it's Christmas" even though it's totally depressing. I also like "Baby, It's Cold Outside" although it's the official Christmas song of date-rapists.

    btw, the word verification word is "pubes" LOL!

  55. Mistletoe over your crotch...
    I nearly peed.

    On a more somber note, "Oh Holy Night" Nat King Cole

  56. White Christmas by Otis Redding!! Also from Love Actually.

  57. My very favorite is Run Run, Rudolph. And my season is never quite complete without a rousing white trash round of Merry Christmas from the Family by Robert Earl Keen. Here is a sample if you're not familiar with this classic:

    I also love my totally cheesy Beach Boys Christmas CD and anything by Patti LaBelle.

    How is that for variety?

  58. Most of this have been mentioned but - Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey, I want a Hippopotumus for Christmas, the Bowie/Bing Mashup, Straight no Chaser, the Barbara Striesand version of Jingle Bells - theone where she alternates from slow motion sounding to some crazy speed induced sounding parts. Love all things Bing - and of course Burl Ives - Holly Jolly Christmas rocks my world.

  59. This would be AWESOME for a Down Under Christmas! My fav song is Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen because, seriously, who wouldn't want to sit on Clarence Clemens lap and tell him what you want for Christmas? And having the Boss cheering you on while he's drinking egg nog, trying to think of what member of his band to marry next? Good times in the Springsteen camp...good times...

  60. It's sad how desperately I hope to win this little contest. The reference to removing the mistletoe from above your crotch in honour of Baby Jebus is a decent consolation prize, should I find myself not the winner.

    I love O Holy Night or Come All Ye Faithful by Anne Murray. And, ahem, um...Tennessee Christmas by Amy Grant. I better not lose points for that. And an old school version of Rudolph with Bing, Judy and the gang. I could go on and on. I freaking love Christmas music. All of it. Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers is a classic as well.

    I'm Canadian so we had Thanksgiving in early October. I broke out the Christmas tunes last weekend. Guilty but never ashamed.

    Baby Jebus would be proud.

  61. Gah!! I can't believe I forgot Bob & Doug McKenzie's 12 Days of Christmas!!

  62. Darlene Love - All Alone on Christmas, it has probably been featured a lot on many a christmas movie but I remember it most notably on 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York'. I also like the classics and the ones you have listed as well.

  63. I work in retail, and anything by Bing Crosby gives me terrible flashbacks and sends me into nervous breakdown, but for some reason, every Christmas I just can't get enough of the Chipmonks' "Christmas Don't Be Late". Everyone I know hates it, but it's the only one I can tolerate.

  64. Anonymous7:50 PM

    if I was male I would totally fight Jeff for your love. you are badass.

  65. Stated4all8:48 PM

    We must be related! I started my holiday music today while I was in my car (alone) making what I hope is the last trip to the grocery store for tomorrow. I agree with EVERY ONE of these. How crazy is that?! What's missing? The Bing Crosby/David Bowie mashup of "Little Drummer Boy." Definitely on my top-10 list. I also would add the following for consideration: John Denver and The Muppets on "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and Otis Reddings "White Christmas" from your aforementioned Love Actually. To be fair, one my favorite non-traditional Holiday movie is "Die Hard." I can't hear "Ode to Joy" without seeing the bank vault open in my head.

  66. Anonymous8:56 PM

    "Merry Christmas Darling" by The Carpenters. I usually play it through at least three times before moving onto the next song on the Carpenters' Christmas CD.

    And I often have to give fair warning to anyone who might be tempted to play "The Little Drummer Boy" in my presence that their CD/MP3 player may suffer severe damage. Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum, indeed! There's no such character in the Bible, the song is monotone, repetitive, goes on for-freaking-ever, and it encourages dull, talentless children to think they are endearing. And I thought all of this when I WAS a child.

    Eric in San Diego

  67. The Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy duet by Bing Crosby and David Bowie makes me cry like a little girl - but I love all the classics. Bing, Frank, Nsync...

  68. Fairytale of New York- the Pogues.

    I think it's the " you're an old slut on junk" line.
    Ah Christmas.

  69. Ok, so this is definitely not a favorite (I'm not one of those Christmas music people), but I have to ask if you've heard of Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey? Everyone I work with thought I was on crack when I insisted it was a real song, and then laughed hysterically when I found a clip to let them listen to. If you haven't heard should!

  70. I love Christmas music. Pretty much all of it so to me your playlist is like heaven in a mix tape. But if I had to pick I'm in the same camp as you and I could watch those little Peanuts wave their arms around that tree and make it all beautiful all year long...except well no one has been daring enough to buy me the Peanuts holiday gift DVD set even though it's on my Christmas list every single year.

  71. My guilty pleasure song is "If Santa Were My Daddy" by The Osmond's. It's extremely hard to find but I can't have Christmas without the Osmond Family Christmas Album, surprisingly with almost no holy references! If you find it online, any song is good really.

    Love this post, everything on you list is awesome but I can't help wondering how a curmudgeon can be so excited for Christmas. You would think a curmudgeon would be more like "bah humbug" :)

  72. Sandra3:43 PM

    I seriously cannot believe that Bony M's Feliz Navidad isn't on your list!!! Don't you feel it should be? I do. :)

  73. Dominic the Donkey fo' sho' I cant help but giggle and sing along (hee-haw hee-haw)

  74. While I am not sure the religious (not-so)undertones of the VeggieTales goes along with your Pagan theme, I do heart me some VeggieTales "The Singing Christmas Tree." Check out the Jingle Ka-ching & Candy Line Blues. :)

  75. Anonymous1:14 AM

    Yeah, so, I totally have this skating rink where all the peanuts characters are magnatized and skated around in a circle while that song plays. It's epic. Thought you should know.

  76. I know this is old, but you TOTALLY FORGOT "I'm the Happiest Christmas Tree" by Nat King Cole! OMG UNA! I basically live to listen to that whole album (The Christmas Song) every year!


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