12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful (Day 6)

No video today.  The reason?  Because the song I’m about to share with you has never been recorded other than written down in words.  Here.

One of my favorite Christmas songs when I was a kid was “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”  Maybe it was because of the repetition, maybe it was because of the variety of objects.  Maybe it was because, in my imagination, the song contained a visual smorgasbord of fantastic things.  I just loved singing it.  A lot.  On the swingset, in the shower, while I was setting the table for dinner, while I was wrapping gifts — you name it.  (Of course, I also indulged in marathon singing sessions of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” with my grandmother on car trips, to the unbelievable annoyance of my parents, I’m sure.)

Anyway, a couple of years ago, my husband and I came up with new lyrics for the delightful carol.  We were at breakfast with our kids, who were hyper.  It was about this time of year.  We had much to do and not nearly enough time to do it.  Saturday stretched ahead of us like one long divide-and-conquer list.  And these new lyrics arose organically from our collective stress and enjoyment of the season — in other words, from our punchiness.

Click here to read “The New Twelve Days of Christmas.”

You enjoy.  I’m going to go try and finish grading finals by tomorrow afternoon.  I’m going to try not to fail.




12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful (Day 5)

Time is slipping away from me, and I need to send out my New Year’s Eve party invitations.  I mean, we’ve been throwing this party for about fifteen years, and our friends generally know (I think) to expect it, but it’s wise to make it official, so that’s a task for later today.  To help me remember to do it between grading finals, this song is on my mind.

In keeping with the theme of nostalgia from yesterday, I thought about offering up the Nancy Wilson version, which I rather like, but I found this video of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and thought it was too adorable to pass up.

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?


12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful (Day 4)

So much of the Christmas music I encounter is from the 1940s and 1950s.  It seems a certain nostalgia for this time period follows the winter holidays about half the time.  I’ve been trying to puzzle out why, what it’s about.  If you have any ideas, please post them in the comments here.

In the meantime, here’s a song from 1941 that I happen to love.  It’s not specifically about any holiday in particular, but about the weather, and since I live in a place where it’s easy to love the weather in the winter time…

Here’s Peggy Lee and Art Lund and the Benny Goodman Orchestra with “Winter Weather.”  Enjoy the song and the charming slideshow of Peggy Lee!



12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful (Day 3)

So, shocking as this might be, Christmas isn’t just about rock music for grown-ups.  It’s also, in part, about kids.  Right?  (Be in a house with kids, and you’ll be assured this is so.)  I do have some child-oriented music on this playlist, but it is also music that offers some humorous content for the grown-ups in the room.

This song does occasionally get some radio play now and then, which is where I first heard it a couple of years ago.  It seems to have fallen out of rotation on Houston’s Official Christmas Music Station, though, which is unfortunate, since they should be actively trying to retain all the interesting songs they can.

Anyway, this one makes my kids sing at the tops of their lungs with joy, even when they’ve previously been in a Grinchy mood.  It’s Gayla Peavey’s “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” and it’s like magic.  Enjoy!