Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Trio of Tunes

Today, for your listening pleasure, I've compiled the Viper's Top 3 Booze Houndsiest Christmas Songs. Yes, I love those old standards like Bing's "White Christmas," Nat singing "The Christmas Song," and Johnny Mathis on "Sleigh Ride." But my three favorite songs are more non-traditional. Except, of course, this first one ...

"Breaking Up Christmas" is an old-time fiddle tune from Southern Appalachia, which described the tradition of going from house to house to celebrate Christmastime. This is a high-test dance tune from yore. And you got to believe there was some moonshine involved. Last year, I was trying to learn to play this tune on my banjo. Here's Tommy Jarrell, a famed fiddler from Surry County, N.C.

"Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues is notable for being the prettiest song to mention "the drunk tank," "an old slut on junk," and "cheap lousy arse" in connection to Christmas. It's got hopes and dreams and love and then dashes all those sentiments to the gutter. What's not to like? Other than, say, Shane MacGowan's smile.

And finally, Tom Waits singing his "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" with "Silent Night" as a bookend. This song may seem like a funny tale of woe for the down and out, but it perfectly illustrates just how hard it can be to ask for help, which we all need from time to time. Remember, this is the season of giving. Cheers!

P.S., can you guess my least favorite Christmas song? I'll post it later this week.


misszippy said...

I love some non-traditional Christmas tunes. One of my friends put together an awesome mix of these for me this year and I've played it over and over.

One I detest (and always hear in Ohio, so it must be popular there): Grandma got run over by a reindeer. Really, it does not get any worse than that!

C said...

My guess for your least favorite Christmas song is that Mariah Carey song they play ad nauseum on the radio.

Anonymous said...

My favorite Christmas Song is "Mr. Grinch" by Mojo Nixon and the Toad Liquors. Probably considered the non-traditional version.

Carolina John said...

Have a great Christmas Viper! Get the wife something shiny, enjoy the winter ale's, bock's, and porter's.

B. Jarosz said...

Breakin' up Christmas was amazing. Thank you for sharing! (My favorite holiday tunes tend to be bluegrass-y, but I hadn't hear this one!)

As for hated holiday songs, I'd have guessed Santa Baby or that Mariah Carey crap... But Jingle Bells makes perfect sense.

Merry Christmas!