Here's a musical medley for Kossacks who actually wish that the Republican fear of a "War on Christmas" wasn't more winger insanity, but the real deal.
There's something about the insistence that we all love our fellow (Christian!) human beings for a short time each year (while spending massive amounts of money on mountains of plastic junk) that gets on my last nerve. I like pretty lights, presents, and heaping plates of delicious food as much as anyone, but it would all go down easier without the hypocrisy. We should love our fellow human beings (of all races, creeds & colors) all year round. When we do that, I'll be mellower about officially sanctioned big-assed Christmas trees lighting up our public squares, and carol singers praising Christ in the public schools.
Until then, feel free to join the anti-Christmas party!
In the spirit of progressive politics, let's get the ball rolling with the full-length version of Arlo Guthrie's "Pause of Mr. Claus," a hippie classic that slams the FBI in a fashion that today's activists will still appreciate:
What would a progressive anti-Christmas roll-out be with out John Lennon's "Happy Xmas: War is Over"?
If only the war really was over. But once again it's "Christmas in the Trenches":
And Johnny & Jon tell us what it's like to spend a "Soldier's Christmas in Vietnam":
Steve Earle & Joan Baez gave us "Christmas in Washington":
And Jefferson Pepper gave us "Christmas in Falluja":
Then there's the classic Christmas Rap from Beat Street, performed by the Treacherous Three:
Akim gives us the cheery "Santa Claus is a Black Man":
James Brown commands, "Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto":
And Snoop Dog responds by sending him there:
Randy Newman reminds us of the repulsiveness of smug white supremacy in "Christmas in Capetown":
Timbuk3 told us that "All I Want For Christmas" is world peace:
Later covered by Bruce Cockburn and Jackson Browne:
Not all Christmas celebrations take place in fancy homes. Antsy McClain celebrates "Christmas at the Trailer Park":
Frontier Ruckus thinks of those who have nowhere to go, "Driving Home, Christmas Eve":
And Mary Gauthier sings about being homeless on the holidays:
Tom Waits gets a "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis":
That's a song that was beautifully covered by Neko Case:
What's Christmas without the Sex Pistols singing "Jingle Bells"?
For sheer cynicism, there's nothing like Weird Al's cynical "Christmas at Ground Zero" to get the bomb rolling...
Weird Al, of course, was preceded by the remarkable Tom Lehrer, who caroled about crass commercialism:
Crass Christmas commercialism isn't anything new. I have a great old recording of Mae West singing "Put the Loot in the Boot," but the only copy I could find on YouTube was a lip-synch by drag queen Tippy Winslow. So I'm sharing West's "Santa Baby," where West hopes for Tiffany jewels or a Dusenberg convertible:
Alan Sherman's "12 Days of Christmas" is an orgy of 1960s trendy gifts:
But isn't nearly as good as his "Christmas '65" recording: "Draft cards burning on an open fire…." and references to the KKK hoping "every Christmas can be white." I wish I could find it for you. You can, however, hear an outrageous outtake from the Rhino site if you're willing to wade through some advertising.
Weezer is mopey at Christmas:
And if I could find a copy of Gentleman Auction House's "I Don't Want Another Christmas (Like Last Christmas)" on YouTube, it would echo the same sentiments. Christmas makes folks pretty maudlin.
Ernest Tubb is "Walkin' the Floor This Christmas" because he has to make due without love:
Lowell Fulsom is lonesome:
And Freddy King is cryin':
Sonny Boy Williamson's baby left him, so he's singing the "Christmas Blues":
Champion Jack Dupree has the "Santa Claus Blues":
Clarence Carter spends his Christmas sneaking into other people's houses:
But the Waitresses were kind of relieved to spend Christmas alone this year:
And Loretta Lynn tells Santa Claus to kiss off:
But Fountains of Wayne points out that we need to have empathy for the guy in the Santa Suit.
Meanwhile Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper conjure up a "Son of Santa" to scare Ronald Reagan:
Chris Flew spends the holiday freaked out on Ward #7:
And Blink 182 is in jail:
So are the Youngsters, but they're more cheerful about it:
Amy the Great & Lightspeed Champion sing about "Christmas in Prison" too:
Amy & Lightspeed were covering the great John Prine:
But nobody sings about Christmas in jail like Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell:
Clyde Lasley's "Santa Clause is Drunk":
And Commander Cody's "Daddy's Drinking Up Our Christmas":
Sadly, I couldn't find the Drive By Trucker's "I Hope Santa's Out of Rehab" on YouTube. But I did find Kacey Jones' "Christmas in Rehab":
Aimee Mann is contemplating kicking the habit in "I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas":
Shane McGowan, as always, was beyond redemption in "Christmas Lullaby":
And the Squirrel Nut Zippers, just like Arlo, think "Santa Claus is Smoking Reefer":
If you don't succeed in cleaning up your act, the Rev. A.W. Nix gives us perhaps the grimmest Christmas song of all time: "Death May Be Your Christmas Gift." I wish I could find this on YouTube, but if you don't own this cut, your really should. I also can't find the Rev. J.M. Gates rendition of "Will the Coffin Be Your Santa Claus." The world is a poorer place because this isn't on YouTube, I swear it.
Sufijan Stevens celebrates "The Worst Christmas Ever":
Barenaked Ladies is green with envy:
Victoria Spivey snarls about the loss of Christmas sex in "Christmas Without Santa Claus" ("Not a turkey in the yard, not a chicken in my Frigidaire…"), but I can't find it on the internets so you'll have to settle for her "Christmas Morning Blues":
The Ramones just wanna say "Merry Christmas, I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight."
Bad Brains have the "Christmas Blues":
Insane Clown Posse dreams of Santa homicide:
And more from my punk rock past, "F*ck Christmas," from Lee Ving's Fear -- there's a guy who hasn't aged prettily -- when they were young and energetic:
It was covered, of course, by Bad Religion:
The Arrogrant Worms think "Christmas Sucks":
Zebrahead just straight out hates Christmas:
And Steve Poltz does too:
So do Ren & Stimpy:
(Eric Idle hates it too, but his song doesn't make me laugh so I'm not posting it. Same thing for South Park's "Merry F*cking Christmas." Not funny.)
Not all punks want to f*ck Christmas. Some, like the Ravers, just want to revise it:
And Cracker reminisces about the great Christmases spent while down and out with one's true love:
Finally, there's Mike Nicolai's "Christmas is for Losers