Yes, I HAVE figure out which day I am on: Day Nine! Now, the countdown becomes a little more predictable to all of you. Yet, I don’t care – I’m the guy who as a high school freshman running in a two-mile race in a track & field meet, as fooled by some upperclassmen who convinced me on the backstretch that we were on our final lap when in fact we were on the next-to-last lap. As I sprinted down the homestretch, I learned of my mistake as the starter fired his gun, signaling the final lap. Needless to say, I was gassed, and my teammates passed me on the back stretch while laughing at me. It was all I could do to finish third, when I should have won. That’s why I ended up running the 800 meter run, since it was only two laps.
So, enough of my counting woes. Let’s celebrate the season! Start the countdown!
20. Mariah Carey – “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (1994). Mariah co-wrote this timeless Yuletide classic that hearkened backed to the Phil Spector/Motown days. This song continues to be a big seller, for all the right reasons.
19. Weezer – “Christmas Celebration” (2000). The heir-apparent to Cheap Trick’s throne at least knows how to write a Christmas song in the power pop genre. This song was included on their 2008 EP download.
18. Run-DMC – “Christmas in Hollis” (1987). The granddaddy of all seasonal hip hop songs. Continues to rise in this countdown. Absolutely brilliant.
17. Pretenders – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (1987). The second song in a row from the great A Very Special Christmas album. This is the second version of this holiday standard on my countdown, and it is my wife’s favorite. And, as always, she’s correct!
16. The Waitresses – “Christmas Wrapping” (1982). New wave, rap, and Christmas music collide to create this fantastic song about the perils of the season. Still lyrically relevant today.
15. The Kinks – “Father Christmas” (1977). This is essentially Ray Davies answer song to the punk movement that was rising in popularity in the UK. And, what a better time of the year to show the punks how to be punk that writing a Christmas song in punk mode. Turn the volume to 11.
14. Billy Squier – “Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You” (1981). Squire had the magic touch during the years of 1981 and 1982. He played this song on the first MTV Christmas Party Special, and the channel has played the heck out the video ever since.
13. U2 – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” (1987). Sure, The Crystals version from the Phil Spector album is the classic, but I could NEVER pass over one of the most important bands of my generation and their version of this song. I will always remember the local Oxford, Ohio station playing this song the day in October when we got 3 inches of snow there.
12. Band of Merrymakers – “A Very Merry Medley” (2016). The Band of Merrymakers is a revolving cast of power poppers who released this fun album of power pop takes on many Christmas classics. This song is a Christmas version of Stars on 45’s disco-fied medley of Sixties hits from 1981. I’m so glad I discovered this album!
11. John Lennon & Yoko Ono – “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (1970). Sure, the message is a bit naive, but it remains powerful to this today. Although I associate the song with the time after John’s assassination, the song still holds meaning to me.
Wait! If I am about to finish this countdown on Day 10, what will I do on those last two days of Christmas? Fear not! See you tomorrow!