Well, it’s Day 7 of the Great Sinus Infection of 2018, and my antibiotic, which was my fifth dose, seems to be finally kicking in. So, maybe the delirium I have been experiencing will finally begin to leave and my writing might become clearer.
I finally sat down long enough to watch that aforementioned documentary about Christmas music entitled Jingle Bell Rocks! This documentary is just a simple yet powerful look into Christmas music, in its boom days of post-World War II up to and including present day. And, I am not talking about the songs we sing in church or those carols we sang in school. The music industry quietly pushed this genre into a six-week time period, during which you mainly hear the same, tired, overplayed tunes each year. But, there are some terrific songs we have forgotten about from the Fifties and Sixties, while some current artists are injecting some life into the genre. Collectors of the music include major names like Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and film director John Waters. Through these people I have discovered some great Christmas songs within the hip hop, reggae and heavy metal genres all the way through contemporary pop, old soul and power pop. And, Jingle Bell Rocks exposes the viewer to music from all decades.
When push comes to shove, maybe this obsession began on those cold Christmas Eve nights when as a youngster, I spent long, sleepless nights in anticipation of Jolly Old St. Nick’s arrival. It was during those nights that I discovered some of those Christmas songs that I love to this day. I flipped the dial on my old AM radio, seeking out music, when out of that speaker came the magical vocal mix of the Harry Simeone Chorale doing their definitive version “The Little Drummer Boy.” Which, led to Nat King Cole’s version of “The Little Boy Santa Forgot”, the Temptations’ “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and, over time, Cheech & Chong’s brilliant “Santa Claus & His Old Lady.” Still, this whole obsession did not kick off until the days of Napster, which I used for Christmas music, of all things. Now, it is a fun obsession for me from mid-October to New Year’s Day.
Lately, I have been making a “mixtape” for friends and family members of this obscure stuff. And, because of Jingle Bell Rocks!, I have discovered their are millions of crazy people out there doing the same thing. I just wish we could create a website where we all could shared our mixtapes with each other. If you, the reader, know of a website like this in existence, let me know!
With that said, let’s jump back into the countdown. Here’s my next 20 songs in my Top 200 Christmas Songs of All Time.
140. Leona Lewis – “One More Sleep” 
139. Barenaked Ladies – “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” 
138. The Free Design – “Close Your Mouth (It’s Christmas)” 
137. Kate Bush – “December Will Be Magic Again” 
136. Eric Clapton – “For Love on Xmas Day” 
135. Kylie Minogue – “Santa Baby” 
134. Amy Grant – “Tennessee Christmas” 
133. Twisted Sister – “O Come All Ye Faithful” 
132. Kelly Clarkson – “Underneath the Tree” 
131. Tevin Campbell – “O Holy Night” 
130. Jackson 5 – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” 
129. Chris Rea – “Driving Home for Christmas” 
128. Merle Haggard – “If We Make It Through December” 
127. Big Star – “Jesus Christ” 
126. They Might Be Giants – “Santa’s Beard” 
125. The Pretenders – “2000 Miles” 
124. Otis Redding – “Merry Christmas Baby” 
123. Frank Sinatra – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” 
122. Roy Orbison – “Pretty Paper” 
121. Joni Mitchell – “River” 
Eighty songs into this countdown today, we will hit the halfway point tomorrow. And, in the words of the prophet Casey Kasem, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”