Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blue Christmas

Looks like I'll be drinking Christmas dinner alone again this year.

These songs are for the those of us who think that Christmas is the saddest, loneliest, most depressing time of year. This mix will make you cry. Consider yourself warned.

1. Elvis Presley - Blue Christmas.mp3
Buy: It's Christmas Time (2000, orig. 1957)
Gotta start off with a classic.

2. Okkervil River - Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas.mp3
From: Golden Opportunities Mixtape (2007)
This song slays me. I like this version better then their studio recording because the string part is killer and lead singer Will Sheff's voice is so much more mature than on the 2002 release.

3. Jim White - Christmas Day.mp3
Buy: No Such Place (2001)
Christmas at a bus station. Gulp.

4. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Cold White Christmas.mp3
Buy: Etiquette (2006)
You can imagine the young lady in this song listening to the Replacements, scowling about the Minneapolis weather, and cursing her irritating family over the holidays. In fact, if this song took place in Wisconsin, that might have been me.

5. Red Star Belgrade - Xmas Day.mp3
From: Fractured Hymnal (1999, out of print)
The most depressing of all the depressing Christmas songs. Listen at your own peril.

6. The Emotions - What Do the Lonely Do at Christmas?.mp3
Buy: Sunshine! (1977)
You can actually hear their hearts breaking in the soul ballad.

7. Little Johnny Taylor - Please Come Home for Christmas.mp3
From: Christmas in Soulsville (1989, out of print)
This song may sound familiar to you as both The Eagles and Bon Jovi did popular radio versions of it. It was originally written by Charles Brown in 1960. Little Johnny puts slightly more soul into it than Don Henley does. Slightly

8. Over the Rhine - All I Ever Get For Christmas is Blue.mp3
Buy: Snow Angels (2007)
This one has a bit of jazz flavor to it. Whether it's rock, jazz, country, or soul: Christmas is depressing.

9. Asleep at the Wheel - I Hate Christmas.mp3
Buy: Santa Loves to Boogie (2006)
What's Christmas without a little alt country heartache?

10. Buck Owens and Susan Raye - All I Want for Christmas is My Daddy.mp3
From: Merry Christmas from Buck Owens and Susan Raye (1971, out of print)
If Red Star Belgrade's "Xmas Day" didn't make you cry, this one will.

11. Red Simpson - Blue Blue Christmas (For this Truck Drivin' Man).mp3
Buy: Trucker's Christmas (1973)
As if working on Christmas didn't suck enough, working away from home is even worse.

12. Terry Fell - >Let's Stay Together Until After Christmas.mp3
From: Truck Driving Man (1993, out of print)
Yes, let's keep this toxic relationship going through the holidays, and then you can break my heart!

13. Paul Kelly - How to Make Gravy.mp3
From: Songs From the South (1997, out of print in North America)
One of my favorites. Not only does it suck to be in jail on Christmas, missing your kids and the family gossip, but in Australia Christmas is in the summer, so you also miss a day at the beach.

14. Emmy the Great and Lightspeed Champion - Christmas in Prison.mp3
Buy (MP3: It's Not Like Christmas (2006)
I have about a dozen covers of this John Prine classic, but this one is fun as it's told from a female perspective.

15. The Carpenters - Merry Christmas Darling.mp3
Buy: Christmas Portrait (1978)
If Karen Carpenter's voice doesn't melt your cold, black heart, then you are a Scrooge (like me).

16. Joni Mitchell - River.mp3
Buy: Blue (1971)
And we end with a classic, "a river to skate away on." Mitchell obviously wrote this song after leaving Canada for sunny California. Now go get a hankie and dry your eyes!


Anonymous said...

thank you for this! what a great selection.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, but just one (small) quibble: should have used The Resentments version of I Hate Christmas rather than Asleep At The Wheel.

Icky said...

great selection. And thanks for introducing me to this version of Christmas in Prison. Love it!