Saturday, November 6, 2010

Music Musings: 5 Christmas Songs That Need Updating

Even though it’s only November I’ve pretty much said, “Screw it, I’m doing Christmas now.” So in my head it’s Christmastime and will be until January 2nd. That being said, I’ve been thinking about Christmas music and which songs should be updated. There are some more obscure songs that I think need a fresh coat of paint. Likewise, there are some songs that should be remade, yet remain “original.”. Quick note: just because a song is on this list doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with the original.

1. “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Gayla Peevey – I first heard this song a couple years ago on the radio. Up until then I’d never heard of it. I had no idea that a song about wanting a hippo for Christmas would make me giggle like a school-girl, but it did. There’s also something about Gayla’s Shirley Temple-esque vocals that appeal to me as well. I think it’s about time for a fun pop-punk version of this song. A band like Paramore could probably pull it off. Anyone know Paramore’s phone number?

2. “Snoopy’s Christmas (Snoopy vs. the Red Baron)” by the Royal Guardsmen – When I was little (and I mean little, like 4 or 5) I had this record with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang. It was a Christmas record and I remember listening to it over and over. “Snoopy’s Christmas” was one of the songs and my personal favorite. I heard it a year or two ago on the radio and thought that it was time someone did a good cover of this tune. I’m not sure what direction you could go but I think this is a song that deserves some more airplay. After all, it does have some basis in fact – during WWI Allied and German soldiers would call a temporary truce on Christmas Day. Sometimes they even exchanged gifts! So the story of Snoopy’s one-day truce with his nemesis, the Red Baron, is a holiday story that deserves more exposure than it currently has. Also, if anyone knows what record I’m talking about, please let me know because I can’t find any information on it.

3. “Last Christmas” by Wham! – I have included this song not because it’s one of my favorites, but because it is one of the most over-played songs of the holiday season. You’ll hear it at Walmart, Walgreens, the radio on your car, the elevator, the doctor’s office, any restaurant with music. Doesn’t matter where you might find yourself during the season you will hear this song. It is inevitable. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!! Um… so anyway, it’s time to update the synth-tastic original. Also, George Michael’s whispery vocals annoy me for some reason. I propose a nice acoustic guitar version with a decent singer that’s NOT Jon Mayer.

4. “Same Auld Lang Sine” by Dan Fogelburg – Here’s another song that’s didn’t make this list because it’s a favorite. In fact, I hate this song. If this song were a person I would probably punch them right in the throat. If you read my “5 Worst Christmas Songs” list from last year I think this was number 2. This song’s presence on my list is a request. I’m calling on a metal band to do a full on metal cover of this turgid holiday turd. I want fast down-tuned riffs, death “cookie monster” growls, blast beats, and a few face-melting leads. That would be the ultimate salvation for what is one of the worst Christmas songs ever.

5. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” traditional – I know what you’re thinking. “But Adam,” you say, “there’s, like, a zillion versions of this song! Why does it need updating?” Well, gentle reader, I will tell you why - because among that zillion there is not one version that I like. Not. Even. One. I don’t know what it is about this song, whether it’s the repetitive nature of the lyrics or the fact that no one has really done anything spectacular with it but we need a “definitive” version of this song.

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