My Top 13 Un-Christmassy Christmas songs, Part 1
Christmas music. Love it or hate it, you can’t escape it, unless you live under a rock from Thanksgiving through December 25th. For some of us, it gets us into the “holiday spirit” (whatever that means). But for others of us, whether we’re Pagan, depressed, or just lonely, it can be an annoyance! I am writing this on December 1st, and I’m already so sick of Christmas songs, I want to grab the next person I hear whistling “Jingle Bells” by the neck and shake them, screaming: “You can take your ‘Holly Jolly’ and shove it up your ‘fa la la la’ lovin’…” Well, you know.
I’ve compiled a list of Un-Christmassy Christmas songs that celebrate the Scrooge, alcoholic and loner in all of our hearts.
- Thinking About Drinking for Christmas- Kristian Bush
Kristian Bush hasn’t enjoyed quite as stellar a solo career as his former Sugarland mate, Jennifer Nettles, has, but he has released some cool, if not underheard, tunes on his own. One of them is “Thinking About Drinking for Christmas,” a clever ditty Bush penned with fellow singer Chris Young and Nashville hit songwriter Brett James. Kristian began including it in his live shows in 2013 and officially released it as a singer two years later. Kristian even includes a shout-out to his real-life Aunt Alice in the lyrics. He told Rolling Stone magazine:
“She was the kind of aunt that always hugged you too hard and wouldn’t stop talking, you know? There’s something about your family that can stress you out sometimes, but you still love them. You’re just not around them all year, and you don’t have the skill set to navigate them. Sometimes, you can start thinking about what’s gonna help you deal with all of that.”
I’ll drink to that, Kristian… Cheers!
- Christmas Always Makes Me Cry- Kacey Musgraves. This song is a brand new one, from Musgraves’s A Very Kacey Christmas CD, which just came out at the end of October. (See what I mean about retailers rushing the season??) The album includes classic holiday tunes, (there’s a duet with Willie Nelson!), plus four originals that Kacey penned herself. A stand-out among these is “Christmas Always Makes Me Cry.” Musgraves explains: “There can be a touch of sad feelings and memories during the holiday season for a lot of people so I knew when I went in to write I wanted to include all the emotions this time of year can bring out.”
Kacey performed the song on this year’s CMA Country Christmas TV special. Nicely done.
- Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer- Elmo and Patsy
I really, really, REALLY did not want to include this tune, because I am soooo sick of it! It has definitely lost its novelty since it came out in 1979. (Although it does still make me smile, to think how much my grandma hated the song, and how Grandpa, Mom and I laughed at her whenever it came on.) Composed by Randy Brooks, it was recorded by the then-husband-and-wife team of Elmo and Patsy Shropshire. They sold copies of their recording on 45rpm records at their live shows, until the thing went viral nationally (however things went viral in 1979). “Grandma” in the accompanying music video is actually Elmo in drag. Trivia tidbit: After they divorced, Elmo re-recorded the song, without Patsy. He was being nice… After all, he could have changed the words to “PATSY got Run Over by a Reindeer,” but he didn’t.
Next time, we’ll crack open the Top Ten Un-Christmassy Christmas songs! And probably a six-pack.