So I started sorting through my music, looking for the songs I must have on this year’s compilation — yeah, I know that playlists are the way to go but, because of the primitive technology in my car, I still have about a million CDs on the floor under the passenger seat . . . .
Here are some of this year’s highlights.
No joke – An hour after I wrote that paragraph, my car got smashed. Guess I had that coming. So now, while it’s getting fixed, I have a rental car with Bluetooth. It’s ugly and red and looks a lot like a Buick but at least I have music.
First on the list is “Everybody Deserves A Merry Christmas” by Ronnie Fauss. Recorded in a garage with a couple of Ronnie’s best buddies and finished off with some real musicians, it came out pretty good. Jail, making fun of your in-laws, Has all the elements of a great new Christmas song. Watch the live video but the sound quality is much better on the song download and it’s worth giving Amazon or iTunes a buck.
And you may have read this here before but my favorite Christmas carol of all time is still Brent Best’s “Gumdrop.” The lyrics reflect the poetry of “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore but the story is completely different. Take a listen.
Then there is the Drive-By Truckers, “Mrs. Claus’s Kimono.” One of Santa’s elves has a thing for the boss’s wife and, well, it’s not all that surprising. As my kids say, “Once you hear that one, you can’t un-hear it.”
I guess “Holiday” by James McMurtry is technically a Thanksgiving song but it all runs together for me this time of year. McMurtry’s songs are little novels in themselves and this one is no exception. Anyone who has been on the road hurrying home for a holiday in bad winter weather can relate.
Okay, Ronnie Fauss gets two on this comp. “This Year” from “I Am The Man You Know I’m Not” is reminiscent of a McMurtry holiday masterpiece – you can picture the men sitting around talking politics and worrying about getting caught for whatever it is they are doing that they shouldn’t be doing. It’s poignant but funny.
I’m sure anyone who has found this post is already familiar with Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas From The Family.” When Brother David plugs his motorhome in and blows our Christmas lights, I always flash to Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation. And, of course, the part about running to the store every hour or so for more supplies runs through my head whenever there is a large family get together.
Hayes Carll has a similar one but it’s a bit sadder – “Grateful for Christmas .” And Steve Earle’s “Christmastime in Washington.” Gotta hear that one.
Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. I like the part where he calls out to Clarence. I miss Clarence.
“What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding” – Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen. Pretty much anyone’s version works.
I’m going to burn this disc and play it in my rental car for the next week or so while I try to catch up on all the Xmas crap I haven’t gotten done.
‘Cause, as Ronnie Fauss says,
“Everyone deserves a merry Christmas, It doesn’t matter what stupid things you’ve done.”