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Yule Blog

13 January 2009

A long time ago, someone sent me a 48-second sample of a Christmas song they wanted to know more about. I misplaced the message, so I can't remember the writer, but if he's reading this week it turns out he happened onto a copy of the ultra-rare "Dancing in the Snow" by The Leopards. See elsewhere on this page. Oh, and we've solved Lisa Prescott's mystery in the letter at right.

It's been a busy holiday season for this site, and now it's looking like time to take it to the next level, as I described in the 9 December 08 post. Yes folks, I'm going to move this whole mess onto a content management platform (for the computer geeks, I chose Movable Type through process of elimination — an attempt to install Wordpress failed). So if the site looks peculiar and difficult to navigate for a while, that's because I can't quite figure out how to keep a doppelganger of a CMS'd, database-driven site on my home computer so I can make all my design mistakes out of public sight. I'm not going to start for a few more days yet, to give off-season readers fair warning, but if you show up when the work is under way but incomplete, be reassured that the site isn't going away and it hasn't been hacked.

29 December 2008

Posted the U2 version of "I Believe in Father Christmas" under Recent Releases, along with instructions on how to get not only that, but the Killers/Elton John song "Joseph, Better You Than Me" free of charge.

28 December 2008

Briefly misplaced a review of Martin Newell's "Christmas In Suburbia" from 1993; it's now posted under Recent Releases.

27 December 2008

Lisa Prescott adds some information to her letter at right, and I do likewise, but now we're trying to find the record. Keep an eye out for updates, as I burned an iTunes gift certificate on some stuff I hadn't heard about until this week. Update: More goodies at Recent Releases. Also, if you remember the two Fab Four Beatles-themed CDs we reviewed, the band has reissued both of them on a single album called Hark. They also say they're considering doing a new Xmas CD later on.

24 December 2008

Martin Johns takes a second stab at answering Allen Sylvester's letter, and I think he's got it this time. He also gives another answer to Tim Derbish's letter. Happy holidays once more.

23 December 2008

Just a couple more Recent Releases, a fresh letter and answers to two others. Here's an early Merry Christmas, a late Happy Hanukkah, a timely Happy Festivus, don't forget about Kwanzaa, and don't worry, there's still two weeks to Orthodox Christmas.

22 December 2008

Back again with a few more Recent Releases. Looks like I finally got my desk cleared off, though I have a few more tips about free downloads to chase. For example, George Michael is letting loose a Christmas song for download on Dec. 25, so keep an eye out for that. I was trying to get my hands on new Christmas singles by The Wombats and Status Quo, but they're import only and I'm not paying $9 each plus shipping for single songs. Also, the Canadian hardcore band Fucked Up has a song called "David Christmas" from 2007 that I have yet to run down. Keep those tips coming.

18 December 2008

Amazingly, I was able to add most, if not all, of the batch of goodies I referred to yesterday to Recent Releases. Still have a few things on hand, but posting is likely to be quiet for the next several days as family obligations call. But don't let that dissuade you from e-mailing tips and questions to the site.

17 December 2008

Bulking up Recent Releases with new goodies, as noted on the front pages. I still have a batch of goodies to get to, hopefully soon, but I'm guessing a lot of you have already locked down your holiday mixes by now. Nevertheless, the goodies will keep on coming.

15 December 2008

Nothing new to the site today, except the announcement that YuleTube, the annual Mistletunes mix, is ready. But then, you probably noticed the link to Coolstreams on the home page, where streaming music fans can listen to it online. It's a membership site, but free listening is available with advertising attached. If you do a lot of streaming, you should consider becoming a member of Coolstreams. Last year's mix, Wake Me Up Before You Ho-Ho, is also available again for streaming there.

13 December 2008

More goodies in Recent Releases. Keep an eye out for the new Mistletunes compilation.

9 December 2008

Put up a fresh letter from Bob Bailey, who's answered many an inquiry here at Mistletunes and provided amplifications and corrections galore. See if you can help a guy out. Also, Coolstreams has posted last year's Mistletunes mix for streaming once again, for those of you who do the Internet radio thing. Meanwhile, this year's mix is just about ready, and Coolstreams will have it soon.

6 December 2008

The Recent Releases hopper is freshened with still more goodies. Just came into another batch of goodies since today's post but I haven't had a chance to listen to them. Hopefully they'll be added to the site in just a few days. For you Hanukkah buffs, Eva Moon now has a video of her great tune "Light the F*ing Candles." Fresh letters at the top of the right-hand column, too. Michelle DeCosta flagged a broken link on the front page to the "Neat Singing Santa," but I found the video on YouTube and changed the link. And Dennis Flannigan produced a Christmas album in 2007, Previously Unreleased, that's freely downloadable.

By the way, I'm making plans to keep this site busy year-round, as I've recently acquired a content management system that will allow me to post to the site more easily in the future. You're not seeing the results of that yet, as I haven't brought the new software online because I don't want to risk messing up the current site during the busy season. I'll probably start making the transition in January, when things get quieter around here. To keep the posting up, I may interject the occasional non-Christmas music related post. And I'm hoping I'll be able to get a commenting system working here, too. We'll see how it goes.

1 December 2008

More at Recent Releases, including a review of the Flaming Lips movie "Christmas on Mars," finally. More stuff to come.

27 November 2008

Added to Recent Releases, just in time for Thanksgiving. Still haven't been able to squeeze in a viewing of "Christmas on Mars," sorry, but hope to do so soon.

22 November 2008

Still more new entries at Recent Releases. Some updates in the letters section for Nick Perdomo and Coushatta Fuller. As to the Flaming Lips, well, the album is a disappointment, as it consists entirely of soundtrack instrumentals, no new Christmas songs. I haven't had a chance to watch "Christmas On Mars" the movie yet, but I hope to get my review of it up by this time next week.

16 November 2008

Additional goodies at Recent Releases, of course. Some updates and corrections as well in the Mike Marvin letter and Fleshtones entry.

1 November 2008

More goodies under Recent Releases, as noted on the front page. As a matter of housecleaning, I'm taking a moment here to note two "new" releases, Elvis Presley Christmas Duets and The Nat King Cole Holiday Collection, in which the two popular singers of an earlier era sing "duets" recorded in the latter day with artists who were children or younger when the above-mentioned singers shuffled off this mortal coil. Purists would probably call these workouts musical necrophilia or worse, but in an age of sampling and mash-ups, I think we can afford to be a bit more charitable. As Nat is old-school jazz-era easy listening, his after-the-fact matchups (only sold at Target this season, btw) with Ne-Yo, Los Lonely Boys, Shelby Lynne, Faith Evans and his daughter Natalie are beyond the scope of this site. Elvis, of course, is another matter. I'm a bit annoyed at the concept in his case because all the duet partners are female country singers — Wynonna, Sara Evans, Lee Ann Rimes, Martina McBride, and for goodness sake even Amy Grant and Anne Murray. This is part of the long-running trend in which Nashville claims him as a country music icon, obscuring the fact that what Elvis was the King of was rock 'n roll. Yes, I know he's in the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. But he wasn't really played on country radio much during his lifetime — his "countryhood" is for the most part a posthumous phenomenon, the album Elvis Country aside. As to the duets record, well, the duet partners just make the proceedings more saccharine, although Gretchen Wilson does try to put a shot and a beer into a marathon-length revisitation of Elvis' version of "Merry Christmas Baby."

Two more minor bits of business: One is that Brian Setzer's two albums of rock-swing Christmas tunes have been reissued in new packaging as Christmas Rocks — The Best-Of Collection and A Swingin' Christmas. They're basically the same discs with songs in different orders. Also, Universal has taken a bunch of Christmas albums by top pop stars and repackaged them in two-disc sets, one a disc of greatest hits and the other the Christmas album. All the individual Motown stars are part of this along with other pop, rock and country musicians.

27 October 2008

Forgot to mention the new letters at the right, but some of you caught them already. Added a few more new songs and albums under Recent Releases.

26 October 2008

These 10-month breaks make me feel like I'm awakening from a coma. Anyway, Mistletunes is live again and a fresh batch of goodies is waiting for you under Recent Releases.

28 December 2007

New reviews include a New Year's song from Regina Spektor, along with delayed posts on Reuben, Saint Etienne, Jim Boggia, Ivy and Sarah Silverman. There's still more where all that came from; there always is. If I don't post again before next week, Happy New Year.

20 December 2007

New reviews today include Remington Super 60, Jenny Owen Youngs, Henry Gross, Suzie McNeil, Super Furry Animals, Rob Halford, Daddy Bone, and Sofia Talvik. Oh, and the Go Jimmy Go I promised yesterday somehow slipped through my fingers; it's posted now. This is probably the last of the posting before Christmas, as I've picked all the low-hanging free-download fruit I was tipped to by such friends of the site as Howard Cogswell, Martin Johns and Don Vigeant. Those of you who haven't seen your tips turned into posts, never fear, more will eventually be reviewed. Don't forget to stream this year's Mistletunes compilation from Coolstreams.

19 December 2007

Site updates today feature Hem, Jon Anderson of Yes, Go Jimmy Go, The Brigadier, The New Pornographers, Joss Stone and 1910 Fruitgum Co. Also, we were contacted this week by a streaming media site called Coolstreams about participating in their site, which made it possible for us to post this year's Mistletunes compilation online. Unlike last year's iMix, the whole playlist is accessible this way. Coolstreams is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that relies on membership fees for support, but you can stream their content free in exchange for hearing a few ads interspersed and looking at ads on your screen. They have some interesting programming available for streaming, from music feeds to documentary-style presentations of musicians. Anyway, the site is available by clicking here. The playlist is broken into two because of the site's conventions, but if you start on the first stream, it will take you into the second one after a brief "station break." For those of you on non-Windows platforms, I have had no difficulty accessing the site through Safari or Firefox.

15 December 2007

More updates: Santastic III, Jingle Punx, Davie Allan and the Arrows, Maroon 5, Robbers on High Street, Better Off Dead, Pas/Cal, Manic Street Preachers, and more. That gets the immediate business off my desk, but more stuff is in the pipeline for this year. At right, the Christmas Is For Children letter brings in more info on that disc thanks to A Christmas Yuleblog.

12 December 2007

I know I promised an iMix again this year, but after several attempts to make one, I was only able to get 13 of the 24 songs this time, of which four are only available as part of full albums. Seemed like a nine-song album wasn't worth the effort, to my mind anyway. If you'd like to see what's rattling around the attic in the Mistletunes braintrust this year, here are the liner notes to this year's mix disc. Watch for more updates sometime in the next several days.

5 December 2007

More for Recent Releases including the Double Crown compilation referenced below, Patent Pending, Joe Gibbs Reggae Christmas, Lifehouse, Cass Dillon, The Weepies and The Swimmers. Over in Letters, Bob Brown offers a Mel Blanc answer to a Carla Springer question. More goodies yet to come, getting closer to the annual Mistletunes disc, etc.

1 December 2007

New goodies in Recent Releases include KT Tunstall, Elliott Yamin, The Automatics and A Santa Cause 2 Just noticed at the store that The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack CD has been reissued in a "special edition" with a 3D cover booklet, featuring rock band cover versions of some of the songs from the movie. Oh, and there will be more postings, as I've just ordered several more things that previously escaped my notice. As often happens, though, some of these discs will probably arrive too late for most of you to include in your holiday mixes -- I've received two already and I haven't even started mine.

28 November 2007

Added Jacqui Naylor's Smashed For the Holidays to Recent Releases. The Double Crown label, whose Christmas compilation Seasonal Favorites Vol. 1 we reviewed favorably last year, has a Volume 2 this year, for which we're anxiously awaiting delivery. Update: Free download from that disc here.

27 November 2007

Along with the additional postings, I'd like to note that Tesla has an instrumental "Silent Night" on a new EP, A Peace of Time, just out, the rest of the disc is reprises of older Tesla songs plus some cover tunes. The Bird and the Bee's "Carol of the Bells" is free at iTunes for the week of 26 November.

26 November 2007

Some more postings that officially catch me up with my imminent to-do list. Now I've got to start putting together this year's official Mistletunes disc. There wasn't much call for last year's iMix version, but I think I'll do it again anyway just so I can talk about my own disc a little more openly than in the past. We're awaiting some late releases, like another Killers single, and folks have been forwarding suggestions for new entries, so keep checking back.

24 November 2007

Along with a couple of fresh postings for Keith Sweat and Shawn Lee, we added some info about the song "Telstar" and its connection to Christmas under the listing for Evan Johns and the H-Bombs. Marah put out a Christmas EP this year, a couple of songs from their previously released CD plus three new ones. And Brian Setzer has a version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" called "Take a Break Guys" on his latest album. Free download of it, thanks to Martin Johns for the tip.

22 November 2007

Sorry it took so long to get the second wave of postings out there, but I think you'll be quite happy with the results. Thanks to those of you who pointed me to some of the new additions, and those of you who made suggestions that haven't yet appeared, they probably will eventually, so keep us up to date. The Massachusetts song letter gets an answer at left. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.

11 November 2007

Well, so much for that promise to keep updating the site through the off-season. I really do want to do another redesign, and I took a stab at it this year, but ultimately I just wasn't able to get the niceties of CSS down. What I'd really like to do is put this whole thing on some sort of blogging platform, but I can't imagine this is going to happen anytime soon. Gayla Peevey fans should take a look through the letters for an update about the B-side of her hit "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas." Meanwhile, you may recall the fine folks at Saint Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center in West Orange, NJ produced two exceedingly fine compilations of alt-rock-Americana Christmas music for your listening pleasure in the past four years, Ho Ho Ho Spice and Holiday Heart. They're double-disc compilations, each with an impressive roster of acts. If you don't have them yet, Volunteer Records is making them available via their website for $5 plus $2 postage, $7 each or $14 for both. Follow the mail-order instructions and write "Mistle" anywhere on the order form. Take a glance at our reviews and visit their website now.

22 December 2006

Looks like I won't be able to do much more with the site through Christmas Day, so thanks to everybody who stopped by, contributed and so forth this season. I'm going to try and stay engaged with the site more in the off-season — just got my hands on some more fresh goodies too late to post ahead of Christmas, and there's some older stuff on my desk I haven't gotten through yet. Do us the favor of using our Amazon and iTunes links, and tell your friends to buy the iMix. Merry Christmas, and stay in touch.

18 December 2006

The Fradkin and Crowe CDs are now reviewed, along with a free song from The Knife and a charity compilation, Christmas in the Northwest. I don't think anything new remains in my incoming queue, but I'll try to post anything else I come across through the holidays. I do have a few historic things sitting on my desk, but I probably won't do anything with them till after the holidays.

17 December 2006

Updates to a couple of letters at right, plus a couple new ones. I've gotten a few positive reactions to posting the Mistletunes disc as an iMix, although of course a few regrets as to the difference between the iMix and the actual disc. Unavoidable, of course, and you folks have been understanding about that. It just seemed like a way to share my annual disc without being too precious about it, and conversely without being accused of piracy by the usual suspects. I've got some other stuff waiting for me to clear a few minutes for a post, but in case it takes me too long, feel free to check out Les Fradkin's Spirit of Christmas if you like your pop rock vintage 70s/80s with a touch of ELO, and if you liked the Sarah McLachlan then her fellow Canadian Allison Crowe's Tidings will be right up your alley.

13 December 2006

As promised back on Nov. 23, the big announcement is that the annual Mistletunes mix disc is now available on iTunes as an iMix. But you probably already noticed that on the main page. You'll notice immediately, if you go to the liner notes, that the physical disc has nine more songs than the download. This is a result I expected, to be honest; I'm told iTunes now has more than 4 million songs online, but this site wouldn't need to exist if absolutely everything was available everywhere, all the time, right? Oh, and let us know if you can answer Tim Derbish's question at right, OK?

12 December 2006

Just fattened up Recent Releases with Jefferson Pepper, The Killers, Club Freddy, The Apples in Stereo, Klezmatics, Jim Jones, Mike Mills, Mike Love, Holly Golightly and a whole bunch more.

3 December 2006

Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadors have just arrived at Recent Releases with a new disc of Christmas novelties. Also, a new letter from L.S. at right.

2 December 2006

Moved Graham Parker back to Recent Releases as fresh copies of his Christmas Cracker EP have recently surfaced through his website.

29 November 2006

Added Sarah McLachlan and James Taylor to Recent Releases. Still keeping an eye out for late-breaking stragglers.

28 November 2006

Added Sufjan Stevens, Bootsy Collins, Bright Eyes, Richard Cheese, Hall & Oates and Robin Gibb to Recent Releases. Pretty wide array of stuff and it's not even December yet. Oh, and having just stepped away from "Boston Legal," I'd like to note that David E. Kelley is obsessed with "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)." Crazy shovel-killer/peeping tom Lincoln has kidnapped Shirley Schmitt and locked her in his basement in tonight's episode, and he sits across from her and serenades her, while she's tied to a chair, with "The Chipmunk Song," accompanying himself on ukelele. On Kelley's previous show "Allie McBeal," Vonda Shepherd worked a torchy piano performance of that very same song into an episode, though it was criminally withheld from the Allie Christmas CD.

25 November 2006

The letters, they are finally updated. Several new ones, plus some answers to some older questions. I have got to start posting these things when they arrive instead of letting them pile up. Maybe someday I can switch this site over to blogging software, though I'm going to have to learn a lot more about Web programming before that happens. Posting some additional selections in Recent Releases, too.

23 November 2006

Billy Idol and a new Jingle Punx arrive in Recent Releases. Happy Turkey Day. I am going to add stuff to the letters section, honest. The addition of the iTunes link may have a side benefit — more about that later.

15 November 2006

Added a few more goodies from Hometown Heroes, Trolley and Hot Pantz. Oh, and it broke my heart that my lifetime stats vanished with the apparent disappearance of www.ultimatecounter.com, so I had to sign up for a new counter, which I started at 150,000 to reflect the past nine years. The new counter comes with an ad, but hopefully that means I won't have to swap in a new counter again anytime soon. Still haven't gotten around to updating the letters, but soon.

14 November 2006

Our much-delayed return is finally in place, with a pretty good bumper crop of fresh additions in Recent Releases. Still waiting for copies of new CDs by Billy Idol, Robin Gibb and Sarah McLachlan, and we happily await any promo copies of fresh goodies you might offer, or tips about legal downloads of unique items. Sorry the letters section at right hasn't been updated yet; hope to get caught up sometime in the next few days.

3 January 2006

Just posted some hip-hop by the Dirty Boyz and a cool Yiddish rap parody by Chutzpah. This has been the site's busiest holiday season ever, and I'd like to thank all the visitors, new and repeat alike, along with the folks who have pointed me to music I might have missed all during the site's history and those who answer others' questions over to the right. As is customary, the hit count nosedived right after New Year's Day, and of necessity things will get slow around here for a while. But maybe the next time you stop by here things will be a little different, no promises though....

1 January 2006

Coldplay fans should be aware by now of a streaming video offered at BBC.co.uk, "Christmas at Maida Vale," in which they performed live three of their own songs followed by a quick rendition of "White Christmas." The video is for streaming only and there's no evidence, so far, of an audio-only version.

22 December 2005

A couple more letters and a couple more posts of a free James Taylor download and A Very Magistery Christmas, something that tried, and failed, to sneak in under the radar. Forgot earlier to add another tip from Ken Kessler — "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" by 70s corporate rock kings Boston, a live recording at a radio station concert and a free download to boot.

18 December 2005

A quick answer to Frosso's letter at right is posted, and a couple of minor revisions to the Aimee Mann EP entry and the Chris Isaak one.

17 December 2005

The Aimee Mann entry for "Clean Up For Christmas" was edited to reflect her new holiday EP, and we've added the Click 5, Weezer, Magnet and the 40th anniversary "Charlie Brown Christmas" CD. Meanwhile, Ken Kessler tips us that Bon Jovi has been performing "Run Rudolph Run" in recent concerts and that their label serviced a live recording to radio. Haven't been able to score a copy myself, but this should get you collectors to put on your thinking caps. A couple of fresh letters make their debut over to the right. Oh, and a housekeeping matter: As a Mac user, I don't check any of the commercial download services other than iTunes since I'm not welcome at any of them due to my choice of platform. Therefore, from here on in, any reference to a song's availability at iTunes should be considered an invitation to investigate at Napster, Rhapsody, MSN, Sony Connect, Yahoo, or anyplace else like that, if you want the digital version. Since there seems to be a visceral dislike of iTunes in some quarters, particularly by folks who bought their MP3 players from somebody other than Apple, I wanted to be sure nobody's offended by the increasingly frequent mentions of Steve Jobs' digital music bazaar.

15 December 2005

Stumbled across a few more fresh items, including an Aimee Mann EP, a Weezer single (which has fans mad because the songs used to be posed free at their website) and a few others. Haven't had a chance to post any of this stuff yet, but you'd be well advised to check out iTunes, Napster and the other download services. I'll be posting a couple more letters soon too. Meanwhile, my own personal Christmas compilation is finished and the liner notes are here.

10 December 2005

More posts to Recent Releases after a bit of power-searching the Web and iTunes, plus a few tips from such friends of the site as Martin Johns. Check out new stuff from Blondfire, Smashmouth, Martin Sexton and a few others just added. Also squeezed in a mention of Frickin' A's single. Thanks to the folks who have sent along their Christmas comps — I haven't started mine yet, but research obviously has been under way all along. Also added Jingle Punx, which arrived in today's mail after the original posting.

3 December 2005

Just posted to Recent Releases what should be the vast majority of new stuff we'll be covering in the current season. Is anybody else noticing there's a lot of Hanukkah stuff this year? The LeeVees' CD is definitely the science for that holiday, which starts the day after Christmas this year. If you come across anything I've missed, click on the e-mail link and let us know.

25 November 2005

Martin Johns pops in to answer the letter about the song with Santa, JFK and nuclear war. A few more new items in Recent Releases, including the below-mentioned Holiday Heart. Still waiting for a shipment of other new stuff for 2005, but I'll get that posted not too long after it arrives. Hope you guys had a happy turkey day.

16 November 2005

Got the letters updated finally, I let that back material go way too long considering we've been getting some traffic in the off-months lately. The "Ho Ho Hospice" sequel is Holiday Heart, by the way, for those who enjoyed the first one and can't wait until I post it here to get one. Some new stuff posted from Marah, the Rev. Horton Heat, Brian Wilson, Melissa Etheridge, and a few compilations, with plenty more planned.

24 October 2005

Heard you missed me, well, I'm back. The current Recent Releases aren't so recent, they're more like things I finally got my hands on in the past several months. Not everything, but enough stuff to get me back in the posting groove. I still have to paw through my e-mail to find the questions I promised people I'd post, but I'll get around to that soonest. As for what we have to look forward to this year, pickings seem slim at the moment, although I'm told the Ho Ho Hospice folks have another CD coming out, and if it's as packed with pleasure as the last one, we'll have a Merry Christmas for sure in 2005.

14 March 2005

I've occasionally mentioned that this website is slapped together on a Macintosh, not because I want mad props from the 1 in 10 or so who share my preference but simply because once in a while, on this supposedly platform-agnostic Internet, I have occasion to point you folks towards something that may not work the way I intended.

The growth of legal music download sites is a case in point. The only one that is truly cross-platform is the iTunes Music Store. All the others consciously shut out the Mac, either through the use of the protected Windows Media format or some other proprietary scheme that only works on Windows. Naturally, this means that when I point you to legal downloads, iTunes Music Store offerings have an edge, mostly an unintentional one, since I'm a Mac guy.

As it happens, my wife is NOT a "Mac guy." She loves her Compaq running the latest version of Windows XP Home, and since she uses it frequently, I usually press on as though it weren't there.

A while back, I heard about the 2004 Drive-Thru Records Christmas compilation and wanted to grab a copy. Too late; the CD version was only a limited issue and was completely sold out. However, Drive-Thru cut a deal to sell it on Sony Connect. So I waited until my wife was away on a business trip and fired up her Compaq, installed Sony's SonicStage software, then downloaded the Drive-Thru album. While I was there, I stumbled across My Morning Jacket's 2003 Christmas EP and figured I may as well grab that too.

The whole thing went pretty painlessly, I thought. Unfortunately, I wanted to be able to take my purchases away from the Compaq, since it's not my computer. SonicStage gives you the option to burn CDs of songs in mp3, its proprietary ATRAC format or a good old AIFF audio CD.

So why did it take me more than four hours to get my music off the Compaq?

I fired up the Compaq today with the intention of burning the two mini-albums I purchased to a single audio CD that I could bring over to my Mac and reimport back into iTunes. On the first attempt, I screwed up; SonicStage's CD burning button defaulted to making a disc of ATRAC files. Since this would do me no good -- indeed, this choice of default may be good self-promotion but it's not how customers would use the program -- I stopped the process, turning a disc into a coaster to boot.

On my second try, SonicStage refused to put some of the songs in the burn queue and crashed the entire computer, costing me another disc. On the third attempt, I tried burning only the Drive-Thru album. The software still refused to rip four of the songs, but at least this time it burned a usable disc with the other four. But the computer crashed again. I tried stepping down the burn speed since I've seen that be a factor in botched burns, but it didn't make any difference. Oh, and despite what the menu says, SonicStage refused to rip the tunes to mp3.

My next move was to try burning the four rejected songs. This resulted in another crash, but at least it didn't cost me a disc. After restarting, I tried burning each song individually to a separate disc. This worked, but one song required two tries, crashing the computer yet again. Finally I tried burning the My Morning Jacket EP to its own disc, and that worked on the first try.

To review: It took eight discs and four hours to burn 14 Sony Connect songs to CD. This is nothing like my iTunes experiences. Songs from the iTunes store rip to regular audio CD first time, every time. I've even re-imported the purchased songs so I can make multiple mix CDs with no ill effects. And iTunes is simply the best program for cataloging songs and casual CD burning. Some folks are picky about burning and they choose to use Toast or Easy CD to gain more control over that part of the process, but as a central repository for all your computer music iTunes, I think, is the best.

I've played around briefly with iTunes for Windows, and I've found that it gives up nothing to the Mac version. Windows users complain that it "hijacks" your system, trying to become the default music player for your entire system. But every music player I've ever seen on Windows does that, and it's easily defeated. The other thing it does is install QuickTime, but again, that's not a bad thing -- QuickTime is at least as useful as Real Player, maybe more so if you decide to take advantage of its "pro" features.

As I'm trying to do a reference site here, I'm going to do whatever I have to do to listen to music so I can pass my impressions along to you. But based upon my experience, I just thought everyone should know that there is a reason the iTunes solution is so far out in front of all the others, and I just spent four hours today re-learning that lesson.

By the way, I'll get around to posting reviews of these two records soon. I've got a bunch of other things on the shelf to add as well, but then, when don't I?

23 December 2004

Adding a few letters and replies at the right, and just a few more Recent Releases. Boy, iTunes really lets folks drop stuff right up to the last minute, and there are more and more folks just giving Xmas goodies away. Check it out! I should note here that I'm mentioning iTunes alone among the download services not because I have any connection to it, but because as a Mac user there's really no reason for me to be prowling the other services, since I can't buy or even sample anything I run into there. (In terms of self-interest, I should be encouraging you to click through to Amazon from here.) Feel free to point out anything you discover on the non-iTunes services, or better yet anything that's being offered for free (legally). I just added a few of the latter to Recent Releases.

21 December 2004

More letters to the site that I couldn't answer over to the right. Just had to clear out my in-box, didn't I? Also, Jim from basicrep fills us in on the Band Aid II record from 1989.

16 December 2004

Updated Recent Releases with a handful of singles from the iTunes Store and some self-issued stuff. Liner notes for the latest Mistletunes mix CD are here. As usual, don't ask for copies; this is just food for thought for those of you of a similar mind to mine (you poor buggers...). I've managed to clean the must-go stuff off my desk, so if I don't post again, Merry Christmas. Yes, Bill O'Reilly, I said Merry Christmas. Are you freakin' happy now? (Hanukkah's over, but have a happy one anyway, and if you celebrate Kwanzaa our best wishes are with you, and then there are the Druids among you getting ready to observe the Solstice, not to mention you Seinfeld fans marking Festivus....)

4 December 2004

Adding Denis Leary and The Walkmen to Recent Releases. Now if I could just get started on this year's mix disc....

30 November 2004

Once more to Recent Releases to check out entries on British rockers The Crossbank Strays and the very holiday-oriented Jingle Punx, who have put out a new Christmas CD every season since 1998 but I only found out about them this year. Oh, and we amplify an off-handed remark we made about a sound-alike arrangement on the Christmas With the Kranks soundtrack, with the help of the band involved.

28 November 2004

The Band Aid 20 version of "Do They Know It's Christmas" makes it into Recent Releases, just in time for its British/Australian-only release tomorrow. Funny story: teen diva Joss Stone wasn't even alive for the original release of the Band Aid single while a bunch of the performers had only cradle-age recollections of it, so Bob Geldof showed them documentary footage from Africa to get them in the mood. That's not the funny part — the giggles come when it's revealed that Stone kept calling Sir Bob "Gandalf."

27 November 2004

More in Recent Releases, including the soundtrack to "Christmas With the Kranks," a short mention of the new Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Afroman holiday CD and a DIY album by a British band called Fire Rocket Launcher. We've been receptive to self-issued music in the past as long as it fits in with other stuff we're already featuring, so send us your links, your artwork, your promo copies.... And having been stuck listening to the William Hung album, I had to get my two cents in about that one as well. I tried to steer clear of "American Idol"-related nonsense after the underwhelming experience of listening to the show's holiday album from last year, but even the bad stuff from that show doesn't live up to its billing. On an unrelated topic, I can't really justify listing Light of the Stable by Emmylou Harris on the site since it's unambiguously country and bluegrass, but I can remind you folks who are into her that the album's been reissued for 2004, remastered and with bonus cuts. Somebody could do a version of this site based on nothing but country artists' Christmas records that would be pretty good. Heck, I'd read it — I just couldn't create it. (I'm guessing the Hanukkah Alert page for that site wouldn't have much information on it, though.)

25 November 2004

Bulking up Recent Releases with some additional new stuff that arrived in the past two weeks. Say hi to Larry the Cable Guy, Dwight Twilley, Guster, Jet, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Guy Smilee and a couple of compilations — one from Central PA regional bands and another from John Waters. Yes, that John Waters. With everybody in the house sick, there wasn't much to do on a Thanksgiving but post new stuff, right? Hope you had a happier Turkey Day that we did here at Mistletunes Central. Oh, and we have some new letters over to the right.

14 November 2004

Latest holiday music now posted at Recent Releases. Chris Isaak, the Barenaked Ladies and the Nettwerk compilation are on the site now, along with a bunch of other stuff, including some "found" weirdness I discovered at the 365 Days Project. Some of the tips you have sent me that haven't blossomed into full entries have been added to the Miscellaneous page for lack of anyplace else to put them, and I'll upgrade them at a later date if I learn anything more about them. Most of the stuff that was under Recent Releases until today has been dispersed to the appropriate categories. Turns out most of that stuff from Koch I mentioned below is just recycled compilations and music from outside this site's parameters.

18 September 2004

Found Petty Booka's Christmas CD and put it in Recent Releases. Also punched up the White Stripes entry under The Nineties to mention Jack White's performance in the film "Cold Mountain." Answered a few letters, but I'm still waiting for some new ones you folks might learn something from. Word on the street is that the folks at Koch Records plan to carpet-bomb the market with Christmas music this year, though I haven't heard anything specific as to performances we might want to feature here. Oh, and I'm hearing Chris Isaak and the Barenaked Ladies may have holiday CDs this year, and the crazy Canadians at Nettwerk have yet another Maybe This Christmas collection waiting to drop.

7 September 2004

Added the Evil Beaver CD to Recent Releases. Folks have been stopping by the site already with new information to add to old entries, and we'll get to that as soon as we can. Haven't had anything fresh to add to the letters section at right, but I'm guessing that will change soon.

23 August 2004

This was supposed to be Christmas in July (see Judith Owen's new CD under Recent Releases) but it ended up being late August by the time I was able to listen to everything. This still isn't everything in my collection, but it's definitely the stuff that was stacked up on my desk. Now we're in the runup to this year's holiday, waiting for new stuff to come along. If you have any tips, feel free to e-mail the site with them. With the recent trend toward music DVDs — not DVD audio but video — I'm scratching my head as to whether I should be tracking them as well. This will be a tough decision because I'm not a collector of video — I'm strictly a Netflix kind of guy. You're welcome to weigh in on this topic as well.

21 December 2003

Minor celebrity has descended upon this site, as you probably noticed on the home page, and as a result traffic has gone up by a factor of at least five, maybe more. Thanks for stopping by, old friends and new. In other developments. Martin Johns answers Dawn's question about the comedy choir record. And my own personal mix CD has been distributed to about two or three dozen friends of the site and/or Webmaster. Liner notes, as promised, are here. My collections tend to emphasize the newest things I've picked up over older stuff — an occupational hazard of setting one's self up as a half-baked authority, I suppose. Maybe one of these years I'll compile the ultimate historic collection — but I'm sure some of you will take exception to whatever choices I come up with. Which is fine, that's why we're here. By the way, if I don't post again before the holiday, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and a unique Solstice.

19 December 2003

Seems a bunch of the Amazon tags were broken. They're fixed now.

17 December 2003

Folks are noticing this humble website left and right this season, thanks to the scriveners at USA Today and Yahoo, and a lot of you are visiting here for the first time. Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to leave via the Amazon links when you're done here. Apologies for the broken link on the Yahoo site to a review of "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." This one works. And Dave from Illinois tips us that there is a Canadian CD with Randy Bachman doing a "Love Actually" on his own "Takin' Care of Christmas." It's on Bullseye Canada and can be tracked down at Not Lame Records. Needless to say, my order is in. Hope your Christmas shopping is just a memory by now; wish mine was.

13 December 2003

More stuff for Recent Releases, with a fabulous new CD from Canadian popsters Universal Honey, more house music, a novelty shopping tune from the Housewives on Prozac, a pretty nice Philly-area compilation, Steve Lukather's SantaMental, the St. Nick CD mentioned below, a new album from Joy Electric, Rob Thomas' Christmas single, an EP from Planting Seeds Records and a year-old reissued CD from Lowen and Navarro. As near as I can tell, this is it for the relevant music to be released in 2003, so start working on those mix tapes and CDs. (Mine's still a gleam in the old eyesocket, of course....) I've still got a bunch of stuff on my desk to process that's not up-to-the-minute new, and I'll start moving those recordings onto the site as time permits before the holidays, as well as after.

2 December 2003

Take another gander at Recent Releases, now featuring Christmas Calling, the aforementioned Off the Hook comp, a collection of hair band holiday goodies, more house music variations and our pal Billy Mack from "Love Actually." Still working all the angles to find fresh goodies. There's also some more older reggae stuff in that category and a look at another of the Projekt goth Christmas albums under comps. And some of the older postings have been spiced up by submissions from readers, which we're always happy to do.

29 November 2003

Getting caught up on the music I have on hand, there's a bunch more stuff at Recent Releases, including items I mentioned below along with some things that aren't so recent. Ahh, you know how it is. Some of the stuff that hasn't arrived here yet includes a new Epic compilation called Christmas Calling and what I'm expecting to be a clever novelty CD by St. Nick's Only Christmas Band -- will say more when it arrives. Just as I was finishing this round of updates, I received some British hip-hop from a bunch called Off the Hook -- will tell you more about it as soon as I give it a listen.

27 November 2003

Recent visitors will notice the dreaded Amazon.com medallions have arrived at Mistletunes. I tried this once with the all-but-defunct CDnow and didn't get anywhere; hopefully this time around we'll do a little better. Winding up for the sales pitch, I would simply like to note that this site's service has been gratefully received on many occasions since it went up in 1997 by numerous folks. If this site has revealed any musical holiday wisdom to you in the past or present, you can show your appreciation by clicking through here on your way to the vast storehouse of goodies that is Amazon. (I've heard of visitors to some of the more popular weblogs actually buying bloggers new laptops and such; I'm not expecting that level of support by any means.) So far you have to click on the Amazon baby ads on every page to get there; eventually I may hook direct links to the album cover art, although you'll find that hasn't happened yet. Now that we understand each other on that front, let's get back to the music.

Still way behind on updating Recent Releases, but I've got a nice big stack of goodies to add to the site, and you should be seeing some of them soon. A new Flaming Lips tune, the Moody Blues Christmas album, some more reggae, and submissions from independent artists are on the way, and I'm in the process of rounding up a fistful more. Oh, and I moved that Metallica/"Carol of the Bells" letter back up to the top because I was wrong -- Metallica did do the song, they just never released it. Follow the link in the answer for the scoop.

One trivial bit of info you might find useful: Universal has reissued a bunch of their Christmas CDs as part of their 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection series, although the actual contents aren't any different as far as I can tell. All the holiday CDs by individual Motown artists got this treatment, along with Ringo Starr's album.

21 November 2003

I am such a procrastinator. Some of this stuff should have been up weeks ago. Well, it's here now, all under Recent Releases, and this time the tag actually applies, except for just a couple of things. One of those is the Mariah Carey album; I've had a lot of requests from folks to relent on her informal ban from the site, so she's here finally. And to show we're trying to stay hip, or dope, or whatever the kids are calling it these days, there's even a review of the American Idol Christmas album over there. We're still missing a lot of stuff that's being released this year or may be already out -- stuff that's probably a lot better than the Idols -- but goshdarnit, I hadda post SOMETIME.

30 August 2003

Attempting to catch up to all the stuff you kind readers have been sending along since last holiday season, not to mention just a few of the many Christmas tunes and albums I've managed to overlook up until now. What I've done is move everything from Recent Releases into their appropriate categories, and then I've filled Recent Releases with a pile of stuff that has been clogging up my desk for months. That stuff, in turn, will get moved into its proper category when this year's new music starts arriving. There are new letters over to the right, plus some of the older ones have prompted replies, so if you've been here before, you might want to scan all of them.

26 December 2002

The site is enriched as a long-out-of-reach Christmas classic finally found its way to the Mistletunes Test Kitchen. Swing over to Recent Releases, even though it's not recent, to check out the Cool Yule alternative power-pop compilation. It's a great piece of work and a worthwhile addition to your Christmas collection.

25 December 2002

Updating the letters section at left with answers to some previously posted questions. Thanks to you readers out there for your help, and Merry Christmas to all.

22 December 2002

A few more reviews, B2K and 3LW among them, to add some R'nB to the current offerings. There was supposed to have been an En Vogue holiday CD and a Motown Christmas album based on the recent TV special, but I haven't encountered either of them. McCallGirl asks for a kinkier Christmas on her new CD single. An update has been added to the letters about the "drunken lady" Christmas tune at left. And as a holiday gesture, I've decided to put up an annotated description of my personal holiday mix CD here. Please don't send in requests for copies; don't want the RIAA messing with me.

17 December 2002

A few additions to the letters column. More reviews coming soon to Recent Releases.

14 December 2002

Fattened up Recent Releases and added some more new e-mails to the right, including some answers to previously posted letters. Scroll down to catch them all. Our pals The Wise Men contacted the site to let us know that "Mr. Mojo's Christmas" is indeed available for sale. CD singles are $6.99 (shipping included) from H.M. Adams, P.O. Box 17131, Encino, CA 91316. Checks, money orders payable to H.M Adams.

5 December 2002

Tons of fun under Recent Releases today, and I'm still waiting for a batch of back-ordered items. Finally got my copy of the Brian Setzer Orchestra, tracked down some single cuts on some non-Xmas CDs, found a stunning novelty on NPR's website, and uncovered the absolute screaming deal of the year for alt-rock fans who like Christmas tunes. A couple new e-mails to the right as well. The ACLU link on the front is not particularly holiday oriented, but I feel better for having included it. This is such a busy year that I haven't even begun to plan my annual mix CD yet.

30 November 2002

Look over to the right, there's the e-mail listing I promised you folks a couple weeks ago. Some of these notes are more than a year old, but better late than never, I say. Needless to say, we'll post new ones as we get them. Just got my hands on a fistful of new goodies, but it'll take me a few days to listen to all of them; look for updates under Recent Releases sometime in the next week.

28 November 2002

Lord, Mr. Ford, this site suddenly has a search engine! Credit Atomz.com and Dreamweaver in equal measure, with a tip of the Mistletunes topper to Mac Design magazine's website for letting me know this was even possible, not to mention free of charge. If you're maintaining your own site, you might want to check into this, especially if your Web programming skills are as negligible as mine are. Oh, and Happy Turkey Day again.

27 November 2002

Latest stuff is some "chillout" music, Flatulena, Carly Simon and America. I have mixed feelings about the latter two, since when I was a kid they were considered rock acts, but obviously are no longer part of that scene. Nevertheless, here they are. Meanwhile, folks are e-mailing the site to let us know about new stuff they don't want me to miss. And I won't, in some cases thanks to them. Let me know about stuff you think should be on the site, even if it's not a current release; I'll make sure I get to it eventually. If I don't post again this week, Happy Thanksgiving to you, even if you're not a U.S. reader.

24 November 2002

I posted a revision to the Big Blue Jingle Balls review in Recent Releases to repair an inaccuracy -- not all the holiday tunes on that CD are parodies of existing carols. Check out the update.

23 November 2002

Updates include two, count 'em, new Xmas albums by Beatles impressionists The Fab Four, plus Swing Cats' rockabilly Christmas, the new Nettwerk compilation, the Cracker song "Merry Christmas Emily," and a couple of artists who have Christmas tunes at their own personal websites. Haven't done as well ferreting out the lesser-known self-marketed artists as I'd hoped, but I'll be trying harder on that front in the future.

16 November 2002

Forget the bit about Recent Releases below; I got all the current stuff I have now off my desk and onto the site. Still got half a ton more new goodies to track down for this season; stay tuned. By the way, Universal is re-releasing the original Motown Christmas albums by individual artists this year; after the season, I'm going to go back and start filling in some of the historic holes in the site's coverage.

15 November 2002

Well, fingers crossed, here's the new improved Mistletunes. All I really did is change the main fonts, dress up a couple of the uglier pages, dispense with the frames and substitute these gee-whizzy drop-down menus. (If your browser doesn't believe in stuff like that, there are good old-fashioned style links at the bottom of each page.) I've also broken up some of the categories in response to some suggestions, although I'm not 100 percent certain these will be any more satisfactory. (Lists by artist and a searchable site have been suggested, but the former sounds like a lot of work and the latter is beyond my current level of webmastering skills.) I was holding out until I got some more stuff into the Recent Releases category, but at some point this sucker had to go live, so here it is. More will follow as I get into the seasonal swing.

10 February 2002

Three more stragglers clamber aboard the Recent Releases category, a compilation from Winnipeg, the Buzzed Meg EP and the Therapy Sisters album, which I encountered while ordering something else that hasn't arrived yet. Not that many of you out there will bump into any of these items before October.....

11 January 2002

Ah, the first posting in a palindrome year. Lumped a bunch more items into Recent Releases, even though some of them aren't recent at all. But I'll sort all that out during the redesign, which has already begun but won't be going live for quite some time yet. Finally got hold of the B.B. King album, Stuck in the Chimney on Parasol, plus some other items like Christmas Underground, an indie-rock compilation from this past year, a collection of original rockabilly Christmas singles, and an all-instrumental blues Christmas album on Evidence. The reggae compilation mentioned below continues to elude me.

23 December 2001

Three more fresh items under Recent Releases, the December People prog-rock Christmas album plus singles from Pat Benatar and Hampton the Hampster. Several items that were new this Christmas proved tough to track down: the B.B. King Christmas album, a reggae compilation and a straight rock compilation called Stuck in the Chimney. I plan to track these down first opportunity I get, before everybody warehouses their Christmas stock.

18 December 2001

A couple more new albums under Recent Releases, a good compilation from Stereorrific that only shipped a week and a half ago and a Red Cross benefit from a bunch of Atlanta-based bands, including the Another Man Down tune.

Looks like my pals at Hostserve, my server god, have done good by me in getting this site better recognized by the search engines. Hits are way up comparatively, and I plan to put a little more elbow grease into the site after this holiday season to make sure more people find it.

The e-mail count is way up, and I am humbled to find that my streak of providing correct answers to site visitors' questions has been broken. Keep the requests coming anyway; I'm archiving them and plan to do more research when the site gets redesigned.

6 December 2001

Well, it was slow going, but I finally got a reasonable facsimile of what's new this season up on the site. Check out the rocked-up "Dreidel Song" by Another Man Down in the Recent Releases section; at some point I will get more MP3 links onto the site.

Real rockers will note the creeping addition of more teen idol type stuff onto the site. I'm of several minds about this development; I'm not big on a lot of this stuff, as you'll notice from the descriptions, and it's unlikely any of these artists are suffering from their exclusion on this site. On the other hand, rock, pop, R'nB, rap, reggae and so on all spring from a common wellstream, and I don't want to be one of these middle-aged less-than-hipsters holding my nose about music that I didn't grow up with. Besides, a lot of folks who visit here like to see their favorites listed; there's a kind of affirmation visitors get from that.

Possibly, when I redesign the site next year, I might go for a Teen Idols section as a way of making it easier for those who are genuinely offended by this stuff to simply ignore it. My arbitrary categories need some revision anyway, especially the blues and soul section, which is getting way too big for those of you with dial-up accounts to download easily.

7 July 2001

Bye-bye to Webjump, say hello to HostSave.com, my new server god. This one isn't free like WJ, but it offers a lot of service for very little cash. And site visitors should not be bothered any longer by ad frames or Webjump promotions springing up spontaneously in the middle of one of my pages.

4 January 2001

Never mind about The Real Slim Santa, Ebay fixed me up with that one, and another Ebay user introduced me to Kevin and Bean's 1999 set as well. And Cool Christmas turned up on ImportCD.com. (See below.) The site is finally updated with the K&B albums, Mambo Santa Mambo, and 2 Live Jews' Christmas Jews from 1998 under the Hannukah page.

With another Christmas under our belts, I'm going to try and spend more time on the site during the off season, as there's a bunch of research I've done that's still waiting to find its way to the Web. It's hard enough just to get new releases on the site during the Thanksgiving-Christmas stretch, when they're all released, and this wasn't even that busy a year.

26 November 99

When I started this, I could only find one listing of any kind for Christmas music reviews. This week I discovered one that is a little more wide-ranging than this one; if you can't find what you want here, stop by Do You Hear What I Hear.

20 September 1999

For those of you who are arriving here for the first time, a couple of frequently asked questions. The biggest one is as follows: Why don't you have any music on your site?

This is a logical question and the answer is multifaceted. For starters, I don't own my own server, so I have to do this on limited space. To have mp3s or short samples of these tunes would require copyright clearances; these would be expensive since this site generates no significant funding, to me anyway.

To those who suggest I use MIDI files, thanks for the suggestion, but no thanks. MIDI files have their place in the music universe, but when used on websites, they basically sound like hi-tech tinkertoy music to my ears. Since we're promoting a genre of music that is founded in strong emotional content, I believe MIDIs would sound out of place and contribute nothing to the site.

Second most often-asked question around here is "Have you heard such-and-such by what's his name?" This is a question I encourage, because at least a third of the time the answer is absolutely not. These queries sometimes lead to me getting my hands on some wonderful stuff, so keep 'em coming, even if your question ends up being one of the two-thirds I answer "Yes."

And once in a while, somebody asks me why I'm doing this in the first place. Well, somebody's got to.

28 December 97

This site will be up year-round, even though I expect the hit count to taper off dramatically. But gearing up to do it only at Christmas time is way too much of a pain. By the way, even though I didn't have time to add a link, I'd like to thank actress Caryn Shalita for linking to me from her Christmas music page. Stop by and meet her; if you don't, you'll kick yourself if she becomes famous later.

Mistletunes Mailbox

Here's a sampling of mail from folks with good questions, nearly all of which I can't answer. If you can, feel free to give us a shout.

There's a Christmas song my music at work keeps playing, and I can't for the life of me find it anywhere, or even find out who sings it. Every time it comes on I stop working and write down lyrics to it to help me find it. The vocals almost sound like Geddy Lee from Rush, and it's got an 80's-acoustic guitar ballady feeling to it.
Here's the chorus:

Gonna miss you Christmas morning,
gonna miss you New Year's day,
and all the days between
and every moment you're away.

Another line says:

The angels on the tree are blue
and the mistletoe knows why.

If by chance you can tell me who sings this, you'll have my undying gratitude!! I think the title is "Miss You Christmas". At least, that's what our Muzak box at work displays, but it doesn't give the artist.

Lisa Prescott

I did some Googling and the closest I came was "Missing You For Christmas" by James Collins, but of course not a word of Lisa's lyrics appears in that song. Came up dry on "Miss You Christmas," even on trips to the ASCAP and BMI sites. Can anybody out there help a girl out? Update: Lisa writes back to say she's learned that the song is by Robin H. Farren, but still can't find it for sale or download anywhere. I did a little research and found a Robin H. Farren who was a musician in Boston during the 1990s and who performed with her brother Charlie in the bands Farren and Fahrenheit. There was also a listing for Robin Farren and Her Many Husbands. Still can't find any trace of a song, and a current website for Robin says she's a former musician in a band (with her husband Michael) who is now a graphic designer. Further update: My information turned out to be accurate, and Lisa reports back that if you visit the above website and e-mail her, she'll even hook you up with a copy of her song.

I’m looking for an old album from the 50s/60s that my mom used to play every Christmas. I have spent hours searching the ‘net and listening to clips, but I haven’t found it. It’s not Spike Jones, I know that much, LOL…. Nor is it Fred Waring.

I have tried to find a link through "A Christmas Story" because when Ralphie is with santa at Higby’s dept store, you can hear the version of Jingle Bells from that album in the background.

It’s all silly stuff. The version of Jingle Bells is some sort of Spanish rhumba which then collapses into a double-time version… most notably is Rudolph, which has sound effects instead of certain words. Rudolph the red-nosed (RRR-RRRRRRRRRRR) had a very shiny (SNORRRE noise) and if you ever saw it (wolf whistle) you would even say it (bzzzz – like the sound of a buzzer)….
I have tried searching lyrics, Amazon, everywhere. Of course it would help if I knew the name of the dumb album but I don’t, and Mom doesn’t remember.

It’s just a nice childhood memory that I’d like to recapture. Help me Mistletunes, you’re my last hope!

Sherry in Newtown, PA

Sherry, I don't do so hot with the old-school pop Christmas music, so I'm posting it here for you in hopes our readers have a handle on it. Update: Rich Lewis insisted that she was looking for the Fred Waring version, and Sherry later found out he was right, thanks to the nice folks at FaLaLaLaLa.com, who directed her to the entry at Ernie Not Bert's place.

I am looking for a version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" It starts off as a sort of New Wave-ish beat then seems to go into a reggae/ska bit at the end. Lots of reverb and ominous ha ha laughing with a strong bass sound. I have a copy of the song from a Christmas song countdown on WUSM in North Dartmouth, Mass. The year of the countdown was either 1984 or 1985 (although the song copuld have been released anytime before that, maybe between 1979 and 1983). Other artists on this countdown were the Waitresses, XTC, Pretenders, Stryper (really!), and a local R.I. group called Rash of Stabbings. I have identified every other song from this countdown but this ONE song! Can you help?

Allen Sylvester

I don't have any idea, but maybe we have readers in Massachusetts with a copy of that compilation. Update: Martin Johns says the description sounds like the version of the song by Bobby Lloyd and the Skeletons, which was a medley of the carol with "You Really Got Me." I don't know if he's right — I don't remember a ska component to that song. This song was on Christmas Party With Eddie G, which I think is out of print. Updated again: Martin takes a second pass at this one and has decided it's definitely the band Native Tongue from 1983, on the collection "Boston Rock Christmas" (Boston Rock Records), most likely out of print as well. "Final answer," Martin adds.

A few years ago, a hard rocking version of "White Christmas" made the rounds of the Internet file sharing sites. (It's still readily available.) It was alleged to be a Guns 'n Roses bootleg, though it didn't sound at all like Axl, and only slightly like the band. Consensus was that it was bogus, though I never heard anything definitive. I've wondered several times who actually recorded it, but have never been able to find anthing by Googling.

Bob Bailey

I've steered clear of file sharing for the most part, as one never knows who's packet-sniffing nowadays. So I haven't encountered the file. Maybe someone who has can help us out here.

I would appreciate any help you could give me in finding the title and singer for a song. I thought it was "Santa's Got The Blues," but I've tried a lot on my search engine to find lyrics, etc. without any luck. It's sung by a female "soul" voice, and the beat is bluesy and very good. I would love to find the karaoke version of it to sing at a Christmas event. Here's the words she sings:

"I dreamed last night...it was Christmas Eve, I met Santa hitch-hikin, he was down on his knees. He got in my car, I could see he was cryin, but the times aint been this hard, since nineteen twenty nine, I got the blues, blue as I can be, Ol Santa's got to make it, cause the whole world is countin on me."

Lurene Cornelius

There are a lot of songs out there titled "Santa's Blues," "Santa's Got the Blues," "Santa Claus Got the Blues," etc. The best-known song along these lines is "Santa Claus Got the Blues" by the Drifters, which I can't find lyrics for. I have a copy of a song of that title by Travis Haddix, but I just listened to it and it doesn't have the lyrics you quote. I'll post your letter and we'll see what happens. Update: Sean Delaney, Martin Johns and Bob Bailey descended en masse to answer this one: "Santa's Got the Blues" by Denise LaSalle, a 1985 single on Malaco (MAL 2124, says Sean). Martin adds, "A version of the song appeared on the CD This Christmas by J. Blackfoot & Friends, but the original version (the 'good version' if you will) was on a Malaco 45 from 1985 that, as far as I know, remains unissued on CD." Update: Bob Bailey says a version of the song was done by Chick Wilson on Ichiban Blues at Christmas Vol. 2, which is out of print. None of the three offer much hope for a karaoke version, given its relative rarity.

I'm trying to track down the tracks with the artists for the Stash Christmas Album to figure what I'm missing in artists and songs in my collection. I haven't found an online source with this info. Any help?

Linley Logan

I don't have much info handy on the really antique blues, and this isn't a jazz site. But maybe some readers know. Linley sent a list of the tracks, and the songs that don't have artists listed next to them are "Santa Claus Came In the Spring," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Merry Christmas Baby," "Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney," "Silent Night," "Cool Yule," "Zat You, Santa Claus," and "Christmas In New Orleans." Keep in mind that what Linley's looking for is the artists who played these songs on the Stash Records holiday compilation. I'm pretty sure "Christmas in New Orleans" and "Zat You" were Louis Armstrong, and "Chimney" was probably Ella Fitzgerald, but again we're trying to figure out who the artists were on the Stash album. Update: Bob Bailey concurs with my guesses and contributes Putney Dandridge for "Santa Claus Came In the Spring," Harry Reaser for "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," Lionel Hampton for "Merry Christmas Baby," and no guess for "Silent Night." Bob adds, "... the track listing for the cassette and the LP are different and 'Silent Night' isn't listed on the LP version." He doubts the album ever came to CD, and so do I.

I'm looking for a song... "Silent Night" by Lewisidal Tendencies. It may have been a track on KROQ's Feel the Warmth of Kevin and Bean's Wonderful World of Christmas (The White Album).

Fred Anthony

As this was no. 106 in KROQ's 1990 Top 106 countdown, I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up on a Kevin & Bean collection. But I was unable to scare up any other references to this song or band. Update: Bob Bailey concurs: "I recall the track, it was an in-house Kevin & Bean production and was released on either Feel the Warmth: Kevin & Bean's Wonderful World of Christmas (1990, vinyl only) or possibly Bogus Christmas (1991, cassette only). $50-100 on eBay! Pass."

In the movie "Christmas with the Kranks" there is a scene near the end where a kid on a bike is riding through the snow covered streets with a police escort behind him - there is a neat song with the word "Christmas...the snow's falling down... Christmas...." Sounds like 60s Motown female singer, but I've tried to do a search on Limewire, but all that comes up is a song titled "Christmas" by the Ravonettes, but it's not that one. My eyes are terrible, but I'm trying to borrow the film to see if I can see the credits at the end.

Arlene in Maryland

There's no song like you describe on the soundtrack CD, as far as I know. This isn't unusual; soundtracks seldom have all the songs from a movie either because they didn't pay for both film and CD clearances or because they only budgeted for X number of songs and left off songs beyond that number. Maybe it's in the credits to the movie — put it in slo-mo when the songs come up. Update: Ken Ingram tips us — it was the iconic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love from the Phil Spector Christmas album. If I had seen the movie I would have gotten this one myself.

I am looking to find out the year that Carol Jarvis released "Red White Jolly All Over" ... I assume it was in the late 50s or early 60s based on her recording of some rockabilly material during that time for Dot Records. Do you know the  year of release for this Xmas tune? Google and eBay searches have failed to turn up this song.

Steve DiBartola

Yeah, Carol Jarvis doesn't generate much in the way of Internet buzz, but maybe the readership remembers her a little better.

I have been searching for years for one Christmas song. Nobody has been able to help me figure out the name of the song; I was hoping that with your vast knowledge of Christmas songs, you might be able to help me. The song is old-school r&b, maybe motown. It starts off like a Christmas party where some of the men start singing a song, maybe the Christmas Song. Each member of the group, all men, takes a part of the song. Come closer to the end of the song, the men mess up the lyrics and they all start laughing and the song kind of trails off. That's all I remember about the song. It would mean a lot to me if I could have that song for Christmas. If there is any information you you can offer, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Hopeless

Wow, I'm not sure I've ever heard that one. Sounds like a cross between "Motown Christmas" and "Beach Boys Party." Anybody? Bueller?

I am looking for a certain version of the "12 Days of Christmas" song. I don't know what year it came out, all I have to go on is a copy of the song that I have on a cassette tape that sounds like it was taped off the radio years ago. The song has things like this for the 12 days:
1-partridge in a pear tree
2-GI joes
3-cast of blankets
4-super newsmen
5-diamond rings
6-candleabras
7-Godfathers
8-Rumpled Raincoats
9-Mr Cotters
10-Dirty rats
11- Murder mysteries
When it gets back to the first day of Christmas they say a bunch of different things like:
• I think I am going to be sick
• A big bird and I made a heck of a mess
• I forgot my line
• I gotta go to the bathroom
And then when it gets to the 12th day of Christmas it says, "On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me absolutely nothing" and that's when the song ends.

Mike Marvin

The Mr. Cotter reference has me scratching my head, as it reminds me of the old Gabe Kaplan sitcom, but the rest has no relationship. Help a guy or two out, folks. Update: Martin Johns identifies this as "12 Daze of Christmas" by Steve Irving, basically a platform for a wide array of celebrity impressions from John Wayne to James Mason.

I am looking for a song someone like Gary Moore did based on "Once in Royal David's City." He was definitely UK based from memory, and usually in the classic rock type genre. Any ideas?

Douglas Reid

Couldn't tie Moore to that song in my research. But at least we know you're looking for a classic rock lead guitarist playing that song. Update: Chad White suggests you may be looking for Roger Moore's version of the song from 1959, which he helpfully links us to at Ernie (Not Bert)'s place. I think Chad overlooked the "classic rock" part of your question, but hey, we're all about the scholarship here, right?

I just heard a Christmas song that I have never heard before; it must be new. It was about a Massachusetts Christmas wherever you are (maybe the title) and Christmas in Boston tonight (maybe the title). Can anyone tell me what it is and by who?

Carol Clark

Reminds me of "Please Come to Boston" by Dave Loggins, but of course that isn't what you're looking for. Maybe the readers know. Update: Martin Johns says, "What instantly leaped to mind was "Christmas In Kenmore Square" by Billy West (voice of Sponge Bob and many others). You can find the MP3 at the very bottom of the media center on BillyWest.com or here, though you have to sit through a phone call over Jingle Bell Rock before you get to it. "Christmas In Kenmore Square" has a bit of a Beach Boys vibe to it."

There is a Christmas song that I hear every year in stores, but I have never been able to find out who it is. I don't remember any of the lyrics, but there is some weird bloopy voice saying 'Christmas' during the chorus. At first I thought it was backwards vocals or subliminal or something — but now I think it just has a weird effect on it.

Mike Shaw

Having trouble visualizing that one (or do I mean audioizing it?). Sounds interesting, though. Update: I kept forgetting to return to this letter (sorry) and in the interim I got notes from Larry Forsburg, Don Vigeant, Martin Johns reminding me that this song is most likely "One Christmas Catalogue" by Captain Sensible, formerly of the Damned, which is on Rhino's New Wave Xmas. I have the original 12-inch single, myself, with a fake cotton beard pasted on Sensible's mug.

Am I mistaken or did Ted Nugent do a metal rendition of "Partridge in a Pear Tree?" What album is it on or do you know anyone who has done one?

Alice Lassan

I wasn't aware of that one, Alice. Maybe other folks have heard of it. Twisted Sister has a version of it on their new Xmas CD, however, their version is called "Heavy Metal Christmas." Update: Ken Kessler reminds us of Nugent's contribution to Merry Axemas II, "Deck the Halls." He doesn't recall any other Christmastime contributions from Ted.

I need help identifying a couple of songs. The first contains the following lyrics (I think), "That old Kris Kringle with the jingle ingle ingle." Any help with the artist's name or title would be helpful. Second, what other artists have performed or recorded "Jingle Jangle" besides the Penguins?

Tim Derbish

The answers to neither of those questions are coming to me right now. I bet I even have a copy of the Kringle/ingle record stashed away somewhere, but darned if I can remember. I definitely have no memory of any covers of "Jingle Jangle," but hopefully saying that out loud will cause people to conjure up any if they're out there. Update: Chris Candreva says: "'Old Kris Kringle with the jingle ingle ingle' was sung by — Jiminy Cricket! Which is probably why no one can place it. You may have it on several Disney Chrstimas albums put out over the years. Cliff Edwards is the actual person who sang it and was the voice of Jiminy Cricket. (There may of course be other versions, but this is the one I know.)" Further update: Martin Johns adds that in regard to non-cartoon character versions of this song, Tommy Edwards did it in 1951 and that it's on a Time-Life collection, Christmas on the Town. He also points us to a YouTube video.

I am hoping someone can help me find a Christmas CD. I thought I could find it here. I believe it's from the 90's. It's a Christmas CD with Stone Temple Pilots singing "Christmas Time Is Here," also with "South Park's" song "Merry F&#$?+* Christmas." I know it has to be out there somewhere. I hope you can help.

L.S.

I thought it might be one of the Kevin & Bean discs, but those songs aren't on any of the three of those I have. A little help, readers? Update: Martin Johns writes, "You are correct, sir... LS is looking for a Kevin & Bean CD, A Family Christmas in your A**. Their first CD, to be precise (1997). It was a collection of some of their best cassette and record songs from previous years along with some new material. "Christmastime Is Here" by the Stone Temple Pilots was from 1995. The South Park song was "O Holy Night." And the only place you're going to find it is eBay as these are one-year only charity comps released only in California." I'll add that LS was referring to the Mr. Garrison song from the South Park album, while Martin is referring to the Eric Cartman song, on the off chance that we may be looking for something else entirely.

I am looking for the name of the band that did a rockin' version of "Jingle Bells." The song is instrumental and has the Bo Diddley beat, similar to "Willy and the Hand Jive" (rerecorded by George Thorogood). It sounds like an 80's or early 90's version.

Corey

Having trouble placing that, though I wouldn't mind having it myself. Update: Chris Candreva thinks Corey is looking for the Fabulous Thunderbirds' performance of the song. I seem to recall the Fabs did do an instrumental version of the song, and it's probably on a Sony Music sampler somewhere.

I'm looking for an ALL PERCUSSION recording of the Christmas song "Little Drummer Boy” that a friend heard on the radio here in Nashville, TN, a few years back. It has an INSANE driving drum beat that intensifies even more as the song progresses. No vocals, guitars, piano or any of that stuff. Just percussion, maybe only drums, played very hard and very fast by a drummer or group of drummers who know their stuff. We know it's NOT by Brent Lewis, Marcos Fernandes, Brave Combo, Vinx, Nexus, Mannheim Steamroller, Hoodoo Gurus, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Marcus Cole, John Serrie or Dave Koz. I've Googled it to death, looked at more than 900 entries on allmusic.com, posted queries on numerous drum blogs and called radio stations to ask what it is. Only dead ends so far, but maybe you know the recording. Any ideas? Many thanks for any leads!

Betsy Jones

Never heard it, unfortunately. Readers? Update: Bob Bailey thinks Betsy is looking for Decomposure's version of "Little Drummer Boy." He continues, "It's on 'Very Unschooled Christmas,' a more-or-less techno/deconstructionist (is that a word?) compilation released on the Unschooled label in 2004. Don't know if there are samples, but it's available on Amazon and presumably at the website, unschooled.com." Update: Betsy writes back to say thanks, but no right answers yet -- she invites us to keep trying.

Sam Phillips recorded a version of "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear," a haunting rendition that appears at the end of the film (an excellent movie, i might add) "Midnight Clear" from 1992. But the OST was never released. do you have any idea whether this particular track was ever released anywhere else?

Craiger

Near as I can tell, there was an OST for the movie but it's out of print. And I'm sure it didn't sell many copies. On a Bruce Cockburn site, he recalls Sam opening for him during the Christmas season one year and that's how HE came to record "Midnight Clear," with the help of T-Bone Burnett and Sam, the latter being listed as arranger. So apparently, Bruce's version is at least the same arrangement as Sam's, though I haven't heard either one.

I heard a rock version of "Deck the Halls" in a Seagram's Wine Cooler Commercial with Bruce Willis during the 1986 Christmas Season. I think it was also used in a "Moonlighting" episode. It had slow tempo and the vocals were female. Any clue of the artist or version? Thanks.

Stan

Was never a "Moonlighting" fan, unfortunately. I'm told Bruce is a blues/R&B fan, so I'd bet, if he had anything to do with that choice of song, you're looking for a female blues-rocker, and that might just narrow the parameters enough to help you.

I have some lyrics in my head from a comedy album played to me in the 70's. The lyrics I remember are something like "a fairy on top of the tree.... and then "off blew her legs one two three". I think it had something about the lights going bang. This has been driving me mad for years!!! I have tried searching groups like the Baron Knights as it must be someone like that. Please help if you can, before I lose my mind.

Sharon Goodwin

C'mon everybody, help keep Sharon out of a straitjacket now.

I am looking for the music and vocal for a christmas song. Who is the artist? It's an old song. "I'm a little doll that's just been broken/ falling off my mommie's knee/ I'm a little doll that's just been mended, now won't you tell me please?/ Are my ears on straight, is my nose in place, do I have a lovely complexion on my face?/ Do I look alright, do I look all right, to be taken home on Christmas Eve."

Carol Davidson

The name of the song is "Are My Ears On Straight." Written by Mel Leven, it was the B-side to Gayla Peevey's seminal "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas." I was unable to track down any available recordings of it, as it goes back to the 78 era and apparently was never reissued. I haven't encountered any covers either, though it could well turn up on kid-oriented albums. Update: I originally had John Rox, composer of "Hippopotamus," as the writer of "Ears," but it turns out a Google search turns up instances of both men as composer. Doug Smith writes to say he has sheet music of "Ears" crediting the song to Leven, so that's what we're going with.

I'm looking for a CD (when I got it, it was on cassette) of Christmas songs by various rockers. Aerosmith style.
Not elton john style. They had "Away In a Manger" done in a rock version with killer guitar. It was a burgundy
cover with writing on it. I've looked online everywhere. Do you know of an album like this. I believe they also had
a version of "Silent Night."

Denise Regan

Sorry, Denise, I could probably track down a dozen or more hard rock versions of "Away in a Manger," and going back 15 or 20 years isn't much help either. Maybe this will ring a bell with the readers.

Realize this isn't your genre, but could you direct us to a place to try to locate a kids Christmas song that ends..."and I will call him Snowball". It's about a child who asks for snow, but it never snows in Mexico. (It's a sentimental thing) We appreciate any help you can give.

Cristy Linkous

Here's another one for the readers.

I read a list from a Christmas collector a few years ago and he said his favorite Christmas tune of all time was one about a Christmas Cowboy or something (a very old record). Do you know the tune I am talking about and who did it?

Howard Cogswell

I'm not much of a cowboy fan, unfortunately, but maybe somebody is. Update: Martin Johns thinks Howard might be looking for "Christmas Cowboy" by Red Rowe and Sandy. He even provides us with an eBay link to a current auction of a vinyl single.

I was in Singapore last week and I heard a song being played (I think during the American Top 40) that was sung to the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." The words were changed and it was something like “Santa Claus Needs a Clean Background” or “Santa Must Have a Clean Background.” It was really funny going on about how there was to be no porno or little boys, etc., for any candidate being Santa. I am desperately trying to find it so I can hear it again. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kim Hansen

Weird. Sounds like somebody's goofing on Michael Jackson there. Let's help Kim out here.

Have you ever heard of a collection called Island of Misfit Toys,a collection of original yule-themed tunes from an assortment of bands on the CoolBeans label out of Red Bank NJ (home of BonJovi and Springsteen, as well as director Kevin Smith)? Some of these band members later joined forces to become stoner-rock legends Monster Magnet of NJ and Wellwater Conspiracy of Seattle WA (featuring former members of Soundgarden). I think some of the song titles were "Santa's Sweatshop," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Satan's Claws" and "Christmas with Galactus" and band names included Existential Moped, Thee Smokin' Pets, LoveMonster and The Curiously Strong Peppermints. I have a single worn cassette that I am afraid to play lest it break someday... amazingly funny and good stuff, especially "Merry Christmas. Baby's Gone" by Thee Smokin' Pets.

Glinda Wyndorf

Well, no. But we had to get it in somewhere, so thanks for sharing, Glinda. Would love to be able to post a full review (hint, hint, readers).

I have got this lovely Xmas song on CD but it is not mentioned on the credits...... the CD is a compilation of famous Xmas songs but the specific one i have never heard of and somehow its my favorite!

The story is that of a man who takes a walk on the night before Xmas. He sees a little cat with a tear in its eye standing in front of a music store 'lookin really brought down'. The cat tells him how he wants a rock n roll guitar for Xmas. The man in the story tries to sway him to get a truck or a rocket ship etc but the cat insists. The chorus goes:

i want a rock n roll guitar... with a big bass string
i want a rock n roll guitar..so i can play that thing
i wanna be on tv...like a rock n roll star
i want santa claus to bring me a rock n roll guitar

If you can identify the song, please can you let me know and i will be forever grateful!

Frosso Moschoudi

This will be a tough one, since Frosso's from Athens, Greece and his compilation might not have been released internationally. But I can count on you folks to help, right? Update: Sean Delany has the answer: "The lyric quoted by Frosso is from Johnny Horton's "I Want a Rock n Roll Guitar" — available on many domestic and international compilations." Further update: The artist was actually Johnny Preston, according to Mitchell, who gives the date as 1960 and notes the Big Bopper wrote it.

I am looking for info on a mid-70's Christmas parody of the "12 Days Of
Christmas" (geez, there are so few!).
The only thing I can tell you about it is that day #7 was "7 4 by 2 slabs to build a chicken coop to keep the ducks in." Who might know about this gem? I can also tell you that it might be a regional thing — I am from Michigan and my brother & dad used to laugh like mad when they played this on the radio. This has bugged the hell out our family for about 20 years!

Kevin Schmid

The Michigan connection leads me to think this might be one of those Goober and the Peas things. Feel free to contradict me.

I'm losing my mind trying to find the lyrics to the 69 Boyz's "12 Days of Christmas!" Please help!

Coushatta Fuller

Sorry, I've never heard of that. A little help from the assembled faithful will be much appreciated. Update: Troy Liston says this can be found on the Quad Cities All Star Christmas CD from 1996 on Atlantic Records. I should have remembered that, the disc is reviewed here on the site. He says Googling the lyrics will bring them up.

I have a digital copy of a song recorded on cassette from the radio. It's definitely a British group, but their name, or the song's for that matter, is unknown. If you know of this tune I'll be absolutely

amazed and ever thankful. My brother seems to remember the DJ mentioning a group called The Leopards. We're not really sure about that as a solid clue. Here's some lyrics: "I love to dance in the snow and I love dancing with you, and all my cares seem to quickly disappear when I am dancing in the snow."

Mark (Msmclone)

Stewart Barton reports back: "This is 'Dancing In The Snow' by The Leopards, a Kansas City band from the '70s.  From the album Kansas City Slickers (MOON Records  #300) in 1977.  This is an out-of-print vinyl album never issued on CD.  The last e-bay auction for a good copy went for $80. You can hear a streamed version as a part of a WFMU Greasy Kid Stuff show from 2003." Brad Pueschel, Chris Candreva, Brian Zimmerman and Martin Johns also tipped us to this album. (Album cover stolen from eBay.)

My favorite christmas song of all time is "Christmas Party" by the J. Geils Band (but recorded as The Snowballs). Do you have a copy of it? I'm sure you do. How can I get a copy?

Bob Karwin

I wonder if you've heard of these two tunes: Lightning Rose's "Silent Night" or The Snowballs' "Come On to the Christmas Party." I've been searching for them and cannot find them anywhere. Any info you have is most appreciated.

Karen Hefler

I never knew about The Snowballs, and I put these two letters together because I thought perhaps there was a relationship between the two different songs with the same band name. The Lightning Rose cut I haven't yet run across, either. Update: Karwin writes back that he's tracked down "Come On to the Christmas Party," finding an MP3 here and listing the details of his expedition here.

Five years ago I was in the U.S. Virgin Islands at Christmas time. On the radio I heard an album of songs done by an imitator of Jim Morrison. He was doing Christmas carols. I have been unable to identify the artist or the album since that time. Can you help?

Pete Pederson

Sounds like "Mr. Mojo's Christmas," which we have posted here. There's also an out-of-print CD that had "We Three Kings" that sounded like the Doors, but the vocalist was a Bing Crosby sound-alike doing Jim Morrison-type spoken word stuff between verses. Those are the ones I know about. Update: Brad Pueschel reminds us that "We Three Kings" is on Blame It On Christmas.

I am trying to find a CD of a Christmas record from years ago. We listened to it in the 70's, but I'm not sure that it wasn't older than that. I know it had 'I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" & a song named "Mixie and Pixie" (are Santa's helpers high up in the Milky Way) and possibly "Santa Baby." Also, there was one that said something like "the note said Santa I am just a little boy and I have everything that could bring me yuletide joy, but when you fill my stocking if it should overflow, I don't mind it something pushes through the hole in the toe." Any ideas where to look or the name of the album?

ME2ROBS

Sorry, compilation albums tend to come and go. The hippo song is on a Dr. Demento Christmas album, "Santa Baby" is pretty easy to find, either in the original Eartha Kitt version or in a cover version by lots of other people, including Madonna's on the first A Very Special Christmas. The other songs don't sound familiar to me.

KERA (public radio in Dallas) has a DJ, Glenn Mitchell, that does (or used to do) a Christmas spectacular. He played a version of "We Three Kings" that was sung to the music of "House of the Rising Sun." I believe that he said that the whole album was traditional Christmas songs set to rock standards. I've e-mailed him but never received a response.

Mike Dixon

Can't say I've ever heard of that particular combo. It does remind me of the Blind Boys of Alabama doing "Amazing Grace" to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun," though. A whole album of this stuff, eh? Update: Peyton Creghill believes Mike is thinking of Bob Rivers' "O Little Town of Bethlehem" from the I Am Santa Claus album, which is in the "House" arrangement. Further update: Randall Paske checks in to suggest a group called the Joy Strings, who did "O Little Town of Bethlehem" to "House," and who also recorded what was called a "psychedelic" version of "We Three Kings." He found the former song on a CD called Cool Yule, The Swinging Sounds of Christmas on Invisible College UK Records.

Love your site!...hoping you can help me put a name to a song. I believe it is called "Santa's Coming" and it talks about nuclear war. The singer has a distinct Bostonian (read: Kennedyesque accent) and it begins with a spoken intro, which goes: "Now then Mr. K & Mr. C...there has been too much talk already of aggression, super weapons and the like...the determining factor of which I speak is one that I think you have all overlooked...and it is simply this:..." the song then continues with a groovy little piano & guitar riff, "Santa's Coming, oh yes he is, cause Christmas time is near, yes it is, and aren't you all ashamed of the way, that you behaved most everyday, last year. You've been bad, oh yes you have, and Santa knows it too, oh yes he does, he also knows to many years have passed since you believed these words were true...just listen to these children:..." a choir of children then sings "Joy to the World" Thanks for your time and consideration.

Mitchell Kezin

No idea, so we'll throw it open to the congregation. Update: Martin Johns bails us out once again. Sayeth he: "The song is called 'My Christmas Message To The World.' It was a 45 by Larry Foster on 20th Century Records in the early 60's. It was issued with and without a picture sleeve. Yes, he's doing Kennedy. Mr. K refers to Khrushchev and Mr. C is Castro. It was cute enough. A lot of online stores that specialize in old 45s have a copy or two and it generally sells for between 8 and 10 dollars."

Can you help me identify a tune? I have it on tape (recorded from a Dr. Demento show years ago). Unsure of the name of the tune or what the group is, but it's a takeoff on "Silent Night" with the sound of an air raid siren going off in the background throughout the song. Some of the lyrics are:
 
Silent Night, Holy Night
Mushroom clouds glowing bright
 
Sleep in heavenly peace
Because we're all deceased
 
The end of the tune goes "Kiss your a$$ goodbye...."
 
And then you hear the nuclear bomb going off. What is this tune?

Greg Krieger

Wow, I don't know, but I'd sure like to find out. It kills me that I never seem to live anywhere I can pull in the good Doctor's show.

I am looking for an Irish version of the 10 days of Christmas. I heard it, in fact owned a copy of it, a long time ago. It is sang by an Irish guy. It starts of with an Irish guy writing his “true love” a letter thanking her for the partridge in a pear tree.  Then he writes the second letter, third and so on.  He gets to the point when he asks her to stop sending the gifts because the swans and not letting anyone get into the bathroom, his mother is being driven crazy, etc. Have you heard of it?

Christine (TKMUSA)

I vaguely recall it from many years ago. Don't know anything more about it, though. Update: Dusty writes in to tell us that Christine is looking for the version by Frank Kelly, it's on a compilation called Frank Kelly's Christmas Countdown on Rego Records. He gives us an address for Rego, 64 New Hyde Park Road, Garden City, NY 11530, but warns us it's from 1991. Further update from Dusty: "She can find it at themadmusicarchive.com. She should register first, it's free. Click on features, select mad music archive, then look for episode 9 from Dec 17 2005."

Can you tell me the name of the artist who sang "12 days of Christmas" I heard on the radio back in 1988. Some of the lyrics: "On the 1st day of Christmas my missus gave to me a big bowl of sour cream for me...2nd day 2 pierogi...eight all my supper...9 months pregnant,...11 pails of borscht?

Donald Pershyn

Nope, so I'm posting it here. Don referred to this as a "Ukrainian version," if that helps anybody. Update: Mike Burgess thinks this is "11 Days of Christmas" by somebody called Metro, name not complete. There's a hint, anyway.

Have you ever heard of a song called "Elvis is alive and playing Santa at Sears"? I think that's the title or maybe just one of the lines from the song.
It was popular back in the late(?)'80's or very early '90's after the rash of Elvis sightings around the country.

PapaJohn4450

Captain Not thinks this is "There's a Santa Who Looks a Lot Like Elvis" by Bob Rivers from the More Twisted Christmas CD. Update: No, PapaJohn had the right title, and Barry Bowman writes, "I wrote it and recorded it with Rick Preston singing the Elvis voice for me. It was backed by the original Jordanaires, who sang all the doo-wops. You'll find a version on a compilation CD called There's a Little Bit of Cowboy in All Of Us." A reader named Stephen found the info on Google (doh!).

I've been looking for Les Paul and Mary Ford's song "Jungle Bells" on CD for many years now. Do you know it? The Four Seasons do a version of it on their Christmas album, but I can't find the original anywhere! Is it on any compilations that you know of, or is it too early, pre-rock'n'roll for your site? I think "Jungle Bells" is a charming example of a children's kids' song that clever enough for adults. Or maybe I'm a sappy little kid at heart....?

Nick Perdomo

You know, until you wrote I thought "Jungle Bells" was the Four Seasons' song. I did Google up a few references to it, but they're mostly of the antique vinyl variety, including 78s. There was a listing on AudioFind.com, but you can't actually download it from there — I think it means you might be able to track it to the alt.music.christmas.mp3 newsgroup. Update: Dennis Flannigan offers to hook Nick up with a copy of Les 'n Mary's song. I don't have Nick's address anymore, but if he sees this, e-mail the site and I'll make the connection.

I hope you can help me out. I have heard a Christmas song done to the music of Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence." I do not know which Christmas song it is. If you have heard this song, can you please let me know who sings it and what album it is available on?

Michele Cederquist

I have a vague memory of something like that, but I haven't run across it in quite a while. Anybody?

Am hoping you know or know someone who
would know about the following song I've heard on the radio in the past. I can never get anyone from the station that played it to answer my inquiry. I have no idea who sings it, the label, the era or the name! Someone suggested that it might have come from a 1950s or 1960s TV special. The man singing it uses a German accent. Apparently he's Santa Claus or a toymaker. The song is a "round" (a new verse is added to the chorus and each previous verse is repeated such as "The 12 Days of Christmas"). A couple of the verses are "...little boys want hammers that go rat-tat-tat" and "little girls want dolls that go wha, wha, wah." The ending line goes something like "happy Christmas party."

Carla Springer

Sorry Carla, that doesn't ring a bell. Sounds like a kid-oriented thing, which would be out of our field of expertise. Maybe someone else knows. Update: Bob Brown thinks you're talking about "Christmas Tree" by Mel Blanc, he of the Loony Tunes voices, and there's a disc called Party Panic of Mel's work.

Was that Clay Aiken singing on the National Football League's Christmas commercial?

Carrie

Didn't hear it, so I don't know. (On Sundays around here, the TV set doesn't get turned on until it's time for "The Simpsons" and "Desperate Housewives.") But I'd bet money it was even though I haven't heard it. Readers?

I got last year's Dillard's (department store) Christmas book that has a CD with it and uncredited music. One of the songs on it is the most incredible version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" sung by a woman.  Do you know who she is?

HP Cogswell

The only female vocal version I'm aware of is the one by Sixpence None the Richer on BEC's Happy Christmas 2. If anyone can confirm this we'd appreciate it. Update: Bob Bailey tells us Tracy Bonham did a rocked-up version that was actually part of a Grinch video game released in conjunction with the Jim Carrey movie. He only ever found it on a compilation called Music For the Who-lidays. He also flags a torchy version by Deanna Kirk from 1997 on her Where Are You Now album.

I'm looking for an R&B Christmas tune that was popular on a TV commercial last year ... a black man in a taxi cab bee-boppin' to this feel-good tune. It was also played in Starbucks stores a lot. Any clue?

JC Perez

Sorry, didn't see the ad, don't live near a Starbucks. Maybe someone else did or did.

We are looking for a song called "Breaking Down the Lights" by 20 Days of Xmas. Can you help?

Billy J. Hewlett

Well, uh, no. But in the process of checking I at least did discover that "20 days of Christmas" has a pedigree just as the "12 days" does. Of course, that's not helping you find your song....

I'm searching for what seems to have become a Christmas song... lyrics concern a man who runs into an old girlfriend on Xmas Eve, they get a six pack and drive around toasting the age of innocence and themselves. I LOVE THAT SONG! Please help!

Darlene Flowers

You stumped me. Update: Daniel Almont and Dave Williams both write in to tip us -- it's Dan Fogelberg, "Same Auld Lang Syne." Thanks, guys!

I remember in 1974 at age 10 a version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer called "Nixon the Red Nose" .... which had lines such as "All of the news reporters sneered and laughed and called him names. They never had the power to declare the man insane. Then one Watergate-y day, Halderman came to say..." Have you ever heard of it? I've tried looking for ages and think someone at school made it up....

Emily Carr

Yow! I'm an old Watergate obsessor and I never heard of that one! Help us out, folks!

I am looking for a song (chord progressions, if possible) by the Guilty Bystanders, called "Have a Merry Christmas or I'll Beat You Up".  This might be the song from circa 1983 that someone was looking for.  If not, can you help?

Sarah Garrison

Rings no Christmas bells with me, sorry. I'll keep trying to find out. Also, I play by ear....

My wife and I have been looking for a version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" for at least the last 7 years or more. Our local radio station played it but it was a while back so even they don't know who it was. It sounds like one of those heavy bands from the late eighties or early, mid 90s. The singer sounds a bit like Bon Jovi.

Shawn Hardy

I'm afraid that description covers a lot of ground, much of which is already on this website. Maybe our readers can help.

I hope you can help me locate one song I have been looking for for some time. I assume the title is "12 Days of Christmas" or perhaps a variation thereof. The theme of the song is a choir practicing, singing "12 days of Christmas".  As the practice progresses, one member of the choir receives, by delivery man, all the gifts mentioned in the song, leading to a chaotic rehearsal room. I have no idea who sings the song or who the creator of the song was. My father taped it off the radio some years ago, during a Christmas marathon.

Dawn (nickevinluv)

Martin Johns replies: "Sounds very much like "The Chickens Are In the Chimes" by Sascha Burland and the Skipjack Choir (RCA 47-8277) from 1963. The delivery man refers to the Turtle Doves as "pigeons," if that rings a bell. Sample dialogue:
Cecilia: Do doves eat pears?
Sascha: Don't let the partridge hear that.  He looks greedy.
Choir: On the fourth day of greedy...
Sascha: That's not in the song. This is ridiculous.
Choir: This is ridiculous...
And so on."

Who made "Carol of the Bells" with a hard rock version. Lots of guitar?

Tina

I really hope you can help me. I'm searching for a version of "Carol of the Bells" performed by Metallica with a symphony or orchestra that I heard a couple years ago. It was very upbeat and energetic. If you're familiar with or have any information on how I may obtain a copy of this particular version, I would be very grateful. Thank you for your assistance.

Karrick Davis


For some reason, thousands of people seem to think Metallica was part of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's version of the song, which is called "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)," which originated on an album by Savatage, a metal group with some of TSO's members. TSO and Metallica have never performed together. Therefore, what you're actually looking for is TSO's album, "Christmas Eve and Other Stories." Update: My previous assertion that Metallica never performed "Carol of the Bells" turns out to be wrong. Click the link above to get the lowdown.

I am looking for a Christmas novelty song with the lyrics "Wistful Willy never did things right, though he always tried, tried with all his might." Can you help me find where I can get a copy and who sung it?

Leslie

I never heard of it before, but I did a little Googling and found a reference to a 1959 single of a song called "Wistful Willie" by Jimmie Rodgers. It was on Roulette Records, serial number 4205, and the other side was "It's Christmas Time Again." This was listed on a Japanese site that apparently no longer exists. It's not clear which side was the A-side. By the way, this is not the same guy known as "The Singing Brakeman" and "The Father of Country Music"; this Jimmie Rodgers was born in 1933, the same year the other one died, and his big hits were "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" and "Honeycomb."

Sometime around 1983, there was a novelty holiday song with the chorus "Have a merry Christmas or I'll kill you!" It was an "A-Team" kind of parody, as if performed by Mr. T. Any ideas? Also, I used to have a 45 of Jose Ferrer reading Virginia's letter to that New York newspaper, and then the editor's response. It was simply entitled, "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus." Any idea where I could find it?

Ken Kessler

No to both. The A-Team thing sounds like fun, and I'll bet Ferrer isn't the only person who ever set that old chestnut to music. Let's turn them both over to the readers. Update: Christine Mitchell thinks she knows where you can find the Ferrer.

I am wondering if you have ever heard of a song I remember from growing up. It is a Christmas song where a man sings a "Twas the Night Before Christmas" -type song about football and the NFL. In the song Santa Claus is Howard Cosell. In parts of the song the refrain is "Merry Christmas from the NFL."

JCook

Martin Johns replies: "The song J. Cook is looking for is "Merry Christmas in the NFL" by Willis The Guard and Vigorish (actually Buckner & Garcia of "Pac Man Fever" fame). Handshake Records 5308 (from 1980). It was later released under the Buckner & Garcia name. The other great football/xmas tune is "The Game Plan to Beat Miami" by the Monday Morning Quarterback (Warner Brothers, 1972)."

I've been trying to pinpoint the release date of Tiny Light's "Deck The Halls."

Randy Anthony

I've never even heard that song myself. Maybe somebody has a copy or a link with the info you seek.

I heard a Christmas song that is not likely to ever be played on radio -- example of some of the words -- "Santa you Fxxkin Cxxt, you forgot my fxxkin bike, you're a pervert and a piss tank." The artist is either British or Australian. I'd really like to know who recorded it, so I could get a copy. Thanks.

Stephen MacLeod

My guess is that there are a lot more NC-17-rated Christmas songs and carol parodies out there than any of us will ever be able to catalog. While we're trying to track that one down, you might want to check out Banned on Earth and John Valby. Update from Peyton Craighill: "The song is by Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson, an Australian comic. Very coarse lyrics, but sure to bring a smile to the most cynical of us." Further update from Brian T. in the Motor City, who thinks this sounds like "Hey Santa" by the UK Subs from the Bollocks to Christmas compilation. This apparently is a full-length album version of the EP we list here under Punk.

The one thing I've been looking to get ahold of is Santa Is A Bluesman Vol. 4, a CD compilation of regional blues artists on the Louisville-based Rollin' & Tumblin' label (the only artist I can remember is Big Al & The Heavyweights, though some of the other acts from Volumes 2 & 3 were probably included). I have volumes 2 & 3 and they are some of the best original holiday Blues I've come across (Volume 1 was a cassette and most of those tracks were included on Volume 2, the first of the CDs). Volume 4 was to have been released, oh, about 1997? The label was founded and run by Scott Mullins and I believe it's out of business now.

Martin Johns

Given that Martin has been helpful to us with extra info about the Blues Magoos and Patti Smith singles, perhaps our other readers might be able to shed a little light on Rollin' & Tumblin' Records.

HELP!! I've been looking to complete the partial lyrics I know for a novelty (Christmas) tune. I've even hooked up with a few other folks in the search. Only problem is we all remember the same portion of the lyrics. We aren't sure of the exact title and haven't a clue as to the artist. We are only comforted by the fact that other people have heard of the song, too! What we do have is this...'There once was a peppermint cane..on the Christmas tree it hung. And small Marie, beneath the tree, stuck out her small red tongue.' This is the part that no one can remember ...but the end is something like 'they found the small Marie, with just a hint...of peppermint.' I remember my Mom singing it in the late fifties/early sixties. One gentleman is over eighty and recalls hearing it even earlier in his life. ANYthing you can do to help us would be tremendously appreciated.

Kathi Bennett


Sorry, I've come up completely empty on this one. Even Google won't cough up anything. (This site isn't that good a reference for individual songs that aren't from the rock era, unfortunately.) If you've got a senior citizen remembering the song from earlier than the 1950s, you might have to go pawing through antique sheet music to find this one.

An old friend at the bar is driving me crazy with "Ya, das ist ein Christmas tree." We know it showed up in at least 1963 and was probably on an album (varied artists) but he thinks Paul and Paula were also on the album not certain (he gets things confused). I know Paul and Paula did not sing it. It is a variation of "alouette" or round singing and was a bit humorous but not hilarious. I have searched for three days with very limited success. Any clue as to the title and who sang it?

Dan, Abilene Texas

What I think you're looking for is a song by Mel Blanc, the famous Warner Brothers cartoon character voice artist, called, improbably enough, "Yah, das ist ein Christmas Tree." The only place I know for sure you can find it is on a collection called Christmas Comedy Classics Vol. 2. There are other songs on it by folks like Weird Al, David Seville and the Chipmunks, Tom Lehrer, Jingle Cats and so on. I'm not sure of the availability, but I'm guessing since you're probably looking for Mel Blanc, you'll probably have a better shot at finding it. This collection is from a few years back, but I'm guessing you have the correct date as to when the song originally came out. I actually found a website that listed old 45s on Capitol records from the late 50s and early 60s that gave the catalog number of the Mel Blanc single. If you're interested, the B-side was "I Can't Wait Till Quitmuth Day."

I can't find any info about this anywhere, but I swear I've heard Huey Lewis doing a kick-ass version of "Let It Snow" on the radio the last week with a big fat horn section. Am I crazy?

Bill and Susan Cokas

B. Repka replies: "My wife came home a couple of weeks ago and said the same thing as the letter above. Then, a few days later, we were listening to Chicago XXV and sure enough, their version of 'Let It Snow' sounds a lot like Huey Lewis on vocals. Check it out."

One song that has eluded me for the past 10 years is: "Saint Nick Visits the White House" by Vaughn Meader (Verve 10309). This supposedly was a 45 rpm recorded in the summer of 1963 but then pulled from release after the Kennedy assassination. I am not sure how many of these (if any) made it into circulation. However Tim Neely’s “Christmas Record Price Guide” lists the record. Can you shed any light on this one?

Steve DiBartola

Thanks for the well-documented tip. I've never run across this one myself, so I've got nothing to add. For those who don't remember, Meader's spoken word comedy album The First Family from early 1963 was the biggest hit of its day, featuring comedy sketches with impressionists mimicking John F. Kennedy and his family along with political figures of the time. Which helps readers understand exactly why this particular single, released when it was, might have disappeared into the ether. Update: Meader passed away on Oct. 29, 2004.

I'm looking for a song I heard on New Year's Eve on the radio. I thought the DJ said it was titled "New Year's Resolutions" by Robert Lund. I can't find anyone who's heard of it. I heard the song on 1320 KFAN out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Do you know anything about this tune or where to find it?

Vince Rhoton

The song called "New Year's Resolutions" I'm familiar with is by Scary Gary Alan and is the last tune on the Dr. Demento compilation on Rhino called "Holidays In Dementia." Haven't yet run across the Lund version. Update: Stan Eker tells us it's indeed Lund, from his Elves Gone Wild album.

I am trying to find a Christmas album with a song that goes "Angie the Treetop Angel" by a female artist. My father-in-law used to sing this song and my wife heard it on the radio the past few years at Christmas. We can't seem to locate a tape or CD with this song on.

Warren

B. Repka guesses this was a song by the Andrews Sisters from years ago. He also provides us with a link to check the lyrics against your memory.

In the 1970's -- or possibly 1980's (early) -- there was an album for children that contained a song called "A Squirrel's Christmas" (or "Santa Squirrel)... been trying to get information on this for years as I would like to get a copy. Words were something like, "I want a Santa squirrel of my own...a Santa squirrel just for me...." It was not by the Chipmunks but I believe it may have been a Disney record. Any help?

Kalola219

Sorry I can't help you. Kids' music really isn't my thing. Update: Mica Ham tells us, "The song is on the Frosty The Snowman album by The Caroleer Singers and Orchestra.  I do have a picture of the album, but have just not been able to locate one that will play." Update again: SETD points us to a place that just might have a copy of this. And Sweetieface gives us a full verse: "I want a Santa Squirrel just for me, a Santa Squirrel all my own, I want a Santa Squirrel to come down my tree and give me a Christmas pine cone!"

Rob also replies: "I have a 7" single Called 'A Squirrely Christmas' by Shirley & Squirrely. I didn't hear the lines that were quoted, but it's hard to imagine there being two squirrel records (then again...). Anyway, it's on GRT Records (GRT-105) and it's dated 1976. There is no mention on the label about it being on any album. Hope this helps." Looks like Mica has the inside track on this one, but it's good to know about Shirley and Squirrely just the same.

Do you know anything about the song "The 12 Days of Christmas," which was sung by a female supposedly at a cocktail party. She got inebriated as the song went on and she was listing different types of liquor, i.e. Cutty Sark? Thanks!

Debbie Anderson Locke

Do you have the drunken lady singing the "Twelve Days of Christmas?"

Cindy Rosenberg

Noelle Millen informs us the artist on that song is Fay McKay, and you can purchase a whole album of her work for $25 including shipping, U.S. Post Office money order only, from her at this address: 2800 S. Lamb Blvd. #51, Las Vegas, NV 89121. Thanks for doing the legwork, Noelle!

My husband and I were in upstate New York this past weekend and heard a version of the "12 Days"... but an "Italian" version. It started with 1 bowl of Parmesan cheese, then had 8 uncle Tonys, 9 cousin Guidos (?)... Well you get the idea... We loved this song and wanted to get a copy. I could have sworn that the radio announcer said it was done by a guy named Tony Dolce, but I'm having absolutely no luck finding anything online about it. Do you have any idea of what song this is and who recorded it, and where can I order it???

Alice D. Arcuri

You're looking for Joe Dolce, the artist who created that particular version of the "12 Days." His big hit around 1980 was a similar kind of thing, an original song in "Italian-American" called "Shaddap You Face." Visit him here.

Hoping you can help me (find) ... a version of the "First Noel" ... circa 1984-85. Seem to recall it was a benefit album for something, involved Eddie Van Halen, and was called "star... something." Can you offer any help?

Joe

So far, nothing's coming to me, Joe. Will work on it.

Please tell me where I can find Max Headroom's "12 Days of Christmas." Some of the words, now that I think about it, I think it was the 12 days of shopping:
"What an ugly kid
"You stole my parking space
"God I need a drink
(5 gold rings part was) "WE DON'T TAKE CHECKS."

Michelle C. Johns

Actually, I wasn't aware Max did the 12 days. The single I have of his is "Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You're a Lovely Guy)." And that's not real common to begin with. Anybody? Update: I wonder if Michelle is talking about "12 Pains of Christmas" by Bob Rivers?

Do you know when Snoop Dogg's "T'was The Night Before Christmas" was issued? Can't seem to track it down. Downloaded the song via Gnutella, but can't figure out when or how it was released. Great track.

Randall Anthony

Yes, Snoop Dogg did do his own takeoff on "Twas the Night Before Christmas." And I'll be damned if, after searching the entire Internet plus Karl Rove's hard drive, I can find anybody who can list a label or show me a CD cover. I did find a couple sites that would let me download an MP3 of it, but I'm not linking because I don't want to get them, or me, in trouble. I'm pretty sure I found a reference to a promo 12-inch single of it on an English hip-hop site, and he also did it live on MTV's "Total Request Live" a couple years ago. Meanwhile, Snoop also did "This Is How We Kick It on Christmas" in 2000 as a downloadable song only, link no longer available for that. He was on the Christmas on Death Row album with "Santa Claus Goes Straight To the Ghetto" and appeared on a performance of "Santa Baby" from A Very Special Christmas 3.

Tom Rombouts adds: "I am pretty sure Snoop's ''Twas the Night' was first on the KROQ holiday tape 'Christmastime in the LBC' that came out in late 1996 and then the very next year in late 1997 it was included on the first KROQ holiday CD A Family Christmas... in Your Ass."

Bob Bailey adds: The track list for the KROQ 1997 holiday CD lists 1997 as the first release date for "Twas the Night.." It also contains another Snoop song, "Christmastime in the LBC," which it notes as having first been on the 1996 holiday release.

I am looking for a song, that may or may not officially exist. My favorite novelty Christmas song as a child was "I want a brand new brother" or brother for Christmas something like that. My family sang it all year round, with three brothers it was a very popular song to add names into. Anyway, I have been trying to find a copy of it for ages, instead of relying on memories of 15-20 years ago for the words, tune, etc. Do you know anything about that song (or similar, considering how long ago it was), Here's what I remember, but I would really love to find a copy even just of the lyrics etc, anything would help just so I know it actually existed, as more than a local song. Thanks.

Karen Delano

I want a brother for Christmas
I don't like the one I got
don't like the mean old brother
that mommy and daddy bought
this new brother won't be mean
like the other and
Santa tell you what
bring me a brother for Christmas
I'll give you the one I got

Wow, you remembered all that but you can't remember the artist or label? Damn. Anybody else recognize that? Update: Genn (mouse9909) does recognize it: "The song is on the LP Christmas Is For Children. It was released 1981-1982, but to date, I am still unable to find a copy of it." Further update: Heather (hroach3247) says the album was released on the Design label, her grandmother had a copy, and she'd like to find another one too. She checks back in to tell us that the catalog number of the album is Design DLPX-2 and that she's even found copies in collectible shops in Canada in the past. This album figures again two letters down. Still further update: FM from Vancouver says Christmas Yuleblog has the full story on this album, and a link to download it as well.

My sister and I were just singing "I Want a Brand New Brother" in the car. I remember that the album was like a Christian music album. The album cover had a photo of Santa with two kids. Other songs on the album were, by lyrics:
• "Sleigh Ride!" Santa please, this is my christmas wish. Santa please, fill in the things I've missed....
• "Hey there Mr. Evergreen," do you know what you mean to me, I've waited the whole year, now Christmas time is here. I love you Mr. Evergreen! And • "In a stable long ago, on a cold winter's night. He was just Mary's boy child, but he filled this world with love. He loved this world, so much, this man. He gave us all, that one man can. His life." Anyways, we played this album over and over again, when we were children and love to find a copy. If you can, please help!!

Catherine Panisales

Well, there's a few more hints. Thanks, Catherine, although it looks like you're thinking of a different song.

I'm trying to find a song from the Fifties or sixties and would appreciate any help you can give me. Some of the lyrics are "I've got 25 cents to spend for Christmas. What then shall I do -- for 25 cents is not a lot." It sounds like a small boy and he sings about buying  an ashtray  "just like the one I dropped."

Patricia Caron

Sorry, I'm not familiar with this one, and we're not much with kid-themed stuff here. Any help out there? Update: Bill Hughes from Kentucky reports on a song called "I've Got 18 Cents" from an LP called Christmas Is For Children on Design Records DLPX2. Performed by Warren Vincent and the Cricketones, the song goes, "18 cents is not a lot. Daddy gets 2 big books of matches, when he likes to smoke. Mom will get a new ashtray just like the one I kinda broke. Rover gets a soup-bone the butcher gives away, teacher gets a ruler to take measurements...."

Can you give me any information on how to order the "Dragnet" Christmas Story of the little boy taking Baby Jesus out of Church Nativity scene to take him (for) a ride in his new red wagon?

Melva Brown

Sorry, I'm not familiar with that particular one. The "Dragnet" Christmas story recording I'm familiar with is the one by Stan Freberg from the 1950s, "Christmas Dragnet," that I mention under Novelties of the 50s and 60s. Are you referring to something from the actual "Dragnet" show? Steve Darnall replies: "The show Melva refers to is indeed an episode of the old 'Dragnet' radio series. The episode, called 'The Big Little Jesus,' aired in December 1953 and is considered something of a classic amongst fans of old radio shows. It's undoubtedly available in a number of places but one of the most obvious is on the Radio Spirits collection 'Christmas from Radio's Golden Age, Volume Two.'"

Hi, A while back, like in the 80's during the hard-rock scene, radio stations would occasionally play a hard-rock instrumental version of "Joy to the World." I've done numerous Web searches and have looked at every compilation of Christmas music I can find, but have not been able to find that recording. Would you happen to know of the recording I'm talking about, and if so - who it's by and how one can go about getting a recording of it?

John Schneider

(PS: it's not the Steve Morse recording from Merry Axemas.)

Sorry, this one just isn't ringing a bell. Merry Axemas would be out of the question anyway, since you're asking about the 80s; those albums were only recorded in the past few years. Likewise with Gary Hoey; he's got three whole albums called Ho Ho Hoey that are rock Christmas instrumentals, and he does exactly what you're looking for on Volume 3. But it was only recorded in the 90s, so it's still not what you're asking about. I'm stumped. Update: Bill Hughes from Kentucky thinks John is looking for the version from Bob Rivers' original Twisted Christmas CD.

I wonder if you can help me find out who did a parody on "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The guy made various telephone calls: a nursery, an aviary, a dairy farm, House of Lords, etc. It was hilarious. I heard it about 5 years ago and haven't heard it since. If you have any idea, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

Evelyn Langston

I've never seen a recorded version like that. PNC Bank in Pennsylvania issues a press release every year explaining how much the 12 Days of Christmas will cost in this year's dollars, and the occasional newspaper will do a localized version as a news story. But I don't know of anyone who has actually released one for sale. Update: Dusty says Dick Richmond's "12 Calls of Christmas" is what Evelyn is looking for. "I have heard it on a WCLV-FM radio show called "Weekend Radio." The show is produced right here in Cleveland, Ohio. You can listen to some of the show online in their archives, under syndicated shows." The link doesn't take you to the song, unfortunately.

When I was a kid we had a Christmas album that I can't seem to find anywhere. All I remember is that it was an album with all new funny songs -- nothing traditional. One of the songs' lyrics was "I wanna toy train, I wanna toy train" (could be "I want a toy train") and then it went really fast something like "I want a train that moves so fast," blah blah blah.... Anyway, I've been searching for hours and can't find it on the Internet. It was probably in the mid- to late-70s that we got it. Any help would be appreciated.

Eileen

Sorry, there wasn't much to go on there. I tried the same searches you probably did, and naturally there are 10,000 songs about toy trains, all connected to the burgeoning child video/music sector and likely not old enough to be on your album. Then there were a few that weren't all that funny and were much more antique in age. Sounds like it was either a kids' album or a novelty album.


Mistletunes

Eras: The Beginning, The Sixties, The Seventies, The Eighties, The Nineties, The 21st Century

Genres: Reggae, Soul/R&B, Rap, Blues, Punk, Surfin' Xmas, Tropical

Novelties: Fifties and Sixties, The Seventies, The Eighties, The Nineties, The 21st Century

Compilations: Regular Comps, Charity Comps, Soundtracks

Special Reports: Recent Releases, Hanukkah, Miscellaneous