Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Also known as "The Extortion Song." Pretty pointless, because
asking kids not to pout is like asking free cyanide ions not to
react with methemoglobin to form cyanohemoglobin. Here's a hint,
kids: Santa is a wuss. Have you ever actually known a kid who
got coal in his stocking? Last year even that kid who hit you
with the Wiffle bat got a cool RC racer. How do you think he
ended up on the "nice" list? Santa brings toys pretty much unilaterally,
and all the pouting, shouting and crying in the world won't change that.
The thing I like about this song is that if you learned it
you probably first learned it without really understanding it.
Nobody ever sits you down and says "Okay. Here's what 'tender and mild'
means outside of a bowl of chile verde." So you're going along,
singing this year after year of your youth, "Roun dyon ver gin, tin
der an miiiild" and then one day it hits you. These are words!
There's a story here! A very touching story about a round virgin
who wants to go to sleep! Kiddie catharsis. B
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Also known as "99 Bottles of Yuletide Beer on the Wall." This song
is pure torture. It's a torture to sing, it's a torture to listen to,
it's a torture to try and figure out in what context "Lords a-Leaping"
are a traditional Christmas gift. My least favorite part is "Five Golden
Rings," because by the time you're dealing with the Pipers Piping, everyone's
so bored they try and invest the song with a little liveliness by
singing the Golden Rings part like a soloing tenor, which just degrades
the already degrading experience for everyone. If we must sing this song,
I suggest we toss everything from the Swans A-Swimming onward, call it
the Six Days of Christmas, and get back to drinking. D
People generally only sing the first verse of this, the
one with the bells on bob-tail, and the chorus. This is a
pity, as the song has three more verses which deal mostly
with falling out of the sleigh and into the snow, with a
few sly references to girls. With the additional verses,
the song is transformed from
a dopey cheer for a form of transportation that doesn't
get much use outside of Norway into a sort of Dickensian
Cannonball Run. We lose so many of the subtleties in this
The Heat Miser Song
This is, without question, the best song to come out of
the various animated Christmas specials. Better than
"Holly Jolly Christmas," better than the one where the
elf wants to be a dentist, even better than that weird-ass
song the Whos sang in "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."
For those of you who need the refresher, the Heat Miser was
this guy who had a brother, the Cold Miser, and they each sang
in kind of a rinky-tink showtune way about how hot and cold
they were, respectively. It was raucous. Beats hell out
of figgy pudding any day of the week. A