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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Christmas playlist

    The day after Thanksgiving signals the start of the Christmas season, and everyone gets their first taste of the music piped in through store speakers during “”Black Friday.”” So begins the endless reiterations of the classic songs crooned by the overly-familiar voices. To maintain your sanity and to offer a better soundtrack at your upcoming Christmas party, throw the following songs into your holiday mix:

    “”Get Into The Spirit”” by Halford

    That’s Halford as in Rob Halford, one of the frontmen of heavy metal band Judas Priest. The soaring guitars, chugging drums and Halford’s aggressive falsetto is power enough to help anyone survive the holiday season. That Halford insists you “”get into the spirit”” when “”the triumph we seek is so close and so near”” is just icing on an ice-cold cake.


    “”Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)”” by The Darkness

    How can anyone not like a song that begins with the lines, “”Feigning joy and surprise / at the gifts we despise over mulled wine / with you?”” As with almost every song in the band’s catalog, The Darkness throws in such ’70s hard rock tropes as a falsetto that would make Freddie Mercury jealous; a chorus sung by an extraneous robotic voice; and unnecessary choruses as an excuse to use a children’s choir to bolster frontman Justin Hawkins’ voice.

    “”Happy Xmas (War is Over)”” by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band

    Here’s a song that will have everyone feeling guilty, if not outright somber. Lennon wrote this in 1971 to protest the Vietnam War, but the lyrics point to a general call for the end of war. The message may be naively simplistic, and the use of the Harlem Community Choir can sound downright schmaltzy, but it fits with a season that invites introspection. What have you done this year?

    “”Christmas Shoes”” by Patton Oswalt

    OK, so this isn’t a song so much as a hilarious bit of comedy from Oswalt. He talks about a “”dark, disturbing”” Christmas song from Christian rock band NewSong. Oswalt proceeds to draw blood out of the misguided, asinine song that’s about a kid buying new shoes for his mom who is dying from cancer. It’s a credit to Oswalt’s comedic brilliance that he is able to convey the true meaning of Christmas out of such material. And the best part is that the entire routine has been animated into a video that you can find on YouTube.

    “”Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental Version)”” by The Vince Guaraldi Trio

    While “”A Charlie Brown Christmas”” is beginning to show its age, Guaraldi’s soundtrack sounds as outstanding as when it was first performed nearly 50 years ago. While the cartoon features this song with lyrics and a children’s choir, this version endures as a Christmas standard thanks to Guaraldi’s skills as a composer and performer. Over the course of six sparse minutes, Guaraldi is able to capture a holiday that promises nostalgia, melancholy, disappointment, hope and joy.

    “”Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”” by Darlene Love

    This comes from A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, which is arguably one of the best albums ever made about Christmas. This song stands out in particular because Love belts out the lyrics with such forceful longing that you feel as if she could almost bring her lover back home with just the power of her voice. Love has been singing this song as part of David Letterman’s Christmas send-off since 1986, and for good reason.

    — compiled by Steven Kwan

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