WTM #1117: Xmess

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 
Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies

“When you’re blue at Xmas time / You see through all the waste / All the sham, all the haste / And plain old bad taste  It’s a time when the greedy give a dime to the needy.” 
• Bob Dorough

Xmess Pal & Ramsey Sleigh > MC Pal vs b/art
Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern) > Miles Davis & Bob Dorough
12 Drunken Days of Christmas > Foster Brooks
I Know What You Want For Christmas  > Kay Martin & Her Bodyguards 
Daddy’s Drinking Up Our Christmas > Commander Cody
I Like the Christian Life > Louvin Brothers
There Ain’t No Santa Claus On The Evenin’ Stage > Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Santa > Lightnin Hopkins
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) > John Lennon & Yoko Ono
The Anti-Christmas Carol > Joss Stone
Winter Wonderland > Booker T. and the MGs
Jesus Came > Marjoe Gortner 
Christmas Blues > Dean Martin
Cold-Blooded Christmas > Jon Lajoie
I’d Like You For Christmas > Julie London vs Ursula 1000
Deck The Halls > Ross McGinnis
The Christmas Song > Esquivel
Christmas in the City > King Sun D-Moët 
Drunk Christmas Tree > Sandra Lee
Pal wtm Xmess Echo3 > MC Pal vs b/art
Rockin’ Around The Xmas Tree > Brenda Lee
Rockin’ Round the Christmas Tree > Heino vs Mandy Bach
Drunk Lady Sings 12 Days of Christmas  > Fay McKay
Holidays > Bertrand Bergalat
Mambo Santa Mambo > The Enchanters
Christmas 2000 > Page One
Dominick The Italian Christmas Donkey song > Lou Monte
Mr. Russian, Please Don’t Shoot Down Santa’s Sleigh > Shana Lynett
I Don’t Intend to Spend Christmas Without You > Claudine Longet
Christmas in Jail > The Youngsters
I Know What You Want For Christmas  > Kay Martin & Her Bodyguards
I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas 1947 > Yogi Yorgesson

I used to hate Xmas but Nina has made me appreciate it more. Generous but not ridiculous consumption. Cozy at home, donate money to good causes. She started a trend that will now be a tradition this coming year, 3 years of cooking Xmas dinner together. We each have to cook one course of the meal. I did something with cooked pears and blue cheese. I used to get very depressed and anxious around Xmas in the years 1977-1997 or so. 20 years of not being able to make it into something I would like. Less gifts but more important gifts. What the Dutch do at Sinter Klaas, December 5 is brilliant and they don’t even see the brilliance because it is just tradition. Everyone picks a name out of a hat; for the name you choose you have to buy a gift of under 10 euros. But that is not all: you also have to write a witty, slightly roast-like poem about the person, which you have to read aloud on the evening of December 5 to everyone present. Furthermore, you have to make a “surprise” [pron. Sir-prees] which is a surprise sculpture that is fitting to the targeted gift receiver. This sculpture, usually made of papier mache, will hide the present. This makes of the evening something intimate and focused on people and the creativity of the surprises. You also need to buy a chocolate letter, the first initial of selected loved ones…

I have to say that my feelings toward Xmas songs has wavered from disgust to bemusement, from fascination to a warm acceptance of some of them. Part of my shift toward a greater acceptance of these songs be they serious, kitschy or sarcastic is that if read or listened to in the right way they can in the form of a playlist or thematic radio show express the entire spectrum of mixed emotions one might have regarding this most commercial of holidays. The level of commercialism is only noticeable to someone like me when I notice that the Dutch celebrate Dec 5 and then also Xmas and the combined gifts for those 2 holidays is far less than it is in the US.

Thanks to Jose Padua for his annual contribution to the Xmas song collection. Fascinating because the day, again, stimulates such a broad variety of emotions from piety to sarcasm, from wacky to socio-economic critique. The more poignant [Miles Davis / Bob Dorough] and the more wacked [I Yust Go Nuts…] songs have become my favorites but I also go for damn nice: I’m a sucker for the bells in King Sun D-Moet’s great ur-rap. Or check out Fay McKay’s

It is weird writing this playlist in September, some 9 months after the fact and testifies to the insane velocity with which time passes in our perception…

Centerfold pop-up courtesy of “Deutsche Weinacht” by Heino, Electrola.

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