Seasonal songs that make us laugh out loud

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As we head into the final week before Christmas, it might be good to take a few minutes away from all the shopping, cooking and baking, present-wrapping, and other chores that come around this time of year.

Instead, let’s talk about holiday songs that embrace the Christmas spirit. Well, in this case, the Christmas comical spirit.

Yes, there are the standard tunes we’ve come to know and love this time of year. Obviously, such popular titles as “Jingle Bells,” “The Christmas Song” (you know the one — “chestnuts roasting by an open fire”), “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” and the ever-popular “White Christmas.”

Then there are the traditional religious songs, like “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Away In A Manger,” and the very emotional “Silent Night.”

But along with the lists of Yuletide favorites are songs that are of the more comical nature. And who doesn’t need a good laugh, especially at this stressful time of the year.

With that in mind, I offer several other Christmas-related songs (sometimes called “Christmas novelty songs”) that you might want to add to your play list.

One of the first ones I can remember was released by a trio of high-pitched singers back in 1958, in the early days of rock ’n roll. The singers — Simon, Theodore and Alvin… Alvin … ALVIN! — gave us “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late).”

Recorded by The Chipmunks (actually, a group of electronically-controlled voices from a fellow named Ross Bagdasarian Sr. — a.k.a., David Seville), “The Chipmunk Song” sold over 4.5 million singles within the first seven weeks of release.

(Note: Okay, kids, listen up! Back in the day, a “single” was a circle of wax with a seven-inch diameter that had all these grooves on it that actually played music with a needle. There was a giant hole in the middle where you’d put a spindle if you needed to play it on Mom and Dad’s hi-fi stereo system at 45 revolutions per minutes.)

Although this record won three Grammy Awards in 1958 (Best Comedy Performance, Best Children’s Recording, and Best Engineered Record for a non-classical), it was pretty well shunned by the teenagers on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand who gave it a “Rate-A-Record” score of only 30, the lowest possible number).

Another song on the list is one that’s even older than the one produced by the above-mentioned squirrelly rodents. I give you: “I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas” by Yogi Yorgasson (actually, his name was Harry Stewart, a Norwegian-born performer who took on a Swedish persona).

Harry’s song tells us of all the adventures (and misadventures) of what life is like at this house on Christmas Day. And, in keeping with his Swedish shtick, every word with a “j” in it is pronounced as if it were a “y.”

For the rest of this column, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. If you are a print subscriber, your full online subscription is free. All you need to do is call 830-997-2155 to get a password. If you are not a subscriber, call 997-2155 or click on the ‘Subscribe’ button on the left side of the home page and sign up today!

 

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