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Depressing Christmas Songs

Joe_F 13 Dec 07 - 09:03 PM
Liz the Squeak 14 Dec 07 - 03:16 AM
GUEST,Young Buchan 14 Dec 07 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,guest Thomas 18 Dec 07 - 10:25 PM
Genie 19 Dec 07 - 12:48 AM
Doc John 19 Dec 07 - 11:49 AM
Betsy 20 Dec 07 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,wilsbowski 20 Dec 07 - 07:19 PM
Nick E 20 Dec 07 - 08:40 PM
oldhippie 22 Dec 07 - 05:12 PM
oldhippie 12 Nov 08 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,maple_leaf_boy 12 Nov 08 - 09:51 PM
trevek 13 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM
trevek 13 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Nov 08 - 01:45 PM
KB in Iowa 13 Nov 08 - 02:00 PM
SINSULL 13 Nov 08 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 13 Nov 08 - 04:10 PM
Rog Peek 14 Nov 08 - 12:50 PM
Joe_F 14 Nov 08 - 08:42 PM
oldhippie 25 Nov 08 - 05:14 PM
Amos 25 Nov 08 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Jody Alis 01 Dec 10 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,mg 02 Dec 10 - 01:15 AM
Joe Offer 02 Dec 10 - 01:28 AM
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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 09:03 PM

Hark, the herald angels sing:
Glory to the newborn Thing,
Who, because of radiation,
Will be cared for by the nation. -- E. Gorey

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Oh, piss on thee, O Christmas tree. -- Anon.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE COVENTRY CAROL
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 14 Dec 07 - 03:16 AM

I love singing 'THE COVENTRY CAROL', but then, I'm warped and without a maternal instinct in my body...


(anonymous Renaissance carol)

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor Youngling for Whom we sing
By, by, lully, lullay?

Herod the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever morn and day
For Thy parting neither say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.


Second verse especially gets me grinning like the potential axe murderer I am!

LTS


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Subject: Lyr Add: PLOUGHING AT CHRISTMAS
From: GUEST,Young Buchan
Date: 14 Dec 07 - 04:02 AM

PLOUGHING AT CHRISTMAS isn't exactly a bundle of laughs:

In Essexshire it happened so
A man went out all for to plough,
As he was ploughing along so fast
Up came sweet Jesus himself at last.

"Oh man, oh man, why dost thou plough
So hard upon the Lord's birthday?"
The farmer answered him with great speed,
"To plough this day I have great need."

His arms did tremble through and through,
Until that he could no longer plough.
The ground did open and he fell in
Before he could repent his sin.

His wife and children are out of place,
His beasts and cattle now all are lost.
His beasts and cattle they die away
For ploughing on the Lord's birthday.


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,guest Thomas
Date: 18 Dec 07 - 10:25 PM

I've long been a fan of melancholy xmas songs. Both Stan Rogers' "First Christmas" and "At Last I'm Ready for Christmas" bring tears to my eyes, for different reasons. "At Last... " recognizes the hassle and expense of xmas, along with its worth.

Among my favorites are "We Need a Little Christmas" from the musical Mame, with its line "I've grown a little leaner/ grown a little colder/ grown a little sadder/ grown a little older" (and also "It's just one week past Thanksgiving...", reminding us that there was a time when celebrating xmas the first week of December was unusual, and something that only a mad genius like Auntie Mame would come up with).

Then there's the third King's verse from "We Three Kings": "Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume/ breathes an air of gathering gloom/ murm'ring, sighing, bleeding, dying/ sealed in the stone-cold tomb." Most recordings skip that verse.

"Christmas at Ground Zero" is Weird Al's magnum opus, in my opinion. Check out the video if you can.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS BELLS (H W Longfellow)
From: Genie
Date: 19 Dec 07 - 12:48 AM

Some of the songs we usually think of as happy Christmas songs are, at least in their original versions, rather sad or depressing.

E.g., "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" was sung tearfully by Judy Garland in the film in which it was introduced.   Later, Bing Crosby, I think, changed the lines "Someday soon we all will be together, if the fates allow. Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow, so Have Yourself ..."   to "Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow. Hang the shining star upon the highest bow, and Have Yourself ... "   I.e., a very wistful song of yearning and missing loved ones was transformed into a rather saccharine song about cosy holidays with family.

(This song evokes even more bittersweet feelings for me because in the movie "The Victors" the song was played as soundtrack for an execution of a deserter in WWII on Christmas Eve.)


Also, Longfellow's poem "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" was not the optimistic-sounding lyric that we hear in the song version, which was published about 10 years later.
In the original poem, inspired on Christmas day 1860 (IIRC), the verse about "Till ringing, singing on its way, the world revolved from night to day ... " came right after the verse that goes "I thought, how as the day had come, the bellfried of all Christendom had pealed along th'unbroken song of "Peace on earth, good will to men."
THEN came the two verses that clearly place the song in the US Civil War:

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

Here's Longfellow's original poem:

CHRISTMAS BELLS
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1863)

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along
    The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime,
    A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
    And with the sound
    The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
    And made forlorn
    The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said:
    "For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Although the last verse is hopeful, the poem makes the reality of war very evident. About 10 years after Longfellow's poem was published, someone rearranged the verses, removed the explicitly war-related verses, and set the song to music.   (At least 2 different tunes have been used - 3 I think.)



Other, even more depressing "Christmas" songs include:

Mary Mild (or The Bitter Withy) - although they deal with Jesus as a young boy, they are often sung at Christmas time

El Santo Niño (The Holy Child)

Green Christmas - Stan Freberg - Stan took on the commercialization of Christmas so poingnantly and pointedly back in the 1950s that the song was pretty much blacklisted by radio stations


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Doc John
Date: 19 Dec 07 - 11:49 AM

Woody Guthrie's '1913 Massacre' - children murdered at a Christmas party.
Phil Ochs's 'No Christmas in Kentucky' about a miners' strike.
Good songs though!
But for shear nausea Cliff Richard's 'Mistletoe and Wine'; the self proclaimed Christian Singer cashing in on the Nativity and curiously singing of pagan practices and alcohol indulgence!
John


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Betsy
Date: 20 Dec 07 - 05:28 AM

I was in the Dentist's waiting room the other day reading a shitty magazine that I only ever seem to find in Dentist's waiting rooms - listening to Presley singing "It'll be a lonely Christmas without you".
I couldn't decide what was the worst - him singing THAT song , or the tooth ache .


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,wilsbowski
Date: 20 Dec 07 - 07:19 PM

Not read all the stuff above but has anyone noticed that this thread was started ten years and 6 months ago, and people are still posting (yes i know i'm one of them) comments/replys.

I'm guessing Tim Jaques depresssing xmas cd never took off since I would have bought it any time during my teens.

Eat My Shit!!


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Nick E
Date: 20 Dec 07 - 08:40 PM

The question I think of is if the tune has to be depressing or if just the sentiment of an up-tempo song fits the bill for depressing. The Kinks tune "Father Christmas" (I think is the name) fits that bill for me. "Santa Baby", for it's similarly shamless materialisim. "Grandma got run over by a Reindeer" for obvious reasons (Surprised I did not see it mentioned yet)
As for playing it straight "Ill be Home For Christmas"... if only in my dreams... is rather melencholy.

As for Stan Rogers, yup! He also has a spectacular bummer of a song set in winter (Perhaps around Christmas) in
"Harris and the Mare"
I do like much of Stan's music.
As for the "Heroic Stan" stories of his death I think they are just the stuff of legend, would love it to be true but I think it is not.


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: oldhippie
Date: 22 Dec 07 - 05:12 PM

I think the "heroics" were pretty much true. They were reported shortly after the incident by survivors.


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: oldhippie
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 07:01 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,maple_leaf_boy
Date: 12 Nov 08 - 09:51 PM

The ones I would have added have already been mentioned.
The Johnny Cash song, and the Merle Haggard song.
(John Prines "Christmas In Prison", is pretty sad, but it can have a bit
of a subtle humorous tone within the sadness; chuckle a bit through the tears>.)

There's a song called "Last Christmas", that's kind of sad. I forget
who sings it.


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: trevek
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM

"Last Christmas", isn't it Wham?

Tom Waits "Christmas card from a hooker in Minneapolis"

Left Handed Guitar: try this, Lonely Jew at Christmas


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: trevek
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM

http://www.actionext.com/names_s/south_park_lyrics/the_lonely_jew_on_christmas.html


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 01:45 PM

For those of us old enough to remember World War II and the songs associated with it, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" has always seemed especially poignant. It is pretty easy to picture a lonely G.I., sailor or Marine singing these words, on some remote battle site in December, thinking of family and friends he may never see again gathering for the holidays.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLUE CHRISTMAS (Miles Davis)
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 02:00 PM

BLUE CHRISTMAS (To Whom It May Concern)

Miles Davis

Merry Christmas
I hope you have a white one, but for me it's blue
Blue Christmas, that's the way you see it when you're feeling blue
Blue Xmas, when you're blue at Christmastime
you see right through,
All the waste, all the sham, all the haste
and plain old bad taste

Sidewalk Santy Clauses are much, much, much too thin
They're wearing fancy rented costumes, false beards and big fat phony grins
And nearly everybody's standing round holding out their empty hand or tin cup
Gimme gimme gimme gimme, gimme gimme gimme
Fill my stocking up
All the way up
It's a time when the greedy give a dime to the needy
Blue Christmas, all the paper, tinsel and the fal-de-ral
Blue Xmas, people trading gifts that matter not at all
What I call
Fal-de-ral
Bitter gall.......Fal-de-ral

Lots of hungry, homeless children in your own backyards
While you're very, very busy addressing
Twenty zillion Christmas cards
Now, Yuletide is the season to receive and oh, to give and ahh, to share
But all you December do-gooders rush around and rant and rave and loudly blare
Merry Christmas
I hope yours is a white one, but for me it's blue


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 02:09 PM

The day after Halloween Christmas music was blaring at a local store and it all was depressing.


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 13 Nov 08 - 04:10 PM

Try Stan Freberg's "Green Christmas" or his take on "The Twelve Days of Christmas." If you hate the crass commercialization of the holiday, and the thought of it depresses you, they're still great stuff.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NO CHRISTMAS IN KENTUCKY (Phil Ochs)
From: Rog Peek
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 12:50 PM

NO CHRISTMAS IN KENTUCKY
(Phil Ochs)

Christmas shoppers shopping on a neon city street
Another Christmas dollar for another Christmas treat
There's satin on the pretty dolls that make the children glow
While a boy walking ragged in the cold Kentucky snow
No, they don't have Christmas in Kentucky
There's no holly on a West Virginia door
For the trees don't twinkle when you're hungry
And the Jingle Bells don't jingle when you're poor

There's lots of toys for children when then Christmas time is near
But the present for the miners is a stocking full of beer
In the dark hills of Kentucky there's one gift that may be found
The coal dust of forgotten days that's lying on the ground
No, they don't have Christmas in Kentucky
There's no holly on a West Virginia door
For the trees don't twinkle when you're hungry
And the Jingle Bells don't jingle when you're poor

Let's drink a toast to Congress and a toast to Santa Claus
and a toast to all the speeches that bring the loud applause
There's not enough to give, no, there's not enough to share
So let's drown the sounds of sorrow with a hearty Christmas cheer
No, they don't have Christmas in Kentucky
There's no holly on a West Virginia door
For the trees don't twinkle when you're hungry
And the Jingle Bells don't jingle when you're poor

Have a merry, merry Christmas and a happy new year's day
For now's a time of plenty, and plenty's here to stay
But if you knew what Christmas was, I think that you would find
That Christ is spending Christmas in the cold Kentucky mine
No, they don't have Christmas in Kentucky
There's no holly on a West Virginia door
For the trees don't twinkle when you're hungry
And the Jingle Bells don't jingle when you're poor

Rog


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Joe_F
Date: 14 Nov 08 - 08:42 PM

"Box of Candy and a Piece of Fruit", by Bob Gibson and Tom Paxton, satisfies the description of this thread exquisitely.


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: oldhippie
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 05:14 PM

Refresh, need more !!!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE REBEL JESUS (Jackson Brown)
From: Amos
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 06:01 PM

THE REBEL JESUS
(Jackson Brown)

The streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows all are bright
With the faces of the children.
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tales
Giving thnaks for all God's graves
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

They call him by the "Prince of Peace"
And they call him by "the Saviour"
And they pray to him on every sea
And in every bold endeavour.
Asthey fill his churches with their pride and gold
And their faith in him increases.
But they've turned the nature that I worshipped in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel, Jesus.

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions.
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations.
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If thegenerosity should seize us.
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why they are poor
They 'd get the same as the rebel, Jesus.

But please forgive me if I've seemed
To take the tone of judgement.
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment.
In this life of hardship and earthly toil
We have need of anything that fees us.
So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan,
On the side of the rebel, Jesus.


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Jody Alis
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 08:45 PM

Hi, if you want to hear my depressing Christmas song "Christmas Time Alone" it is now available on ITunes under Alternative Music, Artist: Jody Alis. The album is called "Beating a Dead Horse" and it is a song on the album. Just in time for your festive holiday....


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 01:15 AM

Very very dreary and to my ear ugly songs are lo how a rose eer blooming and oh come oh come Emanuel..oh they drag. mg


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Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 01:28 AM

I disagree completely, mg. "Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming" and "O Come Emmanuel" are beautiful songs, if sung lightly. Too often, they're sung at dirge pace, but they're not intended to sound that way. They are songs of hope and joy, and must be sung with that in mind.

-Joe-


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