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Depressing Christmas Songs

16 Jul 97 - 02:24 AM (#8781)
Subject: Depressing Christmas
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

No joke. A friend of mine and I are thinking of getting together a Christmas CD of depressing Christmas songs, and calling it "A Suicide's Christmas". Yeah, yeah, but this is a business venture, and besides, I am a naturally melancholy man who grew up on songs of misery.

Stan Roger's "First Christmas Away From Home" comes first to mind as an extremely depressing Christmas song, and indeed his own brother refuses to sing it. Although we would want to stay mostly folk or folkish I have a thought that "The Little Boy Who Santa Claus Forgot" should be done.

Any suggestions? I am sure that there are any number of Christmas weepers out there of which I have never heard.


16 Jul 97 - 12:28 PM (#8818)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Bob Landry

Tim - I appreciate the enthusiasm for Cape Breton and Newfoundland music you've shown in other threads and I get the idea that we share a lot of common interests in those areas. But I cannot stomach your idea for a Suicidal Christmas CD. It hits too close to home. I am living with a suicidal wife for who has had a tough time with the last 20 Christmases due to her inability to deal with society's and business' expectations for a big show at Christmas. It's taken a long time and a lot of effort to get her to relax, cut down the amount of work and expense and return Christmas to our home and family where it belongs. I for one will never buy that CD.

Bob


16 Jul 97 - 03:05 PM (#8820)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: CWF

If bad taste were gunpowder, this idea of yours would be a weapon of mass destruction. C'mon, give us a break.


16 Jul 97 - 03:32 PM (#8824)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: PattyG

Well, I am so warped that I did have to chuckle a bit;) Frankly, I wouldn't call it "Suicide Christmas", rather, something less somber and shocking, perhaps, "A Pensive Christmas" or "Christmas Contemplations".....something else though!

The songs that come to mind are, of course, well known, such as "Blue Christmas" and there's one the Carpenters did that is sad (especially now that she's dead)....hm-m-m can't remember. Unless you want all ballads, perhaps, "Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer"? Oh, and there's a song called "A Christmas Wish" - I have the sheet music around here somewhere - seems that it is pretty pensive.

My thought here is that those who are naturally depressed at Christmastime will not buy the CD, and if someone is predisposed to depression at this time of the year, that's going to happen anyway. And that is, indeed, one of the worst times of the year for those who suffer from that horrible malady. The folks I know who live in a depressed state, and I know lots, do not purposely play that type of music, so I'm not sure that has to be an issue.

I'm now curious, however, about the two songs you mentioned. Can you direct me to the lyrics? PattyG


16 Jul 97 - 06:58 PM (#8847)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Kiwi

I would recommend songs from Savatage's album _Dead Winter Dead_, especially "Christmas Eve, Sarajevo (12/24)" - it starts out with a beautiful string version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlement".. and goes into the only speed-thrash version of "Carol of the Bells" that I have EVER heard! The entire CD is rather depressing, it's a story of a family in Sarajevo...


16 Jul 97 - 08:38 PM (#8852)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Moira Cameron, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

I've thought about doing the same thing. One sone I'd definitely put on is "Christmas in the Trenches" by John McCutcheon. Another good one is Frankie Armstrong's "Anti-Carol". Good luck!


16 Jul 97 - 09:06 PM (#8856)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: RS

Tried to resist but I couldn't ... have to suggest the (parody) song "Christmas, Christmas is Here", done by the Canadian group The Arrogant Worms. It's an upbeat song about an old-fashioned family get-together ... that gradually deteriorates into more & more outrageous behaviour (kind of like the famous Cheers [TV show] episode with the Christmas turkey dinner food fight).

You can check out their web site at: http://www.cyberus.ca/~jeffmay/worms/worms.htm (if you really want to!)


18 Jul 97 - 07:40 AM (#8965)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Rick

How's about Pogues Lullaby of Broadway (?)

It was Christmas Eve in the drunk tank....

Rick.


18 Jul 97 - 11:43 AM (#8985)
Subject: Lyr Add: FIRST CHRISTMAS (Stan Rogers)
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

Thanks for all the suggestions. I know perfectly well some people will be offended and not buy it, but it's a free country. I've never been noted to be particularly mentally stable myself, and I don't joke in saying that. I have always had a great liking for melancholy songs.

Anyway, controversy sells copy.

For the person who asked, I don't have the lyrics to "The Little Boy Who Santa Claus Forgot" handy, but it was a hit back in the late 40's or early 50's I believe.

Here are the lyrics to "FIRST CHRISTMAS," by Stan Rogers, from "Between The Breaks Live. He apparently first did it on a live CBC Christmas broadcast of Canadian folk singers and appalled them all. He said his justification was to point out the plight of the lonely at Christmas.

This day, a year ago, he was rolling in the snow
With a younger brother in his father's yard
Christmas break -- a time for touching home
The heart of all he'd known, and leaving was so hard --
Three thousand miles away, now he's working Christmas Day
Making double time for the minding of the store
Well, he always said he'd make it on his own
He's spending Christmas Eve alone
First Christmas away from home.

She's standing by the train station, panhandling for change
Four more dollars buys a decent meal and a room
Looks like the Sally Ann place after all
In a crowded sleeping hall that echoes like a tomb
But it's warm and clean and free and there are worse places to be
And it least it means no beatings from her Dad . . .
And if she cries because its Christmas Day
She hopes that it won't show
First Christmas away from home.

In the apartment there stands a tree, and it looks so small and bare,
Not like it was meant to be
The golden angel on the top, it's not that same old star
You wanted for your own
First Christmas away from home.

In the morning, they get prayers, and then it's crafts and tea downstairs
Then another meal back in his little room
Hoping maybe that the boys will think to phone before the day is gone
Well, it's best they do it soon.
When the old girl passed away, he fell apart more every day
Each had always kept the other pretty well
But the kids all said the nursing home was best,
'Cause he couldn't live alone. . .
First Christmas away from home.

In the common room they've got the biggest tree
And it's huge and cold and lifeless
Not like it ought to be
And the lit-up flashing Santa Claus on top
It's not that same old silver star you once made for your own
First Christmas away from home.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 29-Apr-03.


18 Jul 97 - 12:25 PM (#8993)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: PattyG

Hiya Tim,

Thanks for the lyrics to "First Christmas" (I think!) I have a real love/hate relstionship with Christmas and so I can identify with the varied emotions this holiday can elicit and I, too, have a propensity for somewhat melancholy music. (Although, I'm a *complete* joy to be around! ) I'll search a bit for the lyrics to the other song. I've been visiting some sites where they offer Christmas and holiday tunes. Thanks again. PattyG


18 Jul 97 - 12:57 PM (#9004)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Bert Hansell

How about "Joseph Joseph" by Jake Thackray ?

Bert.


18 Jul 97 - 05:57 PM (#9023)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: rich r

Adding to the fray (or frayed), let me suggest "Detroit December" by Sy Kahn (Recorded by him and also John McCutcheon); "Hot Buttered Rum" by Tommy Thompson (recorded a couple different times by the Red Clay Ramblers); "Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas" by John Denver; and of course the ver popular "Big Dead Bird" by Lou And Peter Berryman.

rich r


18 Jul 97 - 06:07 PM (#9025)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

My supplementary post about "First Christmas" doesn't seem to have appeared.

Correction first chorus: that should be "silver star". Indeed I have always thought the song should have been called "Silver Star" but Stan Rogers has been dead since 1983 so I can't write him and suggest a change.

Copyright information, always important:

1979 Fogarty's Cove Music, 23 Hillside Ave South Dundas Ontario Canada L9H 4H7


18 Jul 97 - 10:03 PM (#9037)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: PattyG

Did Mr. Rogers kill himself? (had to ask) PattyG


19 Jul 97 - 12:01 AM (#9044)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Bob Landry

PattyG If I remember correctly, Stan Rogers was returning from a folk festival in Texas on an Air Canada flight to Toronto when some idiot decided to have a smoke in the washroom. He/she started a fire in mid-flight, the cabin filled with smoke and although the pilot made a successful emergency landing at the Cincinnatti airport, several people, including Stan Rogers, were asphyxiated to death. I saw Stan's energy during a performance at the Rebecca Cohn auditorium in Halifax and prefer to think of his song, "The Mary Ellen Carter", as representative of his respect for life.

"And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again!"

Tim - I didn't mean to offend your rights to self-expression but my first post was a knee jerk reaction from my internal biases to the proposed title, not the concept. Keep up the good work with Newfie tunes - my collection keeps growing.

Bob


19 Jul 97 - 12:47 AM (#9045)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: PattyG

How horrible. There's always an idiot somewhere - the trick is to try and not be *there*. Thanks for the background Bob. All you folks have such a wealth of knowledge and I do appreciate the sharing of it. So Tim, have you given any more thought to the title of your proposed musical venture? PattyG


19 Jul 97 - 08:05 PM (#9070)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Kiwi

I'd suggest "Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John" by PDQ Bach (Peter Shickele) but it's not depressing.. just amusing and a little anti-Christmas..


19 Jul 97 - 08:20 PM (#9076)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Barry Finn

To add about Stan , durning that fire he dragged people (Stan was a big man in more ways) out of the plane several times, and died making yet another rescue attempt. I remember reading somewhere that a seaman, who was rescued, said he was floating in the sea waiting to be rescued ,at the same time Stan died, claimed that singing The Mary Ellen Carter over & over is what helped him to hang on until his rescue. Barry


20 Jul 97 - 08:28 PM (#9107)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: rich r

I just stumbled on another song for the category: "25th of December" by Bonnie Koloc.

Barry,

I was unaware of that detail regarding Stan Rogers death, it adds poignancy to an already tragic loss.

rich r


21 Jul 97 - 02:59 AM (#9118)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Joe Offer

One of the many things I like about this forum is that it makes me take a closer look at songs that I may have heard before, but maybe didn't pay attention to.I've always liked "First Chrsitmas," but seeing the lyrics posted brought out some of the power of the song that I hadn't noticed. Yeah, it's depressing, but it's a true reflection of the pain a lot of people experience during the holidays.
"Harris and the Mare" is another powerful, depressing Stan Rogers song that deserves a closer look.
-Joe Offer-


21 Jul 97 - 02:07 PM (#9164)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: LaMarca

Ray Davies, one of the DJs at our local bluegrass station WAMU, had a hit Country record in the late 60'-early 70's that was on of those voice-over recitations about Little Joe, the Orphan Boy, longing to see his Mommy (or was it Santa Claus?) at Christmas. The cruel orphanage director tells him that Santa/Mommy wouldn't be able to find him because he/she would look for him at his old home. Little Orphan Boy goes to his old house and freezes to death on Christmas night... Eddie Stubbs plays this dreadful, doleful ditty on his show occasionally, and it makes me nauseated every time. Good one for the collection, though; I'll try to find the title and record label for anyone desperate enough to request it!


27 Jan 07 - 04:04 PM (#1949893)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: GUEST,Maggster

Well there's one song by Fall Out Boy, it's called "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out". I'm not sure if anyone will find it very depressing, but I find it to be a very sad song. I can really relate to the lyrics.

Anyway good luck with the CD.


27 Jan 07 - 04:19 PM (#1949904)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: SINSULL

Mr. Hankie, the Christmas poo
He loves me and I love you.

Says it all. I really have grown to dislike Christmas.


27 Jan 07 - 04:33 PM (#1949910)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Waddon Pete

Hello

The trouble with any Christmas song is that they are all depressing for one reason or other...depending on your point of view!

Blue Christmas? Perleeze...must be one of the worst songs ever written!

I stop listening to the radio stations during December!

However..."I want a hippo for Christmas" has a ring to it!

Best wishes,

Pete


27 Jan 07 - 05:07 PM (#1949944)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Beer

Jesus the Fugitive Prince...David Massengill
Cape Breton Christmas Morn....John Gracie
Silent Night All Day Long..John Prine
Home From The Forest...Gordon Lightfoot
Circle of Steel...Gordon Lightfoot
Pretty Papers..Roy Orbison


First Christmas I love to do. Breaks them up. Me to.
Beer (adrien)


27 Jan 07 - 06:11 PM (#1949970)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Bonnie Shaljean

"Christmas Eve Can Kill You" by (I forget his first name) Linde, whom I believe passed away recently.


27 Jan 07 - 06:27 PM (#1949980)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Ruth Archer

God, you really want to get the CD Smothered and Covered by the Handsome Family. They are SO with you on this one. Their christmas song is one you'd love:

"Christmas is the season when most folks kill themselves
Christmas is the reason for all those stupid bells..."


27 Jan 07 - 06:42 PM (#1949988)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Beer

Fairytale of New York by The Progues with Kirsty McColl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl5hRPu2_eQ


27 Jan 07 - 09:56 PM (#1950087)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: mack/misophist

Thanks Beer. First time I've heard that one. Tom Waites with a sharper point and a keener edge. A truly nasty song. I like it.


28 Jan 07 - 06:58 AM (#1950233)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: GUEST,van lingle

"Death Might be Your Santa Claus" by Rev. J.M. Gates was a sermon recorded in the 1920's.

"Merry Christmas from the Family" by Robert Earl Keen.

"Christmas in Prison" by John Prine the one that goes: It was christmas in prison and the food was real good, we had turkey and pistols carved out of wood.

"Fairytale of New York",mentioned above, has got to be the most uplifting downer of a christmas song I've ever heard.

Johnny Cash also did a kind of weepy xmas recitation called something like I Remember Christmas.

Good luck with this project and have a merry christmas... or not.vl


28 Jan 07 - 08:10 PM (#1950826)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: Beer

Here is on I forgot. Different and sad.
The Rebel Jesus by M. Iafrate (sp.) Also by Jackson Browne I think.


29 Jan 07 - 08:25 PM (#1951860)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas
From: GUEST

"Hot Buttered Rum" by T. Ellis & T. Thompson:

When dreary Christmas decorations
Line the streets and filling stations,
And dime-store Santas can't disguise
Their empty hands and empty eyes,
In the dead of winter, when the tinsel angels come,
You're my sweet maple sugar, honey, hot buttered rum.


23 Nov 07 - 12:53 PM (#2200786)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Bostsean

A Fairytale of New York - Just the best
Christmas (Baby Come Home) - Ronnie Spector, but I like the U2 version
Blue Christmas - Elvis version is the best
I'll Be Home for Christmas - This is a classic, but it's actually preety sad. The song is about a soldier who actually won't be home for christmas
Christmas in the Trenches - Great song
Father Christmas - The Kinks, can't believe nobody's mentioned it yet.
River - Joni Mitchell, I like the k.d. lang version
Hard Times - a great old song about putting a bad year behind you. Mary Black does a great version.

I've been thinking about doing this a bit too.


23 Nov 07 - 01:35 PM (#2200804)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST, Bat Goddess at work

There's always "Mistletoe Bough" -- bride on Christmas/wedding night playing hide and seek (yeah, and with a houseful of guests) hides in a heavy oaken trunk -- and nobody finds her for many many years. Husband pines away not knowing what happened. Guests have their future Christmases spoiled with the sorrow and mystery.

Lovely song...

Linn


23 Nov 07 - 02:17 PM (#2200817)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Little Robyn

How about There are no lights on our Christmas tree
Very sad!
Robyn


23 Nov 07 - 03:17 PM (#2200853)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST, A well-meaning bystander

I recommend you all search out "Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey" by Lou Monte. If that doesn't make you ashamed of your own species, I don't know what will.


23 Nov 07 - 03:27 PM (#2200864)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Micca

For out and out depression try listening to "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" it would be easy to make it a real downer


23 Nov 07 - 03:52 PM (#2200876)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST

I claim a top ten place, if not higher, with my "Without you on Christmas Day" (aka Mabel's Song). MGAS counted 60% of the audience crying 3 years ago at Miskin.


23 Nov 07 - 03:54 PM (#2200879)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: George Papavgeris

The last GUEST was me.
Oh, and it got Big Mick crying too.
Now, that's a sight you don't want to see too often.


23 Nov 07 - 04:13 PM (#2200893)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Kenny B (inactive)

This lot is very worthwhile & No 5 went down very welll three weeks ago at a session in Largoward in Fife
Bah! Humbug - The Alternative Christmas Album /CD

1 The Bells! The Bells!
2 Santa Bloody Claus - Eric Bogle
3 A Christmas Carol - Tom Lehrer
4 There Are No Lights on our Christmas Tree - Cyril Tawney
5 The Man That Slits the Turkey's Throats at Christmas - Robin Laing
6 The Present - Tom Cleland
7 The Twelve Days of Christmas - Bill Barclay
8 Mary Christmas - His Worship & the Pig
9 God Bless the Birthday Boy - McCalmans
10 Christmas Comes But Once a Year - Enoch Kent
11 Christmas Morning - Louden Wainwright III
12 The Lone Shepherd - Cyril Tawney
13 We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Greentrax Choir


23 Nov 07 - 05:31 PM (#2200930)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Charley Noble

For a fresh cynical look at commercial Christmas it's hard to beat "Suddenly It's Christmas," words & music by Loudon Wainwright, III, © 1993 Snowden Music Inc.

Maybe I'll revive it for this season.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


23 Nov 07 - 06:55 PM (#2200977)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE CHRISTMAS SHOES
From: topical tom

Lyrics:
The Christmas Shoes


It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line
Tryin' to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood
Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously
Pacing 'round like little boys do
And in his hands he held a pair of shoes

His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe
And when it came his time to pay
I couldn't believe what I heard him say

Chorus:
Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time
You see she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

He counted pennies for what seemed like years
Then the cashier said, "Son, there's not enough here"
He searched his pockets frantically
Then he turned and he looked at me
He said Mama made Christmas good at our house
Though most years she just did without
Tell me Sir, what am I going to do,
Somehow I've got to buy her these Christmas shoes

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out
I'll never forget the look on his face when he said
Mama's gonna look so great

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time
You see she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight

Bridge:
I knew I'd caught a glimpse of heaven's love
As he thanked me and ran out
I knew that God had sent that little boy
To remind me just what Christmas is all about
Roll Agai


23 Nov 07 - 07:08 PM (#2200989)
Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS AT GROUND ZERO (Al Yankovic)
From: bobad

CHRISTMAS AT GROUND ZERO
Weird Al Yankovic

It's Christmas at ground zero
There's music in the air
The sleigh bells are ringing and the carolers are singing
While the air raid sirens blare

It's Christmas at ground zero
The button has been pressed
The radio just let us know
That this is not a test

Everywhere the atom bombs are dropping
It's the end of all humanity
No more time for last-minute shopping
It's time to face your final destiny

It's Christmas at ground zero
There's panic in the crowd
We can dodge debris while we trim the tree
Underneath the mushroom cloud

You might hear some reindeer on your rooftop
Or Jack Frost on your windowsill
But if someone's climbing down your chimney
You better load your gun and shoot to kill

It's Christmas at ground zero
And if the radiation level's okay
I'll go out with you and see all the new
Mutations on New Year's Day

It's Christmas at ground zero
Just seconds left to go
I'll duck and cover with my Yuletide lover
Underneath the mistletoe

It's Christmas at ground zero
Now the missiles are on their way
What a crazy fluke, we're gonna get nuked
On this jolly holiday

What a crazy fluke, we're gonna get nuked
On this jolly holiday!


23 Nov 07 - 07:23 PM (#2200995)
Subject: Lyr Add: HANG MYSELF FROM THE TREE (The Vandals)
From: bobad

HANG MYSELF FROM THE TREE
The Vandals

Christmas is hell on earth, I know nothing worst
then being depressed and told to be happy.
The season of su-icide, I know why they died
Christmas reminds me I have nothing

I've got no girl there's only me
no friends or family, another Christmas alone
Got no food to eat, no ornaments or wreath
so I'll hang myself from the tree

Christmas is dark and wet, so I can't forget
Christmas reminds me I have nothing
this is the end of hope, I won't write a note
because it would be addressed to no one

I've got no girl there's only me
no friends or family, another Christmas alone
Got no food to eat, no ornaments or wreath
so I'll hang myself from the tree

Now I will say good-bye, no one will cry
Christmas goes on without me
My life is now complete, so I'll go to sleep
Forever and ever and ever...

I've got no girl there's only me
no friends or family, another Christmas alone
Got no food to eat, no ornaments or wreath
so I'll hang myself from the tree


23 Nov 07 - 08:50 PM (#2201045)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: robomatic

From an album that kind of already had the idea: "Twisted Christmas" a song by Wall Of Voodoo: "Gun For Christmas"
"..I hate to think of the nine year olds
who won't be seeing ten,
Or how we went a caroling
To the homes of now dead men
Shouldn't have given him a gun for Christmas
Shouldn't have given him a gun gun gun
Shouldn't have given him a gun for Christmas
C'mon daddy that was dumb dumb dumb."


On a more serious note:
From the erstwhile Seattle Group Uncle Bonsai: "Silent Night"


23 Nov 07 - 09:05 PM (#2201054)
Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS DAY (Jim White)
From: number 6

Jim White's song "Christmas day"

Where in the world did you come from my dear?
Did some mysterious voice tell you I'd still be here?
I bought this ticket to Mobile, but I been stranded all day
...p.a. said the bus broke down ten miles away from the station.
So seldom a door...so seldom a key...so seldom a lock like the love between you and me.
But seldom comes happiness without the pain of the devil in the details since I saw the smile on your face as I was crying in a Greyhound station on Christmas Day...in 1998.
The burden of love is the fuel of bad grammar.
You stutter and stammer
what a bitch to convey the crux of the matter, when the words you must utter are hopelessly tangled in the memories and scars you show no one.
So seldom a door...so seldom a key...so seldom a hit like the hurt you put on me.
But seldom comes happiness without the pain of the devil in the details since I saw the smile on your face as I was crying in a Greyhound station on Christmas Day...in 1998.
I remember quite clearly, a bad Muzak version of James Taylor's big hit, called "Fire and Rain" was playing as you crouched down and tearfully kissed me, and I thought, "Damn, what good fiction I will mold from this terrible pain."
So seldom a door...so seldom a key...so seldom a gift like the gift you gave me.
But seldom comes happiness without the pain of the devil in the details since I saw the smile on your face as I was crying in a Greyhound station on Christmas Day...in 1998.
Amazing grace, how sweet the smile upon the face I never thought I'd see you again
...especially here in this Greyhound station...on Christmas Day...in 1998

...biLL


23 Nov 07 - 10:34 PM (#2201095)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Mysha

Hi,

Waddon Pete: The trouble with any Christmas song is that they are all depressing for one reason or other...depending on your point of view!

Yep. Can you think of anything more depressing than the song in this thread: Funny Christmas Song?

                                                                   Mysha


23 Nov 07 - 11:53 PM (#2201118)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: john f weldon

I hereby claim to have written the world's most depressing Christmas song...

http://www.weldonalley.ca/songs/ChristmasCroaker.mp3


24 Nov 07 - 03:18 AM (#2201154)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: eddie1

Excellent John!

Eddie


24 Nov 07 - 04:09 AM (#2201159)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Kara

Codeine

depressing at anytime of year but especially so at Christmas


24 Nov 07 - 08:45 AM (#2201267)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Beer

Your on stage for next year John. It's actually very good.
Beer (adrien)


24 Nov 07 - 03:21 PM (#2201479)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Actually Joe_F

I believe that "The Harp Weaver" by Edna St Vincent Millay has been set to music.


24 Nov 07 - 04:54 PM (#2201532)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Charley Noble

John-

Very tasteful!

Charley Noble


24 Nov 07 - 05:19 PM (#2201541)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Uncle_DaveO

I find the following endlessly depressing, when played incessantly from mid-November until December 31:

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas
Jingle Bells
Little Drummer Boy
Christmas Time in the City
Away in a Manger
Jingle Bell Rock
The First Noel
We Three Kings
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire
Feliz Navidad
Silent Night
and on
and on
and on
and on
and on
and on
and on
And over and over
and over and over
and over and over
et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam

Subjected to enough of the above, I might just shoot myself!

Bah! Humbug! To quote a great but misunderstood genius of past times.

Dave Oesterreich


25 Nov 07 - 06:17 AM (#2201730)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,c.g.

Oh sight of anguish, what weeping innocence is here/ A manger for his bed./ The brutes yield refuge to his woe./ Men, the worse brutes no pity show,/ Nor give him friendly aid.

William Knapp 1698 - 1768

Verse two starts 'Did he, that infant bathed in tears.'


25 Nov 07 - 06:51 AM (#2201738)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: MikeRebec

Perhaps the most awful, but not necessarily lyrically depressing, Christmas song for me is that dreadful Slade song that gets trotted out every year. Thankfully I don't tune in to the radio stations that play it but it still gets through when in the supermarket for instance.
What about Jethro Tull's Christmas Song from the Living in the Past double album and also their Christmas album which is in fact an excellent album.


25 Nov 07 - 08:28 AM (#2201768)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Carol

Please Daddy don't get drunk this Christmas - no seriously it's got to be Stan Roger's First Christmas Away from Home - I only dare sing it twice a year!


25 Nov 07 - 08:35 AM (#2201769)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Beer

Have to agree with you Carol on the Stan Rogers number. That is one heck of a tear jerker.
Beer (adrien)


25 Nov 07 - 08:35 AM (#2201770)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: bankley

"Birkenau Tannenbaum" (in the Gypsy sector)

I'm working on it.... slowly


25 Nov 07 - 12:33 PM (#2201847)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Jim Carrooll

Nice parody on Belafonte's 'Scarlet Ribbons' entitled 'Scarlet Ray-guns
Jim Carroll


25 Nov 07 - 05:37 PM (#2202001)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: The Vulgar Boatman

"Who persuades us to bankrupt ourselves?
SANTA, SANTA,
Sod him, his reindeer and his elves,
SANTA BLOODY CLAUSE..."
(Eric Bogle)
Amen.


25 Nov 07 - 05:39 PM (#2202004)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Peace

Truthfully, I find most Christmas songs depressing. But then, I find Christmas depressing.


25 Nov 07 - 05:49 PM (#2202010)
Subject: Lyr Add: BOOTIFUL TURKEY (Dick Miles)
From: The Sandman

Bootiful turkey.
Bootiful Turkey and christmas pud.
too much booze and too much food.
Too many old films on the telly,
Indigestion for brain and belly.

Bootiful Turkey what a fate
imprisoned in a tiny cage
whats he done to deserve this life
Raised and reared for the Butchers knife.

Bootiful Turkey for the western child
third world starving cannot smile
A Bowl of rice or malnutrition
must be this poor childs only vision

Bootiful Turkey we must sell more
prices up and profits soar
In praise of mamman, we hear them cheer
Merry christmas and happy new year. Dick Miles


25 Nov 07 - 06:06 PM (#2202026)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Stringsinger

There is a Santa Claus Blues. From the 20's.

Blue Christmas performed by Elvis.


25 Nov 07 - 06:12 PM (#2202032)
Subject: Lyr Add: IN THE WORKHOUSE (George R. Sims)
From: quantock

Diane suggests this one:
"I'm getting nutt'n for Christmas 'cos I ain't bin nutt'n but bad."

Maybe the album title could be something like "Oh F**k! It's Christmas"

Seriously though, maybe you could put this to music. I remembered that there was something called "Christmas Day in the Workhouse". I typed it in Google, and found it immediately:

CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE WORKHOUSE
(A Poem by George R. Sims, 1847-1922)


It is Christmas Day in the workhouse,
And the cold, bare walls are bright
With garlands of green and holly,
Ad the place is a pleasant sight;
For with clean-washed hands and faces,
In a long and hungry line
The paupers sit at the table,
For this is the hour they dine.

And the guardians and their ladies,
Although the wind is east,
Have come in their furs and wrappers,
To watch their charges feast;
To smile and be condescending,
Put pudding on pauper plates.
To be hosts at the workhouse banquet
They've paid for — with the rates.

Oh, the paupers are meek and lowly
With their "Thank'ee kindly, mum's!'"
So long as they fill their stomachs,
What matter it whence it comes!
But one of the old men mutters,
And pushes his plate aside:
"Great God!" he cries, "but it chokes me!
For this is the day she died!"

The guardians gazed in horror,
The master's face went white;
"Did a pauper refuse the pudding?"
"Could their ears believe aright?"
Then the ladies clutched their husbands,
Thinking the man would die,
Struck by a bolt, or something,
By the outraged One on high.

But the pauper sat for a moment,
Then rose 'mid silence grim,
For the others had ceased to chatter
And trembled in every limb.
He looked at the guardians' ladies,
Then, eyeing their lords, he said,
"I eat not the food of villains
Whose hands are foul and red:

"Whose victims cry for vengeance
From their dark, unhallowed graves."
"He's drunk!" said the workhouse master,
"Or else he's mad and raves."
"Not drunk or mad," cried the pauper,
"But only a haunted beast,
Who, torn by the hounds and mangled,
Declines the vulture's feast.

"I care not a curse for the guardians,
And I won't be dragged away;
Just let me have the fit out,
It's only on Christmas Day
That the black past comes to goad me,
And prey on my burning brain;
I'll tell you the rest in a whisper —
I swear I won't shout again.

"Keep your hands off me, curse you!
Hear me right out to the end.
You come here to see how paupers
The season of Christmas spend;.
You come here to watch us feeding,
As they watched the captured beast.
Here's why a penniless pauper
Spits on your paltry feast.

"Do you think I will take your bounty,
And let you smile and think
You're doing a noble action
With the parish's meat and drink?
Where is my wife, you traitors —
The poor old wife you slew?
Yes, by the God above me,
My Nance was killed by you!

'Last winter my wife lay dying,
Starved in a filthy den;
I had never been to the parish —
I came to the parish then.
I swallowed my pride in coming,
For ere the ruin came,
I held up my head as a trader,
And I bore a spotless name.

"I came to the parish, craving
Bread for a starving wife,
Bread for the woman who'd loved me
Through fifty years of life;
And what do you think they told me,
Mocking my awful grief,
That 'the House' was open to us,
But they wouldn't give 'out relief'.

"I slunk to the filthy alley —
'Twas a cold, raw Christmas Eve —
And the bakers' shops were open,
Tempting a man to thieve;
But I clenched my fists together,
Holding my head awry,
So I came to her empty-handed
And mournfully told her why.

"Then I told her the house was open;
She had heard of the ways of that,
For her bloodless cheeks went crimson,
and up in her rags she sat,
Crying, 'Bide the Christmas here, John,
We've never had one apart;
I think I can bear the hunger —
The other would break my heart.'

"All through that eve I watched her,
Holding her hand in mine,
Praying the Lord and weeping,
Till my lips were salt as brine;
I asked her once if she hungered,
And as she answered 'No' ,
T'he moon shone in at the window,
Set in a wreath of snow.

"Then the room was bathed in glory,
And I saw in my darling's eyes
The faraway look of wonder
That comes when the spirit flies;
And her lips were parched and parted,
And her reason came and went.
For she raved of our home in Devon,
Where our happiest years were spent.

"And the accents, long forgotten,
Came back to the tongue once more.
For she talked like the country lassie
I woo'd by the Devon shore;
Then she rose to her feet and trembled,
And fell on the rags and moaned,
And, 'Give me a crust — I'm famished —
For the love of God!' she groaned.

"I rushed from the room like a madman
And flew to the workhouse gate,
Crying, 'Food for a dying woman!'
And the answer came, 'Too late.'
They drove me away with curses;
Then I fought with a dog in the street
And tore from the mongrel's clutches
A crust he was trying to eat.

"Back through the filthy byways!
Back through the trampled slush!
Up to the crazy garret,
Wrapped in an awful hush;
My heart sank down at the threshold,
And I paused with a sudden thrill.
For there, in the silv'ry moonlight,
My Nance lay, cold and still.

"Up to the blackened ceiling,
The sunken eyes were cast —
I knew on those lips, all bloodless,
My name had been the last;
She called for her absent husband —
O God! had I but known! —
Had called in vain, and, in anguish,
Had died in that den — alone.

"Yes, there, in a land of plenty,
Lay a loving woman dead,
Cruelly starved and murdered
for a loaf of the parish bread;
At yonder gate, last Christmas,
I craved for a human life,
You, who would feed us paupers,
What of my murdered wife!"

'There, get ye gone to your dinners,
Don't mind me in the least,
Think of the happy paupers
Eating your Christmas feast;
And when you recount their blessings
In your smug parochial way,
Say what you did for me, too,
Only last Christmas Day."


25 Nov 07 - 07:05 PM (#2202057)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Guest. David Jones

A parody on The Mistletoe Bough is The Workhouse Boy where instead of hiding in a trunk, he falls into a very large kettle of soup and isn't found until years later when the other orphans have finished the soup. As for Christmas Day in the Workhouse, the version I remember from school in London is:
T'was Christmas day in the workhouse, the snow was falling fast,
We don't want your christmas pudding, stick it etc. etc.


25 Nov 07 - 07:34 PM (#2202072)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Charley Noble

Quantock-

That one, Christmas Day in the Workhouse, is certainly one to mull over during the holiday season. I can just hear Utah Phillips reciting it.

Charley Noble


25 Nov 07 - 07:52 PM (#2202080)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Sorcha

Sorry, but I'm one of those who has quite enough trouble this time of year and I won't do anything to make it worse.

Look, Christmas is bad enough even for the Up Beat people, why try to make it worse? We have in this town a large across the highway sign that says in lights--HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

A 'Christian' preacher/minister here writes letters to the Editor every year about it....he is somehow 'insulted' by it not being Merry Christmas. I know the man personally, and must bite my tongue every time I see him this time of year.

Like, he thinks 'everybody' celebrates HIS Christ Mass? Sorry, but I just don't get it.










pssstttt....Jesus wasn't even born this time of year. There were young lambs present....'Christ Mass' is a not so subtle borrowing of the Roman Saturnalia....lots of mass drunkenness and great orgies!








Oh, and 'suicide is painless'. Right. Don't kid yerself.


26 Nov 07 - 12:35 AM (#2202208)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie

...If it's a nice melancholy Christmas song you're after I've got one you might be interested in on YOUTUBE, It's called 'the Ghosts of Christmasses past' and concerns an old woman on her own at christmas whose family have all grown up and moved on, and her husband is dead. Not particularly suicidal but definately melancholy! search under my username, 'bailliekins'


26 Nov 07 - 01:35 AM (#2202220)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Sandy Andina

I actually LIKE The Kinks' "Father Christmas" (I'm rooting for the little hooligans), as well as Chuck Brodsky's "For Christmas We Got Nothin' Cause We're Jews." But f you want to find a Christmas song even more depressing than Stan Rogers'"First Christmas," try Jody Alis' "Christmastime Alone." Makes me want to crawl into a hot tub full of hot buttered rum and glogg and slit my wrists;


26 Nov 07 - 01:36 AM (#2202221)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Sandy Andina

I actually LIKE The Kinks' "Father Christmas" (I'm rooting for the little hooligans), as well as Chuck Brodsky's "For Christmas We Got Nothin' Cause We're Jews." But f you want to find a Christmas song even more depressing than Stan Rogers'"First Christmas," try Jody Alis' "Christmastime Alone." Makes me want to crawl into a hot tub full of hot buttered rum and glogg and slit my wrists.


26 Nov 07 - 01:40 AM (#2202222)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Sandy Andina

See, that Jody Alis song is so depressing it made me post twice!


26 Nov 07 - 02:03 AM (#2202225)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Pat-Ric Nasty (a complete bastard)

Can someone please send me the lyrics to the Wall Of Voodoo Christmas song "Shouldn't Have Given Him A Gun For Christmas"? It would make me a VERY cappy hamper (...note the clever spoonerism...). Thank you.


26 Nov 07 - 02:22 AM (#2202230)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE NEW DREIDEL SONG
From: GUEST,Sandy Andina

I notice nobody mentioned depressing Hanukkah songs, so in the interests of diversity, here goes:

THE NEW DREIDEL SONG

I had a little dreidel, I made it out of clay .
It looked like dreck and never dried,   So I threw it away

    O dreidel, dreidel, dreidel—who makes them out of clay?
    The plastic ones are better:--They're easier to play.

I got a nasty splinter from a dreidel made of wood
But then it got infected And now I don't feel so good

      That lousy little dreidel sent me to the ICU
      With a drug-resistant staph And now I think I'm gonna sue.

I felt compelled to gamble so to Vegas I flew down
But all along the Strip no dreidel tables could be found

        O dreidel, dreidel, dreidel--It's your game that I crave
        I'd bet that Bugsy Siegel would be spinning in his grave

So I went to shoot some craps, but just imagine how I felt
When the croupier demanded chips Instead of chocolate gelt!

        O dreidel, dreidel, dreidel—what a stupid thing I did
        I forgot you're not for grownups,    But you're only meant for kids!


26 Nov 07 - 03:10 PM (#2202617)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: lefthanded guitar

The Pogues song is the best depressing Xmas song. The dreidle song is very funny.


But I was wondering if anyone wrote a song about how depressing it is to be Jewish and hear nothing but Christmas songs on the radio for a month and a half?


26 Nov 07 - 05:35 PM (#2202720)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,highlandman

Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Father Christmas" has always been a source of amazement to me: it's endlessly popular on the radio stations around here every year, and nobody seems to notice how depressing the lyrics are. Just part of the holiday noise (and I for one love Christmas, thank you very much).
The song isn't exactly "folky," but you could make it work with a guitar and voice, or some such simple ensemble.
-Glenn


27 Nov 07 - 04:48 AM (#2202986)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Simon G

The words for George Papavgeris's self-nominated song - Without You On Christmas Day - are here

http://www.folk4all.net/WithoutYouOnChristmasDay.htm

It is definitely emotional, but not sure its depressing, as its autobiographical and George must find it depressing, so then perhaps we should.

To me its a powerful song about missing someone and celebrating the role they played. It deserves tears for certain. Sorry I can't see depression.

The Stan Roger's song is depressing, the line that gets me everytime is
"Hoping maybe that the boys will think to phone before the day is gone
Well, it's best they do it soon." -- I bet they didn't.


27 Nov 07 - 05:12 AM (#2202994)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Lindsay In Wales

I love the Christmas season, but with the minimum of fuss, no trudging endlessly from shop to shop looking for elusive presents. Food shopping done on line, gift shopping done on line, nice meal on the day with what is left of the family, nice big barrel of Freeminer beer from the brewery in the Forest of Dean
Lots of decorations, especially in the front windows that can be seen from the street, just to prove to the PC brigade that I am proud to be celebrating....Perfect!!!


From the Australian comedian Kevin Bloody Wilson, and sung to Jingle Bells...

Ho, ho, f...ing Ho, what a crock of shit
We all work for Santa Claus, we've had enough, we quit
We do all the f...ing work while he stars in the show
So stick your Christmas up your arse, ho ho f...ing ho!


27 Nov 07 - 05:17 PM (#2203429)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Vic Smith

Miles Wootton's "There Are No Lights On Our Christmas Tree"


27 Nov 07 - 05:59 PM (#2203464)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: oldhippie

Christmas In Fallujah - Jefferson Pepper

Christmas Is Pain - Roy Zimmerman


27 Nov 07 - 06:00 PM (#2203465)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: The Sandman

Vic,KENNY B,has listed [no lights]as by CyrilTawney,I thought he was the author too. Dick Miles


28 Nov 07 - 06:46 AM (#2203764)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Vic Smith

"Vic,KENNY B,has listed [no lights]as by CyrilTawney,I thought he was the author too. Dick Miles"

You are right, Dick. Miles used to sing that song at our club and he invariably sung his own songs, so I made the assumption that he had written it


28 Nov 07 - 08:32 AM (#2203806)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Essex Girl

What about 'Knocking on the Window' by Sidney Carter?


28 Nov 07 - 08:55 AM (#2203812)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: DMcG

I'm quite fond of O Poor Little Jesus.


28 Nov 07 - 09:04 AM (#2203820)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Celtaddict

You could stretch it one day more with 'The St. Stephen's Day Murders.'
Danny O'Flaherty's 'Christmas Without Family' is pretty grim also.


28 Nov 07 - 09:09 AM (#2203824)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Midchuck

They're all depressing, but mostly the ones that are intended to be happy, but get overdone so much.

I mostly sing Jackson Browne's "The Rebel Jesus."

That one makes sense.

Peter


30 Nov 07 - 11:52 AM (#2205581)
Subject: Lyr Add: SUICIDE CHRISTMAS (from Insanity)
From: GUEST,Felilx Copola

http://neillcalabro.com/music/insanity/songs/Suicide%20Xmas.mp3

"SUICIDE CHRISTMAS" from Athens Georgia band, INSANITY
was released in 1994.
The band stopped recording after the lead singer died of
cancer in 2001.
_____________________________________________________
"Christmas time
The unringing phone, the unplayed chime
Sitting at a party, no one in the room
The decision to make to knock over your doom

The chandelier green with the lights blinking red
The strength it will carry until your dead
A present to all, it's around your neck
A holiday cheer they'll never forget

Lovers will love throughout the year
But the 25th is a December tear

[chorus]
------------------
Killing yourself for Christmas
A gift they'll never return
Alone in a crowd, no one is proud
To learn of life's concern
------------------

Little baby Jesus, he was born on this day
The parents he gave you didn't know what to say
Your manger has fallen from under your feet
The chair will be next for your final seat

[chorus]

To the ones that have cheer
Should you make a creed
And help a person
To fulfill his need

Open your eyes and make a new friend
A suicide Christmas is a lonely end."


11 Dec 07 - 11:24 AM (#2213131)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Tom

OK, here's my weigh-in (I can't believe this thread has been going for 10 years. Wait a minute,m as somebody who used to be clinically depressed, yes I can).
"Circle of Steel" by Gordon Lightfoot
"I believe in Father Christmas" by Emerson, Lake and Palmer
"My Mother's Eyes" by Lee Murdock, about the loss of the family's dad on Lake Michigan at Christmas
"Father Christmas" by the Kinks, about a department-store Santa being mugged by poor kids.


11 Dec 07 - 01:48 PM (#2213230)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE LITTLE BOY THAT SANTA CLAUS FORGOT
From: Rog Peek

THE LITTLE BOY THAT SANTA CLAUS FORGOT

He's the little boy that Santa Claus forgot,
And goodness knows, he didn't want a lot.

He sent a note to Santa for some soldiers and a drum,
It broke his little heart when he found Santa hadn't come.

In the street he envies all those lucky boys,
Then wanders home to last year's broken toys.
I'm so sorry for that laddie,
He hasn't got a daddy,
The little boy that Santa Claus forgot.

Spoken: (You know, Christmas comes but once a year for every girl and boy,
The laughter and the joy they find in each brand new toy.
I'll tell you of a little boy that lives across the way...
This little fella's Christmas is just another day.
He's the little boy that Santa Claus forgot,
And goodness knows, he didn't want a lot.)

In the street he envies all those lucky boys,
Then wanders home to last year's broken toys.
I'm so sorry for that laddie,
He hasn't got a daddy,
The little boy that Santa Claus forgot.


11 Dec 07 - 04:13 PM (#2213325)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,elfinsbl21

I will be hating you for Christmas   by Everclear-Excellent
If I was Santa Claus by Atmosphere


11 Dec 07 - 05:18 PM (#2213383)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Kathryn

I have yet to see:
"Santa never made it to Darwin"


12 Dec 07 - 11:51 AM (#2213881)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Erminturder

I really love Christmas. Am I odd?


12 Dec 07 - 12:22 PM (#2213892)
Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS IS NOW DRAWING NEAR AT HAND
From: MartinRyan

While I'm actually very fond of "Chistmas is now drawing near at hand" as sung by the Watersons, it is really pretty miserable!

I can't find it quickly on Mudcat, so here's a cut-and-paste:

CHRISTMAS IS NOW DRAWING NEAR AT HAND

Christmas is now drawing near at hand
Come serve the Lord and be at His command
And God a portion for you will provide
And give a blessing to your soul besides

Down in the garden where flowers growing ranks
Down on your bended knees and give the Lord thanks
Down on your knees and pray both night and day
Leave off your sins and live fro' pray tae pray

So proud and lofty is some sort of sin
Which many take delight and pleasure in
Whose conversation God doth smirch as lie
And yet He shakes His sword before He stri'

So proud and lofty do some people go
Dressing theirselves like players in a show
They patch and paint and dress with idle stuff
As if God had not made 'em fine enough

Even little children learn to curse and swear
And can't rehearse one word of godly prayer
Oh teach them better, oh teach them to rely
On Christ the sinner's friend who reigns on high

----------------------------------------------------
sung by Lal Waterson on the Watersons' "Frost And Fire" (1965)

"This moralising carol was much used by beggars and others towards Christmas
time. Its tune turns over and again attached to such carols as "The Fountain
of Christ's Blood", "Have You Not Heard of our Dear Saviour's Love" and
"The Black Decree", also to the favourite old dialogue-ballad of
"Death and the Lady", traceable to the sixteenth century. Here it is...
in a form common among gipsies habitually drifting through the West Midlands
half a century ago." - A.L. Lloyd 1965



Regards


12 Dec 07 - 12:26 PM (#2213896)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST

Make it through December.....Merle Haggard


12 Dec 07 - 12:28 PM (#2213898)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: MartinRyan

Not sure why I couldn't find the DT version first time.

Here it is!

Regards


12 Dec 07 - 12:57 PM (#2213916)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,selby

Joni Mitchell - River - all time top depressing christmas tune


12 Dec 07 - 03:31 PM (#2214011)
Subject: Lyr Add: I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice

the following song is probably more cynical that depressing, but I think it fits none the less.....Merry Christmas to you all.

"I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS"
-- Emerson, Lake and Palmer (Greg Lake/Peter Sinfield)

They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin birth.

I remember one Christmas morning
A winter's light and the distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell
Eyes full a tinsel and fire.

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
They told me a fairy story
Till I believed in the Israelite.

And I believed in Father Christmas
I looked to the sky with excited eyes
Than I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him through his disguise.

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish, pain, and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear.

They said there'd be snow at Christmas
They said there'd be peace on earth.
Hallelujah, Noel, Be it heaven or hell,
The Christmas we get we deserve.


12 Dec 07 - 03:45 PM (#2214019)
Subject: Lyr Add: INNOCENT'S SONG (C Causley/P Beer)
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's Apprentice

And there is this one from the Cornish poet Charles Causley, with music by Phil Beer


INNOCENT'S SONG

Who's that knocking on the window,
Who's that standing at the door,
What are all those presents
Laying on the kitchen floor?

Who is the smiling stranger
With hair as white as gin,
What is he doing with the children
And who could have let him in?

Why has he rubies on his fingers,
A cold, cold crown on his head,
Why, when he caws his carol,
Does the salty snow run red?

Why does he ferry my fireside
As a spider on a thread,
His fingers made of fuses
And his tongue of gingerbread?

Why does the world before him
Melt in a million suns,
Why do his yellow, yearning eyes
Burn like saffron buns?

Watch where he comes walking
Out of the Christmas flame,
Dancing, double-talking:

Herod is his name.


13 Dec 07 - 01:17 PM (#2214635)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Charley Noble

I don't think anyone has mentioned "Christmas Day in the Workhouse" which contains these two nautical verses:

It was the schooner Hesperus.
It was sinking with all hands on shore;
So we wired, "Send the lifeboat from Wigan,
We've never had that here before."

But the brave lifeboat men, sir, at Wigan,
Replied on a postcard, "No fear!"
It's too far to come to the Goodwins.
Wrap the wreck up and send it on here."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


13 Dec 07 - 01:21 PM (#2214638)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Charley Noble

100!

And here's the reference at Oldpoetry to the rest of the verses to "Christmas Day in the Workhouse" by Weston and Lee: click here for website!

These two are best known for composing "With Her head Tucked Underneath Her Arm."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


13 Dec 07 - 09:03 PM (#2214951)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Joe_F

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.


14 Dec 07 - 03:16 AM (#2215057)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE COVENTRY CAROL
From: Liz the Squeak

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


14 Dec 07 - 04:02 AM (#2215073)
Subject: Lyr Add: PLOUGHING AT CHRISTMAS
From: GUEST,Young Buchan

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.


18 Dec 07 - 10:25 PM (#2218648)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,guest Thomas

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.


19 Dec 07 - 12:48 AM (#2218702)
Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTMAS BELLS (H W Longfellow)
From: Genie

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


19 Dec 07 - 11:49 AM (#2218992)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Doc John

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


20 Dec 07 - 05:28 AM (#2219538)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Betsy

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 .


20 Dec 07 - 07:19 PM (#2219994)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,wilsbowski

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!!


20 Dec 07 - 08:40 PM (#2220045)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Nick E

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.


22 Dec 07 - 05:12 PM (#2221086)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: oldhippie

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


12 Nov 08 - 07:01 PM (#2492249)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: oldhippie

Refresh


12 Nov 08 - 09:51 PM (#2492389)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,maple_leaf_boy

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.


13 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM (#2492663)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: trevek

"Last Christmas", isn't it Wham?

Tom Waits "Christmas card from a hooker in Minneapolis"

Left Handed Guitar: try this, Lonely Jew at Christmas


13 Nov 08 - 08:16 AM (#2492665)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: trevek

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


13 Nov 08 - 01:45 PM (#2492967)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

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.


13 Nov 08 - 02:00 PM (#2492978)
Subject: Lyr Add: BLUE CHRISTMAS (Miles Davis)
From: KB in Iowa

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


13 Nov 08 - 02:09 PM (#2492986)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: SINSULL

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


13 Nov 08 - 04:10 PM (#2493088)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

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.


14 Nov 08 - 12:50 PM (#2493913)
Subject: Lyr Add: NO CHRISTMAS IN KENTUCKY (Phil Ochs)
From: Rog Peek

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


14 Nov 08 - 08:42 PM (#2494291)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Joe_F

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


25 Nov 08 - 05:14 PM (#2501549)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: oldhippie

Refresh, need more !!!


25 Nov 08 - 06:01 PM (#2501601)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE REBEL JESUS (Jackson Brown)
From: Amos

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.


01 Dec 10 - 08:45 PM (#3044564)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,Jody Alis

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....


02 Dec 10 - 01:15 AM (#3044641)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: GUEST,mg

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


02 Dec 10 - 01:28 AM (#3044650)
Subject: RE: Depressing Christmas Songs
From: Joe Offer

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-