"Santa Claus is Coming To Town," Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: I like Bruce Springsteen well enough, but, I don't think there's hope for this song, no matter who sings it. It's designed for four year olds to sing, and I think it should be left to its target audience.
"All I Want For Christmas Is You," Mariah Carey: This has to be the most played Christmas song. I heard it twice yesterday. And as much as I would like to make fun of Mariah Carey, I can't really find much about this song I don't like. I like the full-sounding instrumentation with the ambient bells, I like the use of the back-up singers, I like Mariah eschewing the crazy diva soprano lines in favor of a simple, catchy melody line, and I like the simple, straight-forward lyrics. It's not my favorite Christmas song, but it's upbeat and innocuous, so it can stay in the Christmas canon, as far as I'm concerned.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra: I'm not sure if the TSO names their songs. The radio never tells me. I have yet to hear a song that does not make me think, "And here's another track from that beloved holiday favorite, Jim Steinman Saves Christmas." Actually, that sounds like a good idea for a Christmas special. Jeff Lynne can play his eccentric, goofy sidekick. Together, they can use the power of bombastic, over-synthesized rock to raise enough money to stop the orphanage from closing. Or rouse Santa from his post-Thanksgiving food-induced slumber in time to deliver the presents to the children of the world. Or melt the heart of closed-minded cynic who has forgotten what Christmas is all about. Really, the script writes itself from this point. Pity the WGA is on strike, otherwise I'm sure they'd jump on this idea.
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" Band Aid: Meanwhile, a group of baritone pop stars banding together to end world hunger with music is a siren song I can't resist. I heard that on my way to Meijer on my break, and had to buy one of their $10 sacks of food to be donated to the food pantry that they have every Christmas, even though I don't have the money to feed myself right now, let alone the world. Then I came back to work and was still singing it, and got in a fight with my coworker Kelli. It went something like this:
Kelli: God no. No.
Kelli: I hate that song. Worst Christmas song ever.
Andy: what?? What???
Kelli: That song---
Andy: "Christmas Shoes" is the worst Christmas song ever.
Client: Let them know it's Christmastime!
Andy: Yes. See? That song is awesome.
Kelli: No. It's lame and cheesy.
Andy: No, it's about saving lives.
Kelli: It's still stupid.
Andy: But there won't be snow this Christmastime in Africa.
Kelli: I don't care.
Andy: Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you.
Client: Feed... the... WORLD!
Kelli: Dear God. Are you happy now Andy?
Andy: Let them know it's Christmastime!
Which brings us to today's YouTube.