A Canon of Holiday Favorites

Last year at this time, I posted a blog of some of my favorite, though lesser-known Christmas albums, including "A Politically Correct Christmas" -- to address PETA's concerns over the mistreatment of animals in such Christmas songs as Jingle Bells (involving a "lean and lank" horse pulling a "one-horse open sleigh") and Sleigh Ride (with sound effects of a cracking whip). And "A Backwards Christmas" - with Christmas songs sung backwards to address the concerns of those who may have had a little too much eggnog over the holiday season.

I also included some selections from one of my favorite politically-themed albums of the season, "Sing Along With Mitt" as illustrated on right:

"Sing Along With Mitt" - A collection of holiday favorites sung by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and the Gang. Includes: The Twelve Days of the New Hampshire Primary, Away in the Statehouse, O Come All Ye Registered Republican Voters, It Came Upon a Midnight Recount, The Republicans Are Coming to Town, O Little Town of Salt Lake City, and Hark! The Herald Newspaper Endorses Mitt.

Well, to be fair during this politically-charged holiday season, I wish to include selections by some of the other 2008 presidential candidates. Here goes:

"An All-Inclusive Holiday Season"- A two-CD set of some of your favorite holiday songs for those of all religious faiths, sung by Democratic presidential candidates, and re-written so not to offend anyone. Includes Senator Joe Biden singing White {Insert Your Religious Holiday Here} to the melody of White Christmas, Senator Christopher Dodd singing The Twelve Days of {Insert Your Religious Holiday Here}, and Former Senator John Edwards' rendition of We Wish You a Merry {Insert Your Religious Holiday Here}. Finishes with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton reading the classic poem Twas the Night Before {Insert Your Religious Holiday Here}. Here is a sampling:

"...And laying a finger aside of his nose / giving a nod up the chimney he rose,

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle / and away they all flew like the down of a thistle,

But I heard him exclaim, as he made a roaming cell phone call / Happy {Insert Your Religious Holiday Here} and national health care for all!" **

kucinichufo300_320"An Intergalactic Christmas" - Don't miss Congressman Dennis Kucinich's interstellar Christmas extravaganza, inspired by his real life close encounter with a UFO back in the 1980's while visiting actress Shirley MacLaine at her home in Washington State. Selections include I Saw Three Ships (Hovering Over Those Yonder Trees), Joy to the Worlds, Angels We Have Heard on High...With Large Heads, Almond-Shaped Eyes, and Gray Skin, Good King Wencelas of the Planet Talos IV, God Rest Ye on the Examination Table, and Oh, Come All Ye to the Fourth Dimension.

"A Backwards Christmas Carol (Featuring Senator Barack Obama)" - This take on the Dickens Christmas classic features Senator Obama in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Only in this version, the tale begins with Obama as a wide-eyed, hopeful, breath-of-fresh-air candidate in the presidential political arena, and then over time and campaigning he gradually becomes disillusioned with all the dirty politics and mudslinging, regressing more and more into a Scrooge-like persona. By the end, instead of proclaiming "God bless us, everyone," he utters a defeated "Bah, humbug!"  Tiny Tim, played by Ralph Nader, then trips him up with his crutch, clearly a metaphor for taking 2.8 million votes from the Democrats in the 2000 election, thus handing the election to George W. Bush. Supporting cast includes Senator John Kerry as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Senator Ted Kennedy as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Al Gore as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, and Vice President Dick Cheney as Marley's Ghost.

"Rudolph, the Republican Frontrunner" - Based on "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," this Christmas album features all the hits from the classic TV program, sung by former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the GOP frontrunner and a highly successful political fundraiser with circa $50 million raised thus far. While he delivers all the upbeat classics like We Are Santa's Elves and A Holly Jolly Christmas, it becomes apparent with songs like Jingle, Jingle, Jingle and Silver and Gold that this record is clearly meant as a fundraising vehicle. For example, in the song Why Am I Such a Misfit?:

"Why am I such a misfit? / You'd think for $1,000 a plate I'd sit,

At the head table with Rudi Giuliani / why don't I fit in?" ***

So, as you go about your holiday shopping, be sure to hum these classic seasonal tunes to get you into the festive spirit. And as you put a dollar into the Salvation Army kettle, don't forget to send a dollar to Rudi Giuliani ... or your favorite presidential candidate. Especially, at this time of year, they need our support!

Jack Sheedy

** Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863)

*** Apologies to Johnny Marks (1909-1985)

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