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Sunday, December 17, 2017

#9 - Top 25 Christmas Songs (According To Me!)

Welcome to Day #17 of the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR, where today we will be checking out what my 9th favourite Christmas song is in a list of 25.

And I warn you ahead of time.  It's probably the most non-traditional song that I have on this list so far.  Non-traditional in that it's a song that starts off being a "Bah, humbug" kind of song, but transitions into a sort of happy tune given that the song is all about how much stress Christmas can be.

And when I say that it starts off with a "Bah, Humbug", I mean literally it starts with that phrase.

This is a song that was recorded and released the same year as my very first Christmas - 1981.  So right off the bat, the song holds a bit of meaning for me.  It was recorded by the group that called themselves "The Waitresses" - best known for their single "I Know What Boys Like". 

The song itself is a bit of a play on words.  The way that lead singer Patty Donahue sings the words, it's almost like she is dropping words to a hip hop beat (so, in a way she is Christmas "rapping").  But the song itself is about how she plans to wrap up the holiday season.

Which to her involves shutting off all the lights, not going to any holiday parties, and proclaiming that she will miss it this year. 

And really, how many of us have wished that we could do the same thing?

Believe me, I know how stressful Christmas can be.  After all, I've worked thirteen Christmases in the world of retail.  The wall to wall people who are cranky that they can't find everything that they are looking for, and the purchasing of gifts for people that you may or may not like, and buying all the food for the holiday dinners, and forking out forty bucks in postage to send Christmas cards, and trying to learn all the words to "O Come All Ye Faithful" for your daughter's fourth grade Christmas pageant, know how Patty feels.

I like how the song tells a story with a beginning, middle, and end.  In between the rants and raves about how she hates Christmas, Patty also tells the tale of how she met a guy that she was interested in at a ski shop, got his number, got too distracted to call him, and later meets him at an all-night grocery store when both of them are buying canned cranberries.  It's got a rough beginning, but by the end of the song, at least Patty admits that she's happy to celebrate the holiday after all.

Of course, the sick beat and the killer bass hook really draws me into the song right off the bat.  Would you believe that the song was composed by Chris Butler using an assortment of guitar riffs from unused songs that he had composed years earlier?  To make a brilliant song like "Christmas Wrapping" out of literal scraps...that's like wrapping a beautiful gift using just a handful of leftover wrapping paper!

Of course, Butler also wrote the song in the middle of summer for inclusion on the album "A Christmas Record" as a response to how much he hated the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

As it turned out, the song became a massive hit - the year after it was released, it reached #45 on the UK charts.  Many artists have also covered this single for holiday albums of their own from the Spice Girls and Kylie Minogue to the Saturdays and Bella Thorne.

Of course, the original one was and always will be the best one.  And while sadly Patty Donahue passed away from lung cancer in 1996 at the age of 40, it's nice to know that she has forever left her mark on the holiday season by creating one of the most rockin' holiday songs ever.

The song that I will be posting at #8 tomorrow is one that I have represented on my own Christmas that represents the most exciting day of my life.  And no, the Red Baron does NOT make an appearance.

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