Musical Advent Calendar: December 13

I have it on good authority that today’s selection for the Musical Advent Calendar will be remembered by those of you who grew up in the UK in the 70s. I don’t remember this track making any waves here in the US, but I was listening to the Muppets at the time, so what do I know? Based on the universal source of record for all things, Wikipedia, I learned that this 1978 cover of “Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord” by Boney M is “one of the best-selling singles of all time in the UK.”

Here’s a dose of disco Christmas:

Musical Advent Calendar: December 12

Today’s song is from 1975, and it’s from everyone’s favorite under-appreciated rock band, Big Star.

This is “Jesus Christ,” from their brilliant Third/Sister Lovers album.

I couldn’t embed the video of the studio version (you can view it here on youtube: ), but here’s a live version from 2010 with Mike Mills and Ken Stringfellow of REM on vocals.

Musical Advent Calendar: December 10

What would the holiday season be without this gem wherein a neighborly David Bowie mistakes Bing Crosby for the new butler or perhaps “the poor relation from America,” then  proceeds to sing  a little duet?  It’s the endearing and awkward “Little Drummer Boy”/”Peace on Earth” mashup with footage from Bing Crosby’s televised 1977 Christmas special. 


… and here’s Will Ferrell and John C. Riley’s homage:

Musical Advent Calendar: December 4

Yes, still in the 1970s, my doves, but don’t worry, I’ll get us into something a little more current in short order. It seems fitting to follow Former Beatle John’s Christmas track with one from Former Beatle Paul, even though that’s dreadfully obvious and only slightly clever. Yet, I’ve done it anyway, because this song is also earnest and heartfelt and twee – if anything, the juxtaposition of these two Christmas songs gives further credence to argument of a Serious Beatle vs a Playful Beatle. Love it or hate it, today’s song is Paul McCartney  – “Wonderful Christmastime,” released in 1979.

And here’s an alternative for those who can no longer stomach the classic version –  I give you this fairly snappy 2012 cover by The Shins:

Musical Advent Calendar: December 3

We’re going to linger in the 1970s for a couple days, since there are more than a couple Christmas classics from that decade. Today’s offering is one that is always in danger of being a bit overplayed, but it’s earnest and heartfelt and a little twee, as befits the season. So, let’s get it out there and hope it’s early enough in the season that you’re not already sick of it.   Today’s track is  “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” I know, I know…

I do acknowledge that there is a decent chance that you might be sick of this song if you’ve started listening to any holiday music, or if you’re still mad at Yoko for some unfathomable reason.

So instead of the original, here’s one of the better covers, a 2012 live performance by Sarah McLachlan and her Music Outreach Children’s Choir and Youth Choir :