Have Yourself a Geeky Little Christmas

So they’ve been playing Christmas songs since before Thanksgiving.  I don’t know about where you live, but around here, three of my eight radio stations have been playing Christmas music around the clock since before Thanksgiving.  It’s ridiculous.

And worse than that, it’s the same old songs over and over.  The classic hymns, which are lovely, but we’ve heard them all our lives.  There are the pop songs like “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, but most of us have lived with that our whole life, too.  And let’s not even talk about the smug, Anglocentric “Do They Know It’s Christmas” or that frakking shoes song.  You know the one I’m talking about.  Yeah.  That one.  I hate it.

So what to do if you’re a geek who wants some slightly different Christmas music?  You tune into MRFH, because we’ve got you covered.  And okay, maybe all of two of these are from movies, and one of them spoofs a movie.  But we’ve got Muppets, Weird Al, Star Wars, and a few others, so grab some hot chocolate, put on the Yule Log channel, and settle back for twelve geeky songs for Christmas.

1. Christmas at Ground Zero

It’s hard to top Yuletide cheer mixed with good old fashioned cold war panic.  And I’m sure there’s some scathing commentary I could put in here about how times haven’t really changed that much, only the words we use, but hey.  It’s Christmas.  Duck and cover!

2.   Carol of the Bells

Beaker, the Swedish Chef, and Animal belong on The Sing-Off with this wonderful, heartfelt rendition of Carol of the Bells.  It will bring tears to your eyes.

3. The Elves Are Back to Work on X-Mas Eve:

What better way to celebrate the season’s commercialism than with an ode to Santa-bots little blue helpers?  The video here is just filler for the song, since Fox hasn’t released the actual footage and it gets taken off youtube for violating copyrights, but the song is quite classic, even if the Futurama cast lacks in singing talent.

4. Moulin Scrooge!

So this list is heavy on the Muppets.  That’s the price when you’re that brilliant.  This spoof of Moulin Rouge cracks me up to no end, and although the video quality isn’t the best here, I think you’ll get a kick out of it, too.

5.    Fairytale of New York

Classic.  Pure classic.  This is just a concert video, but it’s a great Christmas song, if you like dark, gritty realism in your Christmas songs.  Language warning, btw, but I’m guessing a lot of you knew that.

6. Noel (Animaniacs)

Watch this and you’ll be singing The First Noel for days.  Sure, the joke is old, but that doesn’t mean it’s not funny any more.

7. The Night Santa Went Crazy

Weird Al and the Muppets.  Yes, I am still twelve.  This song is just so catchy, even if it’s disgusting.  This is not the original video (is there one?), but it’s well done.  Violence warning, but again, if you know the song, you knew that already.

8. Even A Miracle Needs a Hand

Ah, saccharine Christmas specials.  What would December be without them?   And while Rankin-Bass is one of the worse offenders of the overly sweet (and the forerunner of those huge anime type eyes, maybe?  Seriously, they are fairly creepy), this song is actually really sweet and joyous.  Plus, it’s geeks saving Christmas.

9. What’s This?

Um, does anyone on this site need an explanation here?  I didn’t think so.

10. A Very Merry Star Wars Christmas

I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is good, but it is Star Wars.  Yes, they made a Star Wars Christmas album.  (Because, you know, Christmas is relevant in a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.  Who knows?  Maybe it is.)  Again, this is a fan made video showcasing the song, but I don’t know that I expect you to get all the way to the end anyway.

11. Snoopy vs. The Red Baron

This is the one song on my list that I actually hear on the radio.  But it deserves it, because it is adorable and awesome and is SNOOPY.

12. One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas

I am convinced that the absolute best adaptation of A Christmas Carol is the one with the Muppets.  I adore this version, and despite the roughness of the voices (the puppeteers are still in transition), it’s one of the snarkiest, most beautiful versions.  The songs are just lovely, and are excellent.  This is probably the best summation of what I love about Christmas ever.

So, watch, enjoy, and if I missed one, don’t grinch at me- post it in the comments, and we’ll all enjoy 

Merry Christmas!

16 comments

  1. I’m afraid I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. What is this “shoe song”?

    And you’ll pardon me for disagreeing with you on that point, but IMO the best Christmas Carol adaptation is the 1984 TV movie with George C. Scott and David Warner.

    • Be glad you’re one of the few who don’t know ‘the shoe song.’ Maintain that status and do not investigate further.

      • When I first read your response, I felt like the protagonist in a Lovecraft story. Specifically when they’re at the point where they know in their gut that it’s a bad idea to delve further into the mystery and they’ll regret doing it, but they just have to know. See Call of Cthulhu and At the Mountains of Madness in particular.

    • The shoe song is an incredibly emotionally manipulative song about a guy rushing around on Christmas Eve and seeing a little poor (or even homeless- I’m really not sure) boy in front of him buying a pair of Christmas shoes for his dying mother. I admit that I did cry the first time I heard it- because that’s the exact effect they’re going for- but after you’ve heard it a million times you just want to scream at the intention heart-strings tugging. I’m all for the meaning of Christmas and all that, but this just goes over the top.

      And feel free to disagree 🙂 But nothing will ever top Gonzo and Rizzo narrating for me 🙂

  2. “And let’s not even talk about the smug, Anglocentric “Do They Know It’s Christmas”…”

    You sound like you were born in the 90’s.

    No worries. Just stick the “Live Aid” documentaries on your Netflix queue and educate yourself.

    Bonus; a fantastic deconstruction of “The Christmas Shoes”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq10bz3PxyY

    • Actually, I was born in the 70’s 🙂 I’m very aware of Live Aid, but the song still strikes me as very smug and Anglocentric. I get the intent behind it, but some of the lyrics?

      1.) Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you just really comes off as… I’m not sure how to say it, but I think there are much less obnoxious ways to say “hey, you’re well off and there are a lot of people, particularly in Africa, that struggle just to survive.” There are a lot better ways to phrase the sentiment than “be glad it’s THEM instead of not you.”

      2.) There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas. Well, referring the drought is one thing, but there won’t be snow in Northern Africa any Christmas. It’s not a matter for pity- it’s a matter of geography. There won’t be snow in Florida most Christmases, either. And for that matter, there won’t be snow in South Africa on Christmas, either, because it’s summer down there right now. So that line bugs the heck out of me, because I think most people in Africa would be extremely concerned if it snowed on Christmas.

      3.) Do they know it’s Christmas time at all? Again, I get the intent- Christmas is just another day to survive for a lot of people in dire circumstances. But at the same time, Christianity is a major religion in Africa, and the phrase just rankles me. I’m not good at explaining why, but it just comes across as making people in Africa very one-dimensional- suffering and nothing else. It’s like it dismisses the importance of faith to African Christians. Sure, their Christmases might not look like ours, but I’m betting that to a lot of Christians, the day is important enough that no matter how hard life is, it does not pass unacknowledged. And “the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom” just reinforces that. I mean, yes, things are bad there for a LOT of people, but faith is also a huge part of a lot of people’s lives.

      (Plus, also, not everyone celebrates Christmas, especially since some of Africa’s countries are predominantly Muslin.)

      It just seems very patronizing, and that all Christmases must look one way, and what is important to one person’s Christmas must be important to everyone’s Christmas. (Like snow. Seriously- the snow thing REALLY bothers me.) So yeah, I’m going to stand by my statement about the song. I still can’t stand it as a song.

      • Not to mention that the starving parts of Africa were all Muslim nations. Do they care it’s Christmas would have been more appropriate. Surrounded by wild boar and unable to eat. Very sad.

  3. I agree with everything you said about the Band Aid song, Lissa. Even the guy who wrote it hates it, as he should. I was born in the 80’s, by the way.

    The list was great, though I agree with Eunice that Patrick Swayze Christmas is a must in any geek’s Christmas song list. Also “Merry Christmas (If That’s Okay)” is a great lighthearted jab by the crew at P.C. craziness this time of year.

    Also, everyone knows that the best Christmas Carol adaptation is Mickey’s Christmas Carol! Okay maybe not, but it is great.

    As for the large anime eyes, I’ve read that they were first fashioned after Betty Boop’s look. That could be wrong. I have no data to back up what I vaguely remember reading years ago.

    • I’d heard it was actually Bugs Bunny that influenced him – but then, I’ve also read an article saying it was Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge that did it, so who knows. I suspect it’s probably a combination of some sort; there are an awful lot of classic cartoon characters with large eyes as part of their design.

  4. First off, love for putting in Fairytale of New York.

    Secondly, I’d like to suggest two songs from Jonathan Coulton. Chiron Beta Prime is a christmas letter from a family banished to an asteroid after the robot war (which to robots won). Which has all the makings of an awesome christmas song for us geeky types. Christmas is Interesting is a darker one, but I love it for basically being just a long string of references to christmas classics. Chiron Beta Prime is higher for me though

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