For years I've tried to perfect the perfect irreverent Christmas CD.
With YouTube and Spotify and all the other services that let you pull up whatever song you'd like, you don't need to come to my house to construct the CD for you. Here's the beginning of your best non-traditional Christmas playlist.
1. "Fairytale of New York," The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
Ragged-voiced Shane MacGowan of the Pogues duets with sweet-voiced Kirsty MacColl accompanied by pennywhistles, banjos and absolutely beautiful strings in a song about failed romance and dreams. It's hard to imagine getting all teary-eyed after the exchange "Yer a bum, yer a punk"/"Yer an old slut on junk!"
2. "The Christians and the Pagans," Dar Williams
Pagans Amber and her girlfriend Jane visit Amber's uncle and his family and realize that love and family overcomes some religious differences. It's a success because "now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning."
3. "How the Gift Card Ruined Christmas," LiL iFFy & Magic Hustle
Totally foul-mouthed and filthy, it expresses the deep disappointment when that bastion of the perfect Christmas gift, Grandma, shirks on her sacred responsibilities one year and gives a gift card.
"Ever since my hand was big enough to make a fist, you filled that (expletive) with the perfect (expletive) gift!"
Even LiL iFFy is still a kid at heart. I don't care how many times I listen I still laugh.
4. "The Pretty Little Dolly," Paula Aboud
Recorded from voice-actor Paula Aboud's visit with Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show," this sweet little song is sung as a little girl describing the "very special" doll she wants from Santa. In addition to all the other "so real" aspects of the toy "on her back you can turn a key and she goes through pu-ber-ty!"
5. "The Toy Song," The Smothers Brothers
I haven't been able to find this one anywhere but my beat-up 45-rpm single from 1965. It's funny how the goofy toys from the 1960s, including "a saucy Sally doll with skin tight stretch pants," returned.
6. "Rusty Chevrolet," Da Yoopers
Da Yoopers hail from upper Michigan, where winters are hard on Chevys. This song to the tune of "Jingle Bells" pretty much describes a vehicle I drove as a teenager.
8. "Father Christmas," The Kinks
The best rock 'n' roll Christmas song ever recorded, bar none.
"Father Christmas, give us some money/don't mess around with those silly toys!"
Dave Davies has a smokin' guitar solo and Mick Avory plays drums in a machine gun beat.
9. "Santa's Lament," Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello)
Father Guido Sarducci (played by Don Novello) debuted in the 1970s as the Vatican "gossip columnist."
On this tune he takes on the guise of Santa who is really tired of being surrounded by "yes-elves" and getting milk and cookies as well as requests for too-expensive gifts.
10. "Merry Christmas, I Don't Want to Fight Tonight," The Ramones
Christmas causes a lot of stress and punk rock pioneers The Ramones wanted none of it.
It's the second most rocking Christmas song on the planet.
11. "Walking 'Round In Women's Underwear," Bob Rivers' Twisted Christmas
Transvestives celebrate Christmas in a special way, including wearing the wife's "frilly things."
Truly twisted and really funny.
12. "I Wanna Rock U Hard This X-Mas," The Dan Band
Heavy metal Christmas with foul language that imagines Santa rockin' grandma underneath the (expletive tree).
Oh my.13. "A Christmas Carol," Tom Leher
Christmas. Tom Leher knew it was all about the sales: "Hark the herald angels sing, advertising wondrous things ..."
14. "It's So Chic To Be Pregnant at Christmas," Nancy White
This ode to any woman who has been pregnant during the holidays is hilarious.
15. "Come All Ye Faithful," Kickin' Kazoos
As frantic and crazy as being at Wal-Mart on black Friday. Great craziness.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!