December 1, 2011

From the Editor: Not necessarily a fan of the classic carols? There are alternatives

By ROD HARMON Deputy Managing Editor

Inside this week's print issue of GO, you'll find a special insert: The 2011 Christmas Songbook. Always a popular feature, the songbook provides sheet music and/or lyrics to timeless classics, from religious-themed carols to "Frosty the Snowman."

At my house, we've been singing variations of the classics. Keep in mind that we're not your average family: We have lasagna for Thanksgiving, enjoy TV shows and books about medical oddities, and talk to each other in character voices (think Voldemort giving his only wand to a little girl just to make her stop whining).

It occurred to me that there might be others like us out there, so here are a few sources for "alternative" holiday songs that you can enjoy yourself.

First, there's "The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook" by John Boswell and Lenore Skenazy (Broadway Books). If your family gatherings inevitably evolve into shouting matches, sobbing children and drunken uncles, you'll enjoy singing "O Holy Fight" (sung to the tune of "O Holy Night"), "Evil Brother Stevie" (sung to the tune of "Good King Wenceslas") and "The Mother-in-Law Song" (sung to the tune of "Away in a Manger.") You may want to put this book away when the family arrives, though.

My daughter's personal favorite is "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies! A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols" by Michael P. Spradlin and Jeff Weigel (Harper). With tunes such as "We Three Spleens" and "Deck the Halls with Parts of Wally," it's the perfect source for caroling just before that holiday feast.

If you don't want to spend the money on an entire songbook, the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine has a special insert of holiday song parodies by Rob Sheffield, all with a rock 'n' roll theme. There's "Rudolph the Black Sabbath Reindeer" sung to the tune of "Iron Man," "Purple Sleighs" sung to the tune of "Purple Haze," and "Mangerland," sung to the tune of "Jungleland."

I'll probably be singing verses of "Morrissey the Snowman" throughout the holiday season to my friend and co-worker Aimsel Ponti, who's a huge huge HUGE Smiths fan. I leave you with this sample:

"Morrissey the Snowman

Was a pale and morbid soul

He was made of snow

He read Wilde and Poe

And his repartee was droll

 

"Morrissey the Snowman

Loved to make the children cry

He would moan and sing,

'I can't wait for spring

And the dreaded sunny day I die.' "

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

rharmon@pressherald.com

 

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