"Christmas in Hollis"
As promised yesterday, on with the countdown...
6. "Frosty the Snowman," the El Orbits. If you have kids, they'll love the Dazzling Pete Gray's Jimmy Durante impersonation.
5. "Christmas in Hollis," Run-DMC. The boisterous spirit of Queens's most illustrious (and cold illin') rappers retains its title near the top of American yule anthems.
"Merry Xmas Everybody"
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4. "Merry Xmas Everybody," Slade. The very greatest rock and roll Christmas song of all time is much better known in England than America right now. Change that by rockin' it yourself.
3. "Kung Fu Christmas," Christopher Guest with Gilda Radner. Philly-style solid-gold soul musical and lyrical conventions are underlined in this masterful send-up of East Coast R&B circa 1975. Santa's about to arrive, bringing jingle bell jive and kung-fu Christmases to all. Gilda Radner's guest verse is alone worth the price.
2. "Merry Christmas to Everybody," The Bells of Joy. Yes, Austin does have some serious soul, as attested by this call-and-response gospel Xmas jam. If you don't shout "hallelujah" by the third chorus, you are the devil.
1. "The Twelve Days of Christmas," Bob and Ron Copper. Old-school harmonizing by these rural English brothers never fails to put me in the mood. I also dig the alternate lyrics about "bears a-baiting" and such. (Full disclosure: My great-uncle Alan recorded this song long ago.) - John Nova Lomax