Episode 223: Mother Mary, Husband Nick


The Tony Awards are this Sunday, so we’re celebrating with a musical-theatre-themed request! At listener Emily’s suggestion, we check out two Christmas songs from the not-Tony-nominated show “Songs for a New World.” The first, “Surabaya Santa,” is an intriguing idea that turns out upsetting, while the second, “Christmas Lullaby,” mostly works? Mostly?

Thanks again to Emily for the requests!

Episode 222: Biscuits & Bag Lore

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In honour (with a u) of National Biscuit Day in the UK, we’re covering two tunes about cookies! These holiday songs are about cookies, and only about cookies, and definitely nothing else. “Christmas Cookies” by RuPaul, for example, is definitely about the baking of cookies and not about being extremely horny. And “The Cookie Song” by Amanda Duncan is about combining ingredients into dough and then heating that dough to create delicious cookies and – I can’t emphasize this enough – definitely not about being extremely horny except probably for Santa in this one.

Thank you to Daniel the Macy’s Elf for requesting “Christmas Cookies”!

Episode 221: Pick It Up On the Housetop


This week, by request, we add some ska to our ever-growing list! “I Got This Neighbor” by MU330 is a charmingly short song that has us reminiscing about ska bands of our own youth, while “Big Ol’ Drummer Bwoy” by Sons of Odin offers some mixed messages about the appeal of percussion instruments.

Thank you to James for these requests!

Episode 220: Are We Human? Or Are We Santa?


This week, by request, we’re covering two more of The Killers’ many, many holiday releases! As you may remember from Episode 113, Ian has a very special, very hateful relationship towards their non-holiday oeuvre. Yet we find ourselves in an unlikely disagreement about the surprisingly serious “Joseph, Better You Than Me”, featuring Neil Tennant and Elton John, and in a sort of reluctant harmony about predictably silly “The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball”.

Thank you to Phil for these requests!

Episode 219: Every Mother’s Child


This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and we’ve got two Christmas songs about moms… well, at least, two songs that acknowledge motherhood as a concept. “The Christmas Song” as performed by Fantasia just barely qualifies but we wanted to talk about it so there, while “A Mother’s Christmas Wish” by Olivia Newton-John is basically a floral-patterned Hallmark card of a holiday song.

Episode 218: Deck the Halls, Eat the Rich


It’s International Workers’ Day and we’re celebrating with some holiday songs for solidarity! “We’re Following the Wrong Star” by Billy Bragg is an evocative Christmas anthem for the working class, while “Stop the Cavalry” by Jona Lewie is a weird and almost whimsical holiday song about the horrors of war.

Thank you to Liam for the requests! Here’s a link to the article that we mentioned in this episode.

Episode 217: Grown Up Songs for Families of Faith


Ok, we got the giggles out of our systems last week, and we’re ready to talk about music like a couple of proper grown-ups. This week we reflect on Passover and Easter and listen to two more traditional holiday songs – “Mi Yimalel” as performed by Neal Katz, and “O Holy Night” as performed by David Phelps. It’s serious stuff this week, y’all. Also: RJ performs a wee robot song.

Thank you to Andrew for requesting “O Holy Night”!

Episode 216: The True Meaning of Weed Day

You may be celebrating Passover or Easter this week, but here on HARK as per tradition, we’re celebrating April the 20th. Join us as we try to invigorate our 4/20 spirit with two Christmas songs about the dank herb – “Santa Claus is Smoking Reefer” by Squirrel Nut Zippers and “Christmas Trees” by Major Lazer.

Episode 215: Good King What’s His Name


This week by request, we’re looking at some old-school carols that are new to the list! “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman/We Three Kings” by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan brings us comfort and joy, while “Good King Wenceslaus” by The Roches comes to us bearing charm, wine, and life lessons.

Thank you to lettinggoisthehardestpart and Thom for the requests!

Episode 214: LISTEN! The Holiday Weather Forecast


What is the sound of snow falling? Is it like one hand clapping, or is it like, a person playing with a big pile of buttons? We investigate this and other ethereal mysteries as we review “Listen, the Snow is Falling” by Galaxie 500 and its predecessor “Listen, the Snow is Falling” by Yoko Ono.

Thank you to Neil for the request!