Episode 138: New Year’s Hopes and Prayers

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In honor of three big calendar-changing holidays this week – Rosh Hashanah, the Islamic New Year, and the Autumnal Equinox – we’re listening to two New Year songs! The lively tune of “Gonna Make It Through This Year” by Great Lake Swimmers disguises some darker lyrics, while the complexities of “New Year’s Prayer” by Jeff Buckley are full of light.

Episode 137: I’m Gonna Text Message Santa

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HARK: hey
HARK: this ep has 2 songs abt texting
HARK: we listened to “Text Me Merry Christmas” by Straight No Chaser featuring Kristen Bell and “Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)” by Dragonette
HARK: lol
HARK: pls forgive me

Thank you to John for the request!

Episode 136: Actually

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This week we’re covering a request to talk about the two musical highlights of the British Christmas rom-com that you may love to hate, hate to love, or in our case, calmly accept how much more you love it than it deserves. From Love Actually, we discuss “All I Want for Christmas is You” as performed by Olivia Olson and “Christmas is All Around” as performed by fictional character Billy Mack. Thank you to Tom and John for the requests!

Episode 135: Jingle Horse 3: A Jingle Dot Horse Carol

We received a few requests for a song from “A Christmas Carol” (1951) and made the rare ruling that it is not Holiday Enough (or a complete enough performance) for us to rank. But in the spirit (get it) of those requests, we listen to two Dickens-related songs, “A Christmas Carol” by Tom Lehrer and “Ebeneezer” by The Wizards of Winter! Thanks to Douglas for requesting “A Christmas Carol” and to captain-mcgloo and anonymous for requesting “Barbara Allen”!

Episode 134: The Friendly Beasts and Where to Find Them

This week we tackle two songs about animal friends – but for once, none of them are pulling a sleigh. By request, we listen to the cheerful Nativity song “El Burrito De BelĂ©n” performed by La Rondallita and pair it with the surprisingly somber “The Friendly Beasts” as performed by Art Garfunkel and Amy Grant. Thank you to officialcomemierda for the request!

Episode 133: Silver & Gold & Blackmail

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This week in the Yukon is Discovery Day, which celebrates(?) the Klondike Gold Rush – so we listen to two Christmas songs that have that gold fever! “Silver & Gold” by Burl Ives is a delightful classic, but a little unclear in its values — while Kelly Clarkson’s Santa-Baby-meets-surf-pop tune “4 Carats” knows exactly what it is about.

Episode 131: Greensleeves the Reindeer

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This week we get to some more requests from the Southern Hemisphere! Our listeners from Australia have tasked us with listening to two songs about Santa’s less popular animal companions, “Six White Boomers” by notable terrible person Rolf Harris and “Fabian” by Tripod. Thank you to Moopot and our anonymous listener (who may or may not be a monotreme) for the requests!

Episode 130: Embrace Sentimentality

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It’s hot here in the Northern Hemisphere, so we decide to cool off with music devoted to winter rather than any one holiday. Specifically, we listen to two takes on “Winter Wonderland”, which we have gone 130 episodes without encountering! Both versions of this familiar song manage to catch us by surprise – the first recorded performance by Richard Himber and his Ritz-Carlton Hotel Orchestra, and a more recent rendition by Earth Wind & Fire.

Episode 129: A Very Special Birthday

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This week, we’re celebrating a very special birthday for a very special podcast boy. Ian is turning three decades old this week! And so is A Very Special Christmas, the 1987 holiday charity album that along with debuting “Christmas in Hollis”, featured the two songs that Ian inexplicably chose for this week’s episode. We listen to “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by John Cougar Mellencamp and “Santa Baby” by Madonna because… well, it’s birthday boy’s choice.