Brighten Your Holiday Mood With Lesser-Known Seasonal Tunes

It’s good that Aaron Castle likes Christmas music.

The Tampa Bay Area actor is in the cast of the Straz-produced Plaid Tidings, the holiday-themed sequel to Forever Paid, and will be hearing, and singing, a set full of holiday tunes many, many times between now and Christmas.

The cast of Plaid Tidings performing on stage (2022).

(And if you’re wondering what bananas have to do with Christmas, find out by purchasing tickets today!)

“I love it,” Aaron says of holiday music. “I grew up in a very Christmas-forward household and my family enjoyed all of the sounds of Christmas.”

So we know where Aaron stands in this eternal year-end debate: Christmas music – love it or hate it?

It’s our contention that hating Christmas music isn’t necessarily a sign of impending Grinchhood. More likely it’s just overexposure.

Taking a cue from classic rock radio programmers of the ‘80s and ‘90s, the powers that be have determined that the public will hear the same couple dozen or so holiday tunes over and over and over.

Pictured: a visual metaphor for how we all feel hearing the same holiday songs on repeat, without the smile of course

This causes those less amenable to these repeat offerings to exclaim “If I hear ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ one more time I’m gonna punt an elf,“ or words to that effect.

Much like the inexorable march of time, it is impossible to escape from Mariah Carey’s holiday classic.

But please, disenchanted music lovers, hold off on assaulting Santa’s helpers and seek out some tunes that celebrate the spirit. Here are a few suggestions to refresh our batch of holiday tuneage:

  • “Nut Rocker” by B. Bumble & the Stingers: This lively repurposing of Tchaikovsky’s melodies deserves to be a Christmas perennial.
  • “Santa’s Beard” by They Might Be Giants: What are the holidays without a little romantic paranoia? “I don’t like that fat guy around,” fumes the narrator, whose wife has a bit of a St. Nicholas fixation.
  • “There’s Trouble Brewin’” by Jack Scott: Rockabilly cat Scott is none too thrilled about his missus being out with old Santa Claus. Not sure what he’s got in store or the big guy but if I was Santa, or even a flying reindeer, I’d watch my back.
  • “We Wanna See Santa Do the Mambo” by John Greer. Papa (Noel) loves mambo! So does the rest of the family, all of whom are willing to give up their presents for the singular joy of seeing St. Nicholas do the mambo. What a sight that must be. What a time to be alive.
  • “Five Pound Box of Money” by Pearl Bailey. You’ve heard the coy gold-digger come-ons of “Santa Baby” covered by every diva and divette out there. Our Ms. Bailey prefers to be more direct. A car? A yacht? That YOU picked out? No, no, no. Just get a box. Gather five pounds worth of money. Preferably large bills. But money in box. Give to Pearl. Capice?

There. Five holiday songs, untainted by overplay, to make your season bright. We can’t promise you won’t get sideswiped by a stray “Last Christmas” or, heaven forbid, “Little Drummer Boy,” but at least you know where to hear some respite.

Plaid Tidings is at the Jaeb Theater through Dec. 24.

This gif works well both as a good way to end the blog and as a shameless plug from our resident caption writer to watch the best holiday movie ever made, The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Comments are closed.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: