The Tenth Day of Christmas: A Tilting Suds Christmas Playlist, Vol. 2.

After the first Tilting Suds Christmas Playlist got rave reviews (JPE: EXCELLENT! THIS IS JUST WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR! Diane: BEAUTIFULLY ECLECTIC! President Barack Obama: THE TILTING SUDS CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST IS WHAT THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO RENEW THE AMERICAN DREAM!), I could not hold back from putting together a second volume.  Let’s jump right in:

1. The Only Thing I Want For ChristmasEddie Cantor – We start with a Christmas song sung by a Jewish singer because this is America and we are cool like that. There is a deeper reading to this song (a Jewish singer performing a song that essentially says “I want to be left alone on Christmas”) but I will lighten up in keeping with the season.

2. Feliz NavidadEl Vez – The Mexican Elvis schtick gets old rather quickly, but this cover (with an arrangement based on Public Image by P.I.L.) is just fine.

3. Blue ChristmasElvis Presley – We follow the Mexican Elvis with Elvis Presley himself. That order does not reflect the esteem in which I hold these artists.

4. Christmas IslandThe Andrews Sisters – My grandmother had a stack of Andrews Sisters’ albums, so their music was a prominent part of my youth.  They were the World War II era equivalent of Wilson-Phillips, minus the morbid obesity, lap band surgery, and drug abuse.

5. Santa & The Doodle-Li-BoopArt Carney – I am assuming that plenty of highballs were consumed during the recording of this sing. I do not have any background information on the recording session, but my guess is that Jackie Gleason was the bandleader.

6. It Came Upon A Midnight ClearBeauSoleil – Nice cajun shuffle arrangement on this traditional Christmas song.

7. I saw Three Ships A SailingMarianne Faithfull & The Chieftains – For the longest time, I dismissed Marianne Faithfull as being nothing more than Mick Jagger’s ex-girlfriend, who, although quite attractive, had no real talent to speak of. Having recently listened to the better part of her recordings from the Sixties, I admit that I was wrong about her lacking talent.  This song was recorded with the Chieftains several years back, and her world weary voice accentuates the song’s hopefulness.

Because nothing says Christmas like Marianne Faithfull in lingerie

8. Christmas in New OrleansLouis Armstrong – Louis Armstrong singing about New Orleans. Yeah, the song is slight, but it doesn’t matter, does it?

9. Have Yourself a Merry Little ChristmasMarah – Did anyone think I would make a Christmas playlist and not have Marah on it? Let’s move on.

10. Christmas Must Be TonightMy Morning Jacket – This uses the same arrangement as the Band did, and Jim James is not the singer that Rick Danko is, but I still like this version.

11. Here It Is ChristmastimeOld 97s – I am not a huge fan of these guys, but I do like this song

12. WinterludeJoe Ely – While it is technically not a Christmas song, it is Joe Ely singing a Dylan song, and it has a winter solstice feel to it, so it makes the cut.

13. Frosty The SnowmanFlaco Jimenez – Anybody having tamales tomorrow night? I am. It is apparently a Texas tradition, but what do I know, I am from New Jersey.

14. O Come O Come EmmanuelBelle & Sebastian – This band’s quiet sound is nicely suited for traditional Christmas songs, as you can hear.

15. What Child Is This?Sarah McLachlan – Including Sarah McLachlan on a playlist usually results in instantaneous revocation of your Man Card, but in my defense, this is a Christmas Playlist, and she does a nice version of this song.

16. I’ll Be Home For ChristmasTift Merritt – I loved Tift Merritt’s first few albums, but have not heard her more recent work. I admit that I was initially drawn to her because she was easy on the eyes, but she has a good blue-eyed soul voice and is an accomplished songwriter. This song’s melancholy feel is perfect for her.

17. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)The Ramones – We end with the best rock and roll band to come from New York. Merry Christmas Everyone, No Fighting!

Download the Tilting Suds Christmas Playlist, Vol. II here.

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