Blog battle: Best 80s holiday songs
Time to dust off ye ole holiday CDs in a seemingly fruitless attempt to find something tolerable for family gatherings. (And to listen to on your iPod at work while you co-workers are sharing low-cal cookie recipes a little too loudly.)
To make this year's list a little more fun, I have officially challenged Sean Daly's blogging baroness, Stephanie Hayes, to a blog battle.
To my advantage, I was slobber-knocked on egg nog and teetering on bar stools in the 80s while Stephanie (high school class of 2001!) was still eating strained carrots from her own high chair. Let's see if she has any tricks left up her Garanimals.
We each picked our top 5 holiday songs from the 80s -- and the worst holiday song from the decade. Check out her list and then ... "prepare for greatness, Lloyd."
TOP 5 HOLIDAY SONGS OF THE 80s:
5. Christmas in Hollis - Run D.M.C.: The de facto holiday theme song of MTV during the 80s. "The rhymes you hear are the rhymes of Darryl's. But each and every year we bust Christmas carols." (Watch video)
4. 2000 Miles - The Pretenders: A more subtle Christmas song with a dreamy, spinning sound. Perfect for a long drive through snowy weather. "Outside under the purple sky, diamonds in the snow sparkle. Our hearts were singing ... It felt like Christmastime." (Live version)
3. Twelve Days Of Christmas - Bob & Doug McKenzie: Where are Bob and Doug when they're needed most? Granted, it's a novelty/comedy song, but dare I say the best one of the 80s? ("Fiiiive golden toques!") Of course, back then I no idea what a "toque" was. Imagine my disappointment to learn it was only a hat. "Boy, that song was a beauty ... it moved me. Yah, it ranks up there with Stairway to Heaven!" (Listen)
2. Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses: The late great Patty Donahue led this Ohio-bred new wave act that was probably best known for "I Know What Boys Like" and the theme song to "Square Pegs." Their holiday tune weaves a clever story about a single woman so busy, she decides to sit out Christmas this year. But fate -- and holiday magic -- eventually restore her faith. "When what to my wondering eyes should appear? In the line is that guy I've been chasing all year!" (Listen)
1. Do They Know It's Christmas - Band-Aid: Sure, it's got some painful lines in it ("So tonight thank god it's them instead of you!"). But look at the lineup of great English and Irish musicians that Bob Geldof pulled together (Sting, Duran Duran, Paul Young, U2, George Michael just to name a fraction.) And then tell me you don't get chills during the ending chorus when the bells start ringing. "Here's to you, raise a glass for everyone!" (Watch video)
And the worst song: There are so many to choose from. But the title goes to someone who sadly was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week. Madonna's "Santa Baby" (listen if you dare) is a criminal assault on every sense of my very being. Fans of Stuck in the 80s, who submitted their own horror stories on the subject this week, were nearly unanimous in their contempt:
- "Hearing her straining to sound like a weird version of Betty Boop doesn't say Christmas to me." -- Matt in Denver
- "Cloying, annoying, and only redeemed by the fact that it was recorded for the Very Special Christmas project and helped raise money for the Special Olympics." -- Cait
- "If my radio had a neck, I would choke it every time that came on." -- Donnie
Alas, the venom must end and you can now vote: Who had the better Top 5 list?