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JoeMc on 12/22/2009 at 02:00PM

Learn a New Song for Christmas

The world is awash in Christmas music this week, and I'm not planning to buck the tide. As far as I'm concerned, it's just a matter of picking which Christmas music you care to be drowned by. What's your poison? Will it be Bing? Frank? The Waitresses? Dogs? Power tools?

My Christmas poison will be none of these. I actually like Christmas music, amazingly enough, and every year I do my best to find a few songs that I haven't heard before. What fascinates me about Christmas music is that once you get past the usual suspects, your Bruces and Bobbys and Bings, you find that there are tons of forgotten Christmas songs just waiting to be discovered.

In fact, I just discovered one on the FMA.

Your Christmas song du jour is "I'm Learning a Song for Christmas" by that music hall clacker Jack Pleasants. Jack, who was popular in the UK in the oughts and teens of the last century, made his name in variety, which was the English equivalent of vaudeville. He was billed as "The Bashful Limit," which is a way of saying that he played shy characters in his songs who happened also to be funny. His big hit was "I'm Shy, Mary Ellen, I'm Shy," which sort of sums up his schtick.

Here, Jack is in character for the most part, planning to wow the chicks who called him rude names and wouldn't play reindeer games the Christmas before. Our Rudolph isn't so talented, though, and all he can come up with is "Little Brown Jug," which he suspects he'll end up draining. In his eagerness to improve himself, he goes for singing lessons and encounters his neighbor's streaking wife. Needless to say, he "gets up to C."

Now, isn't this better than "Jingle Bell Rock"? You bet your jug it is.

holiday music


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