Happy Thursday, music fans! This is part three of my Christmas-themed Throwback Thursday blogs for December, but I'm doing something a little different this week. The stress of last-minute gift shopping (and being broke) and pushed-up holiday-writing deadlines is making me feel a *tad* edgy. Don't worry, I'm not in full-on Grinch mode. But something about these sad/haunting/dark Christmas songs is making me feel better. Enjoy (you know, or not).
Robert Croo, "Coventry Carol"
One of the darkest Christmas songs in history, "Coventry Carol" was written in the 1500s for the Feast of the Holy Innocents (Dec. 28), which, if you're unfamiliar with that baby-killing charmer King Herod, honors the hundreds of baby boys who were murdered at Herod's command. "Coventry Carol" was named after the city of Coventry in England, where the townspeople acted out a play called the Pageant of the Shearman and Tailors, which depicted the slaughter. The song is written from the point of view of a mourning mother (but I've also heard it could be from Mary's point of view).
Danny Elfman, "Making Christmas," from The Nightmare Before Christmas
My brothers and I used to watch this movie together all the time. It's the perfect antidote to the fury induced by those stupid blow-up Christmas lawn decorations, that horrible Paul McCartney Christmas song and all other overly cute holiday crap. "That'll teach ya to piss me off around Christmas. Enjoy your rat hat."
"No More Toymakers to the King," from Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
I get sick satisfaction from this song, which is sung by Burgermeister Meisterburger as he's declaring all toys illegal. Yes. Yesssss.
Rev. John Henry Hopkins, "We Three Kings of Orient Are"
Myrrh is mine: its bitter perfume/ Breathes a life of gathering gloom/ Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying/ Sealed in the stone-cold tomb." Christmas and death go so well together.
Johnny Marks, "The Island of Misfit Toys," from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Bunch of weirdo toys singing about how ostracized and isolated they are because no kid wants them—I remember relating to them when I was a kid. But tell me how a water pistol that can shoot jelly can't also shoot water?
Do you have a song that takes you back? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to
have it featured on next week's Throwback Thursday blog.