Monday’s Music Moves Me: Christmas Novelty Songs

Welcome to the Christmas Music Extravaganza! I went back through some of my Christmas music posts, and found one of my first Christmas music posts, featuring the songs you’ll see here. Naturally, some of them have vanished from YouTube, but I was able to replace them. So, without further ado: here are ten Christmas novelty songs.

  1. Gayla Peevey, “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” I never get sick of this one, and the video is priceless, particularly where she starts marching around the stage. Gayla went on to get her degree in education and was a teacher for years, after which she started an advertising agency. She had a few records between 1953 (when this was recorded) and 1962, recording as Jamie Horton from 1959-1962.
  2. Allan Sherman, “The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas” My favorite recording artist until The Beatles arrived in 1964. He was never the same after that, but in the late fifties and early Sixties, he was the king of song parodies, like this one.
  3. “Weird Al” Yankovic, “Christmas At Ground Zero” And speaking of the king of song parodies, the current holder of that title is “Weird Al” Yankovic. Here’s a cheery tune about celebrating Christmas after a nuclear war.
  4. Spike Jones and His City Slickers, “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” From Spike’s Christmas album, It’s A Spike Jones Christmas. That album has one of the most beautiful arrangements of “Silent Night” I’ve heard, showing that, for all the madness, Spike was a great musician.
  5. Ross Bagdasarian, “The Chipmunk Song” The genius behind Alvin and the Chipmunks with their signature song. Just about everyone knows the trick to Ross used to produce the voices of Simon, Theodore, and Alvin. A friend of mine recorded his version of The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” that way.
  6. Cheech & Chong, “Santa Claus and His Old Lady” This was the first Cheech & Chong recording I heard, and right then I knew I wanted their album for Christmas. I ended up having to buy it for myself for my birthday three months later. Mom listened to it, and was not amused.
  7. Tom Lehrer, “A Christmas Carol” Math professor, musician, comedian and social commentator Tom Lehrer recorded this back in his heyday, the early Sixties, when he was a regular performer on the hit TV series That Was The Week That Was.
  8. Stan Freburg, “A Green Christmas” Stan was another great one for song parodies, as well as comedy bits like this one, which decried the commercialization of the Feast of the Nativity, all the way back in 1958.
  9. The Singing Dogs, “Jingle Bells” From Dr. Demento Presents The Greatest Christmas Novelty CD Of All Time. Barry Hansen, a/k/a Dr. Demento, had a weekly radio show where he presented novelty records for two hours and adding his commentary. The radio show is gone, but there’s still an online version you can hear on TuneIn.
  10. Elmo & Patsy, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” The Christmas novelty song everyone loves to hate. It’s been around for close to 40 years now.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for December 4, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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26 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Christmas Novelty Songs

  1. Elmo is (was?) a Bay Area veterinarian who would occasionally do a call-in radio program. Ross Bagdassarian played the songwriter in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Rear Window. Merry New Year.

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  2. I’m baaack! I actually know some of these songs! The first one for sure and the last oneand the Chipmunk song which I hate..anything with those chipmunks. Weird Al’s song is funny but depressing. You could also add Bob and Doug McKenzie’s version of the 12 Day’s of Christmas…very Canadian and funny.

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    1. Thanks for reminding me about Bob and Doug. I’ll have to include that one at some point. I remember their “Christmas show” on SCTV, where they were hanging beer cans and cigarettes on the tree…

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  3. I remember most of these. I tended to like them much better when I was a kid, but novelty songs are often rather childish anyway. Personally, I much prefer hearing the more traditional Christmas songs of faith and worship.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  4. LOL cute ones. I had not heard a lot of them. One of my favorites is Rosie O’Donnell and the Dixie Chicks doing “Christmas With The Family.” I have to hear that at least once a season 🙂 Happy Monday, John.

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    1. There are literally hundreds of Christmas novelty songs that I didn’t include. Dr. Demento used to do them on his show every year, and he had a good three weeks’ worth of material. Christmas is a great time of the year for novelty songs, I think because it’s a happy time and something everyone understands, even though not everyone celebrates it.

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  5. Well, I can tell you this little girl & her family has mega royalties on this one that’s for sure! it’s just too cute! Thanks for sharing my friend and the other tunes too. Hubby loves ol’ weird Al… bwahhahahaha MERRY CHRISTMAS my friend! Sending Christmas ho ho ho’s & hugs!

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    1. I thought she had just done the one song, but she had a pretty active career that went for about ten years. She’s close to 70 now; wonder if she can still march around like that?

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  6. John,

    LOL what fun! I remember most of these Christmas novelty songs and they are always great fun to hear again and again. The Singing Dogs “Jingle Bells” is one of the newest ones I’ve heard in recent years which I thought was quite clever. Thanks for making me smile this morning and for joining the 4M gang on the dance floor, my friend.

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    1. I first heard The Singing Dogs the same day I first heard “Santa Claus and His Old Lady,” to give you an idea how long those have been around. I don’t care how many times I’ve heard it, it always makes me laugh. The best part of Christmas (aside from what the holiday stands for) for me is the novelty songs.

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