I’ve always enjoyed slightly odd, irreverent holiday music. This is probably a result of growing up overseas during my childhood years. Our family collected lots of offbeat music some of which migrated into our holiday traditions. The preference for odd versions of holiday music has stayed with me into adulthood. So I have compiled a list of songs of what it would be like if you came over to my house and I played for you all my old favorite holiday songs and a few new ones.
A perfect example is Frances Yip - an artist I’m thrilled to subject a new audience to. My folks found her Christmas cassette tape in a store in Hong Kong in the early 80’s and it became an instant family classic. Long before most Americans were introduced to Chinese Turkey and “Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra” in ‘A Christmas Story’, we were already cultivating a love of East Asian Christmas songs. I’m a newcomer to the K-Pop, that’s Korean Pop (thanks Gangnam Style). I imagine these random Seoul pop-starlets being dragged out of a Myeondong Department store to belt out ‘Silver Bells’....a whiff of kimshi still on their breath….
My enduring fascination with the music of New Orleans and the Caribbean is also reflected in several of the artists showcased here.
Please enjoy but lest you judge my taste in holiday music I say, 'Let him who is without a love of Claymation throw the first Burle Ives album.'