11 Holy Tunes: I am dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
Every night that I gather round the fire with the neighborhood gentiles, I reach my hand toward the fire and thank my Jewish bothers and sisters for the joyous tunes that have been provided for a tradition that I rarely enjoy. If it wasn’t for the music: the nostalgic bells, the sound of snow on the xylophone, the low moaning of animals in the stable…no, wait…the sound of bells, the chime of children’s laughter, the echoing harmonies that is so prevalent in all Christmas tunes, then I might just have joined the crowds at the local Chinese restaurant. No matter what the reason for penning these tunes, I am appreciative. And compared to the mournful Christian songs, I am thrilled.
11- “The Christmas Song” written and performed by Mel Torme.
A classic, edgy Christmas performance. I think this was actually a protest song, but no one got it.
10- “A New Deal for Christmas,” from “Annie”, by Charnin and Strauss.
Bias against red-heads is racist. And she deserves a new deal, and not a suspect relationship with a rich (Santa?), powerful (Santa?), bald man (not Santa).
9- “Let It Snow” by Sammy Cahn.
This is a protest song, as well. When someone sings “Let it Snow” they are conjuring up the great ol’ blizzard of ’18 that ground Christmas to a halt.
8- “Santa Baby” by Joan Javitz.
I am not quite sure I am with Joan, here, if you know what I mean. Is this about illegitimate elves, foreplay banter, or S and M with a harness tied to the North Pole?
7- “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays” by Al Stillman.
Actually, Paris is pretty cool.
6- “Little Drum Machine Boy” by Beck.
Beck is so diverse and hip, this is so, like, like, the little drummer boy but, modern, you know and more hip and stuff?
5- “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” by Donald Gardner.
Thanks to welfare reform.
4- “Winter Wonderland” by Felix Bernard and Richard Smith.
This is hard to translate into puddle-town trope. Mushy leaves, rivers in roads and… ?
3- “Jingle Bell Rock” interpreted by Neil Diamond.
Seeing Neil’s torment when he is almost served ham at Christmas dinner in the quasi-biopic film “Jazz Singer” is a cinematic stuffed stocking.
2-“Jingle Bells” interpreted by Barbara Streisand.
Babs goes positively ape-shit on this herky-jerky jingle ride to some crazed Grandma’s house, which is about to be burned to the ground by her lunatic lover. Highly recommended!
1-“White Christmas” by Irving Berlin.
Puh-leez, I am speechless. I love this song, and it has been #1 on the charts for 2,300 weeks. When Berlin was asked, ‘How could a Jew write a Christmas song’, he is reported to have stated, “I wrote it as an American.” Berlin bless America. I am dreaming of peace and a white Christmas, thanks Irving.