Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gee Whiz ... It's Christmas (Again!), Part 4

My 2011 holiday CD is titled Gee Whiz ... It's Christmas (Again!), and my first posts on this new blog have featured some of my thoughts about the individual tracks that appear on it. I'm reviewing the 43 tracks from start to finish, however, the tracks will be presented in reverse order within each day's individual post. Today's post looks at Tracks 13 through 16:

Track 16
Christmas Prison, by Honky Tonk Confidential (2006)
Honky Tonk Confidential
Since its founding in 1997, the Washington, DC-based band Honky Tonk Confidential has released four albums and attracted lots of favorable media attention. Their music has been described as “retro/alternative country,” and they have at least an album's worth of holiday tunes among their original material. “Christmas Prison” can be found on the band's 2006 release, Who Gets the Fruitcake This Year? It paints a frightening picture of what bad girls and boys can expect if they don’t change their ways:
Little kids take my advice
Don’t be naughty please be nice
Else you’ll have to pay the price
Down in Christmas Prison
Locks and bars on all the doors
Cold grey stone upon the floors
All the elves wear .44s
Down in Christmas Prison
Down in Christmas Prison
Is where you’ll spend your Yule
If you think that being bad is good or hip or cool
Maximum security is the place you’re bound to be
Don’t believe me? Wait and see
Down in Christmas Prison

What your parents said is true
Everything you say and do
Warden Santa’s watching you
Down in Christmas Prison

He heard Little Betty cuss
He heard Charlotte make a fuss
Now they’re here with all of us
Down in Christmas Prison

Down in Christmas Prison
You’ll have no Christmas cheer
Bread and water stuffing
Is all you’ll get this year
And when at last they set you free
You’ll walk out and it will be
February already
Down in Christmas Prison
The band’s latest album is called Road Kill Stew and Other News and features CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer, who penned the lyrics to four tracks and sings on one, titled, appropriately enough, "TV Anchorman." This and other albums from Honky Tonk Confidential are available on their website or through amazon.com or iTunes.  

Track 15
Christmas Lost and Found (Part 3), from Davey and Goliath (1960)
See Comments on Track 6

Track 14
Christmas Is For Everyone, by The Neighborhood Kids

Christmas is for everyone
But more for some than others
Christmas is for those who love
Their fellow men as brothers
For those who hear the reindeer and whose tears flow freely when
The carolers sing peace on Earth
And goodwill among men
Using this standard, is Christmas for you?

Track 13
Christmas Arrives Early for First Family, Hearst News of the Day Newsreel (1961)
This track is an excerpt from a 1961 newsreel film produced for American theaters by the Hearst Corporation as part of its News of the Day series. I had no idea newsreels were still being made in the early 1960s, but it seems the Hearst films were actually produced until 1967.  As a longtime Kennedy partisan, I found this clip extremely poignant. Tragically, of course, the Kennedys spent only two Christmases in the White House, as President Kennedy was inaugurated in January 1961 and assassinated shortly before Thanksgiving in 1963.

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