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Tags: holiday_songs

I Know What We're Gonna Do This Christmas

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 12, 2017 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

In 2007, Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, former writers of "Rocko's Modern Life", created a little animated show for Disney called "Phineas & Ferb". The show is about two little stepbrothers named Phineas and Ferb - what, you thought they were gonna be named Phil and Bob?!? - who live every day of their Summer vacation to its fullest. Through sophisticated computer technology, and a box of crayons, they manage to create every type of wild thing imaginable to have fun each day, all while their sister, Candace, tries in vain to prove to their mother that they're up to such crazy shenanigans. Meanwhile, their pet platypus, named Perry, is really a secret agent, who spends nearly every day away on secret missions against the (not so) evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz - who really should hire a lawyer and sue the agency Perry works for (OWCA) since they seem to be breaking a lot of laws by keeping tabs on every little thing he does in the guise of "stopping him from doing evil things". Is OWCA a branch of the U.S. government?!?

Music plays a big part in the series, and personally, I think the original songs they use on the show are some of the best I've heard on TV since Animaniacs. Disney, of course, made sure that the fan's desire for the music did not go unfulfilled, and that their coffers did not go unfilled. They've released several albums full of Phineas & Ferb music. The first half of the 2010 album Phineas & Ferb: Holiday Favorites contains songs from the "Phineas & Ferb Christmas Vacation" episode, while the second half is all new songs recorded exclusively for the album. While this isn't my favorite Phineas & Ferb album, and I'm very disappointed that there isn't even one Hanukkah song on it - the Isabella Garcia-Shapiro character is, as you could tell from her name, Jewish - I do think that it's a great album, overall. Much better than other cartoon series holiday albums I've heard.

My two most favorite songs from the album are "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" (performed by the cast) and "Perry Saves Christmas" (performed by Major Monogram & Carl the Intern, the two people who give Perry his missions). "Twelve Days" is the traditional song you all know and love, except that each item is tailored to what each character wants, and not the usual list of items. Dr. Doofenshmirtz changes his want on every verse.

1st Day - Phineas: A jet-powered rocket ski.
2nd Day - Candace: Two busted brothers.
3rd Day - Isabella: A sash full of patches.
4th Day - Jeremy: A silver guitar.
5th Day - Dr. Doofenshmirtz: The entire Tri-State Area / A large portion of the Tri-State Area / Two of the three states that comprise the Tri-State Area / One single state / Five golden rings / Promotion to colonel / [feels put on the spot for "one thing that I want from this mythic all-powerful gift giver who only comes once a year"] / Some almond brittle.
6th Day - Baljeet: A kiss from a girl.
7th Day - Buford: More nerds to bully.
8th Day - Major Monogram: Promotion to colonel.
9th Day - Perry: (chatters)
10th Day - Carl: A job that pays me money.
11th Day - Vanessa: My own set of wheels.
12th Day - Ferb: (spoken) One line of dialogue.

"Perry Saves Christmas" is a rewritten version of "Frosty The Snowman", with Major Monogram singing about how Perry saves Christmas from Dr. Doofenshmirtz while Carl the Intern provides occasional commentary. It's listed in the album notes as "Frosty The Snowman (Recorded as "Perry Saves Christmas")", which apparently makes that its official title. I'm guessing that there's a legal issue involved here, just like how Weird Al Yankovic was legally required to title one of his parodies, "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*", complete with backslash AND asterisk (source: "UHF" DVD Audio Commentary at 0:35:15).

MP3s of both songs are available below, and the lyrics for "Perry" are available on page 2. The album features the singing talents of Vincent Martella (as Phineas), Ashley Tisdale (as Candace), Alyson Stoner (as Isabella), Mitchel Musso (as Jeremy), Olivia Olson (as Vanessa), Bobby Gaylor (as Buford), Maulik Pancholy (as Baljeet), Dan Povenmire (as Dr. Doofenshmirtz), Jeff "Swampy" Marsh (as Major Monogram), Tyler Mann (as Carl the Intern), Thomas Sangster (as Ferb), Jaret Reddick, Laura Dickinson, Danny Jacob, Aaron Daniel Jacob, Jeff Gunn, Vangie Gunn, and Robbie Wyckoff.




For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.

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A Not-So-Rosie Christmas

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

One of the perks of being rich and famous is that you get to torture the public with vanity projects showing off your (lack of) talent, simply because you have the funds and means to do such stupid things. It's even worse when you con the public into paying for you to "play" with your friends. Such was the case with Rosie O'Donnell. After years of doing stand-up and crappy movies (Exit to Eden, Car 54 Where Are You?, Another Stakeout) and failed sitcoms (I'll always remember the long-forgotten 1992 FOX series "Stand by Your Man" - Melissa Gilbert and Sam McMurray deserved better), someone, somewhere, thought to give Rosie a daytime talk show in 1996. For what ever reason, it became REALLY popular - and it generated Rosie merchandise. I remember there being not one, but TWO, dolls crafted in her image: a cartoonish talking plushie (with a freakin' HUGE forehead!), and a more realistic legitimate "Friend of Barbie" doll. If Rosie could get two dolls, why the heck has there never been a Rita Rudner doll?!?

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Anyway, Rosie got rich and popular, so she decided that she wanted to put out a Christmas album, teaming her up with some of the famous (and more talented) people she idolized; like Celine Dion and Cher. A Rosie Christmas was released to a brainwashed public in 1999, at the height of her popularity. To be fair, she did give the proceeds to charity (as far as I know), but that doesn't mean that the album should exist in the first place. Rosie was very popular with children, and some of the songs on the album were performed with then-popular cartoon characters. It's two of these tracks that are the subject of this post.

The sixth track is Elmo from Sesame Street (voiced by Kevin Clash) and Rosie performing "Do You Hear What I Hear?" A minute into the song she fumbles the line "your turn" and they left it in! When Rosie is the best singer in a duet, you know you have a problem. Kevin Clash is so much better as Spinter in the 1990s live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, and as Baby Sincliair in Dinosaurs, but Elmo's the only role that's payed his bills. Good for him, but bad for the sanity of children everywhere.

The eleventh track is Angelica Pickles from Rugrats (voiced by Cheryl Chase) and Rosie performing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". Who thought it was a good idea to back the vocals with big band Dixieland jazz music? This song, which is supposed to be sung from a little kid's perspective (which Angelica is), would have worked SO much better with the original's music track - and with just Angelica singing. Why is it that the Rugrats can't get a decent instrumental backing for their songs?


In spite of being some of the worst music you'll ever hear, and being a total vanity project, A Rosie Christmas must have sold well, because a year later there was a follow-up: Another Rosie Christmas. Well, either it sold well, or Rosie was just so rich and vain that she said, "Screw them, I'm doing a second one just because I can." I don't know, and I don't care.


For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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Spinning That Latin Dreidel

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 20, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

Jewish people have very few festive Hanukkah songs. There's Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song"...and that's about it. Erran Baron Cohen, brother of Sacha Baron Cohen and composer of the original music for "Borat" and "Da Ali G Show", tried to change that back in 2008 with his album, Songs In The Key Of Hanukkah. As promotion for the album, the first single, "Dreidel", was released online for free. You've probably heard the original version of this traditional song. You know, "Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay..." Yeah, that one. Well, if you ever wanted to know what that song would sound like if it were performed by a latin marching band, now you'll get to find out. There's also a music video for the song.




For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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A Totally Weird Christmas

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 22, 2015 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

You know, the holidays can be a hard time for me. It seems like I get treated unfairly. It's bad enough that Burl Ives doesn't want me to join in any reindeer games - which is ironic because I am neither a reindeer, nor athletically-inclined.


Then you have Weird Al Yankovic, who wants to grind me up into reindeer sausage! Is he a member of the Elite Hunting Club?


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I hold no ill-will towards Mr. Yankovic. In fact, he's the subject of this post. He's written and performed two original holiday songs. Off his 1986 album Polka Party! is "Christmas at Ground Zero", which is not about a Frank Cross-produced holiday special emanating from the former World Trade Center site. Catch it live, Christmas Eve, on IBC! It's actually a cheery Ronnettes-style Christmas song about surviving a nuclear bomb attack.


Ten years later, on his Bad Hair Day album, he gets even darker with "The Night Santa Went Crazy". The title, pretty much, sums up what the song is about. Although an original, the darkly humorous Christmas song is performed as a style parody of "Black Gold" by Soul Asylum, with melodic references to "Mama I'm Comin' Home" by Ozzy Osbourne and "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Greg Lake. (Greg Lake link found by Matthew Jordan)

An "extra gory" version of the song was included as the third track on the "Amish Paradise" single, but is now also included on The Essential Weird Al Yankovic compilation album. In this version, none of the reindeer survive, Santa is killed by a member of the SWAT team, and the elves file for unemployment benefits. Lyrics for both versions can be found on page 2 of this post.


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(panel from Slimer! comic issue #11)



For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.

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A Styling Jew On Christmas

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Dec. 6, 2015 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags: holiday_songs
Unusual Holiday Songs

The month of December can be a downright depressing time of the year if you don't worship the fat guy in the red suit. Go to any store, and you'll likely see candy canes, wreaths, Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, stockings, and red and green 'til your eyes bleed. Looking for some blue and white? Maybe, if you're *really* lucky, you'll find a small display of Hanukkah merch shoved in the back, or hiding in a corner somewhere - and that's if the store even bothers to carry stuff for their Jewish customers.

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Little Kyle Broflofski of South Park, Colorado knows all too well what it's like to be a Jew on Christmas. His frustration grew so intense that he just had to put his feelings to music. Below is little Kyle's homemade recording, with a transcription of his lyrics on page two of this post. I hope the lyrics are correct. It was hard to decipher some of Kyle's crayon-written notes. I should tell you that little Kyle has quite a little potty-mouth on him. He drops the F-Bomb quite a bit, so a "Parental Advisory - Explicit Content" warning is warranted.


This song actually comes from the television series "South Park", and appears on the album Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics. For more South Park holiday fun, check out the episodes "Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo" (1997) and "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" (1999), both of which appear on the Christmas Time In South Park DVD ("Classics" is also on the long out-of-print Christmas in South Park DVD). Considering that they are hosted by a talking piece of fecal matter, it almost goes without saying that they are not suitable for kids.

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(panel from Slimer! comic issue #11)



For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.

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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)

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