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The Washington, D.C.-based band, Vertical Horizon, recorded the following cover of Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s classic, “I Believe in Father Christmas,” at Jim Henson Studios in Los Angeles, 2002. Of the various remakes of the song that I’ve heard, this is my personal favorite.

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Not only was ten-year-old Gayla Peevey unexpectedly vaulted to fame in 1953 after recording “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” but she actually got a hippo for Christmas that year. In a 2007 radio interview, Peevey related how “…a local [Oklahoma City] promoter picked up on the popularity of the song and Peevey’s local roots, and launched a campaign to present her with an actual hippopotamus on Christmas. The campaign succeeded, and she was presented with an actual hippopotamus, which she donated to the Oklahoma City zoo. The hippopotamus lived for nearly 50 years.” (source)

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THE MISTLETOE

Mistletoe

When winter nights grow long,
And winds without grow cold,
We sit in a ring round the warm wood-fire
And listen to stories old!
And we try to look grave (as maids should be)
When the men bring the boughs of the Laurel tree.
O the Laurel, the evergreen tree!
The poets have laurels, and why not we?

How pleasant, when night falls down
And hides the wintry sun,
To see them come in to the blazing fire,
And know that their work is done;
Whilst many bring in, with a laugh or rhyme,
Green branches of Holly for Christmas time!
O the Holly, the bright green Holly,
It tells (like a tongue) that the times are jolly!

Sometimes (in our grave house,
Observe, this happeneth not),
But, at times the evergreen laurel boughs
And the holly are all forgot!
And then! what then? why, the men laugh low,
And hang up a branch of the mistletoe!
O brave is the laurel! and brave is the holly!
But the Mistletoe banisheth melancholy!
Ah, nobody knows, nor ever shall know,
What is done–under the Mistletoe.

Bryan Waller Procter (1787-1874)

Christmas Holly

Bryan Waller Procter

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From Paramount Pictures 1942 hit, Holiday Inn. This marked the motion picture debut of the now immortal “White Christmas.”

 

Irving Berlin’s “Holiday Inn”

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Aw, come on Mikey. You know as well
as I do–the record’s CRAP. Heh, heh.”

 

Billy Nighy, aka Billy Mack, and the Robert Palmer Ripoffs

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Here’s a silly little entertainment–

Deck the halls with boughs of pork pie,
Fa la la la la, la la la la…

Deck the Halls
from the
Christmas Song Generator.

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Here’s a rather less “sedate” version of Jingle Bell rock than Brenda Lee, from teen pop duo Aly & AJ – who, incidentally, spent part of their childhood in Seattle–

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