Editorial: Bring Back the Holiday Yobs!

slade2

SLADE - Your Granny Rocks to This One...if she's British....


The recent winter weather in Illinois has ushered in a rage of Christmas activities around the area, not the least of which is the playing of Christmas tunes 24/7 at my work place. I’m no miser – I enjoy Christmastime, and even a hefty selection of holiday tunes, from the classics, to the more recent entries. It serves as a reminder that the most festive holiday of the year approaches – a time to eat, drink and be merry; a time that even the most hardened of authors, poets and musicians hail as the best time of year.

Which brings me to my point….

A friend and I were discussing how the British seem to take Christmas more seriously. How they celebrate harder and longer, how they have more time off of work and, most distressingly, how many of the classic bands one can think of from the UK have an original Christmas song in their repertoire. And much of the time, these tunes are far from throw-away. Several, in fact, have become seasonal classics themselves. And chances are, if a band does not have an original Christmas tune, they have recorded a cover version of a yuletide classic.

When one assesses this back catalogue of songs, notice how the bands that submit these tunes run the gamut – it’s not just your John Lennon’s or Paul McCartney’s, but also Slade, Mott the Hoople, Wizzard, the Pogues, the Kinks, Coldplay, Blur, Oasis, Belle and Sebastian and even bands like The Darkness got in on it as well.

Interestingly, some of the most adamant support for these songs comes from the balding contingent. Is it a prerequisite that every skinhead/punk band from Britain has a Christmas tune? If it’s not, it should be. From The 4-Skins, the Business and Peter and the Test Tube Babies, to Close Shave, to Frankie Flame and Another Man’s Poison to the Boys doing the entire Yobs record, from Stiff Little Fingers to the Greedies, Bad Manners to Judge Dread, to the UK Subs and the Gonads – the list goes on and on. (Hell, Sledgehammer even got in on the action with a cover of the Greedies “Merry Jingle.”)

the-greedies

The GREEDIES - Japanese Holiday Favorites!


Obviously, we in the States have classics like Sinatra and Martin, Bing Crosby and the Vince Guaraldi material. The Ramones kicked in a Christmas tune. We had RUN-DMC singing about Christmas in Hollis. Showcase Showdown did a full ep, whilst the Vandals took a page (and a song or two) from The Boys and did a full album’s worth, but head-to-head, it seems the British bands have the numbers on us. It’s time to “take it back” as is so often a rallying cry.

This blog’s plea to the punk rock and skinhead bands of America: Bring Back the Christmas songs! If I have to finance the album myself, I will get American punk rock involved in the yuletide season again!

I know Tommy and the Terrors want to write a Christmas Carol. I guess they’d have to start in early summer (which wouldn’t be very festive at all) in order to get it done by the 2009 Christmas season.

Don’t let us down!  Step up to the plate, America! Give us punk rock Christmas songs.

We wait with bated breath!


amp

ANOTHER MAN'S POISON: Burgling With Santa!

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