All Songs Considered Holiday Music Special 2011

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1 hr 1 min 32 sec
The All Songs Considered Holiday Music Special 2011

The holiday season at the NPR Music office brings with it two sounds: that of the delightfully offbeat seasonal anthem as well as the cheerful but persistent sound of Bob Boilen shaking his jingle bells. (In case this is your first time at the All Songs holiday party, that's not a euphemism.)

This week on All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen sits down with NPR's Jacob Ganz and Barrie Hardymon, trusty jingle bells and LED Christmas tree in tow, to play some holiday music you may not have heard before.

This year's selections include a 15th-century English carol, a 2010 club banger revamped with a Hanukkah theme, a truly bizarre Prince song that finds the Purple One toasting his dead lover with a banana daiquiri on Christmas Eve and a few original Christmas songs from indie favorites like The Walkmen and The Polyphonic Spree. Plus, a special holiday gift from an All Songs listener.

If this whets your appetite for more unconventional holiday music, make sure to check out NPR Music's Jingle Jams: A Holiday Mix For The Rest Of Us, where you can listen to dozens more songs by artists like Calexico, Etta James, Feist and Bob Dylan.

All Songs Holiday Special 2011

Cover for So Beautiful or So What

Paul Simon

  • Album: So Beautiful or So What
  • Song: Getting Ready For Christmas Day

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Getting Ready For Christmas Day"
  • Album: So Beautiful or So What
  • Artist: Paul Simon
  • Label: Hear Music
  • Released: 2011
Cover for A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3

Natalie Merchant

  • Album: A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3
  • Song: Children Go Where I Send Thee
Cover for Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)

Adam Arcuragi

  • Album: Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)
  • Song: Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)

This song is available on Bandcamp.

Cover for Hits/The B-Sides


  • Album: Hits/The B-Sides
  • Song: Another Lonely Christmas
Cover for A Little Christmas Music

The King's Singers

  • Album: A Little Christmas Music
  • Song: The Boar's Head Carol

Purchase Featured Music

  • "The Boar's Head Carol"
  • Album: A Little Christmas Music
  • Artist: The King's Singers
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • Released: 1990
Cover for It's Christmas!

The Polyphonic Spree

  • Album: It's Christmas!
  • Song: It's Christmas!

This release is available from Good Records Recordings.

Cover for Little House of Savages EP

The Walkmen

  • Album: Little House of Savages EP
  • Song: The Christmas Party

Purchase Featured Music

  • "The Christmas Party"
  • Album: Little House of Savages EP
  • Artist: The Walkmen
  • Label: Record Collection
  • Released: 2004
Christmas for the Jews

Darlene Love

  • Album: SNL Sketch
  • Song: Christmas for the Jews

Watch this video on Hulu.

Cover for Hanukkah Rocks

The Leevees

  • Album: Hanukkah Rocks
  • Song: Kugel

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Kugel"
  • Album: Hanukkah Rocks
  • Artist: The Leevees
  • Label: Reprise
  • Released: 2005
Cover for Candlelight

The Maccabeats

  • Album: Candlelight
  • Song: Candlelight
Cover for A Christmas Present

Merle Haggard

  • Album: A Christmas Present
  • Song: If We Make It Through December

Purchase Featured Music

  • "If We Make It Through December"
  • Album: A Christmas Present
  • Artist: Merle Haggard
  • Label: Curb
  • Released: 1973
Cover for McGarrigle Christmas Hour

Kate & Anna McGarrigle

  • Album: McGarrigle Christmas Hour
  • Song: Spotlight on Christmas

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Spotlight on Christmas"
  • Album: McGarrigle Christmas Hour
  • Artist: Kate & Anna McGarrigle
  • Label: Nonesuch Records
  • Released: 2005
Cover for Tiny Desk Concert

Julian Koster and the Music Tapes

  • Album: Tiny Desk Concert
  • Song: Zat You, Santa Claus?



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