All Songs Considered Holiday Music Special 2011 : All Songs Considered There's more to the season than "Jingle Bell Rock." This week, the All Songs crew spins some holiday music you might not have heard before.

All Songs Considered Holiday Music Special 2011

All Songs Considered Holiday Music Special 2011

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The All Songs Considered Holiday Music Special 2011
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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

  • Paul Simon

    No Alternative Text

    "Getting Ready For Christmas Day"

    From 'So Beautiful or So What'

  • Natalie Merchant

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    "Children Go Where I Send Thee"

    From 'A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3'

    YouTube
  • Adam Arcuragi

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    "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)"

    From 'Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)'

    This song is available on Bandcamp.

  • Prince

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    "Another Lonely Christmas"

    From 'Hits/The B-Sides'

    YouTube
  • The King's Singers

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    "The Boar's Head Carol"

    From 'A Little Christmas Music'

  • The Polyphonic Spree

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    "It's Christmas!"

    From 'It's Christmas!'

    This release is available from Good Records Recordings.

  • The Walkmen

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    "The Christmas Party"

    From 'Little House of Savages EP'

  • Darlene Love

    "Christmas for the Jews"

    From 'SNL Sketch'

    Watch this video on Hulu.

  • The Leevees

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    "Kugel"

    From 'Hanukkah Rocks'

  • The Maccabeats

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    "Candlelight"

    From 'Candlelight'

    YouTube
  • Merle Haggard

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    "If We Make It Through December"

    From 'A Christmas Present'

    YouTube
  • Kate & Anna McGarrigle

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    "Spotlight on Christmas"

    From 'McGarrigle Christmas Hour'

  • Julian Koster and the Music Tapes

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    "Zat You, Santa Claus?"

    From 'Tiny Desk Concert'