Tuesday, December 18, 2012

christmas is sexier than you think

Have you ever noticed that for every "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" there are an equal number of sex-ay holiday tunes? As much as Christmas is (mostly) for the kiddies, there are also plenty of adults who want to get both naughty and nice around the holiday season.

The crown prince of  sexy Christmas songs has got to be "Baby, It's Cold Outside," a three-minute anthem to a man (nicknamed Wolf in the lyrics) using every wintery excuse in the book in order to convince the not-too-unwilling lady (nicknamed Mouse in the lyrics) to spend the night with him. It's become a favorite duet, with everyone from Ray Charles and Betty Carter to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jourdan doing their own version. The most recent incarnation has Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera dueling it out on his holiday album, Cee Lo's Magic Moment.

Also full of double-entendre is the teasing classic "Santa Baby."
Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

The original and best version is the 1953 recording by the inimitable Eartha Kitt, who can do more with phrasing and diction than just about anyone. A must-to-avoid is Madonna's Betty Boop-ish version. It would have been interesting if Marilyn Monroe had had the chance to give the song a shot, but Eartha's will always be "the" version.

Maybe a little more about romance than sex or commerce, but still decidedly more grown-up holiday songs are Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and The Eagles' "Please Come Home for Christmas," which have love, not presents, on the singers' minds.
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you

Both songs are nods to old-style Christmas music, with Carey paying homage to the Ronettes and the Eagles' bluesy honky-tonk version tapping into the blues that can frequently accompany the holiday season.

Bells will be ringing this sad sad New Years
Oh what a Christmas to have the blues
My baby's gone
I have no friends
To wish me greetings once again
Choirs will be singing Silent Night
Christmas carols by candlelight
Please come home for Christmas
Please come home for Christmas
If not for Christmas by New Years night

It's nice sometimes to have an alternative to fa la la la la and pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.
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