1.White Christmas, Bing Crosby. First on our hit parade is the obvious choice. The Whitest man in America in White America’s favorite movie (we’ll ignore that it also included the Jewish and possibly bi-sexual Danny Kaye.)
2. Winter Wonderland, Anne Murray. Ah, the Canadian Songbird, as the Whitest woman on the continent, a perfect foil to Bing. And Winter Wonderland, with its talk of Parson Brown and a Currier and Ives version of America, has got to be set in Vermont, possibly the Whitest state in the nation.
3. Sleigh Ride, The Carpenters. Now let’s move to the Whitest duo in America. And again, a song that celebrates a Vermont-style Christmas so removed from the Christmas enjoyed by the vast number of Americans in say, Cleveland, LA, Orlando or Dallas. Look at the map of America. Why do we cling to this version of Christmas that hasn’t existed since maybe 1880 and probably not at all outside of Northern New England?
4. Silver Bells, Elvis Presley. Here’s a subset of White Christmas: the White Trash Christmas. In his rendition of this Christmas classic, Elvis dispenses with all the Delta Blues and African American influence that made his music so exciting. But, I do have to count this as a favorite. I always imagine a poor farm boy from Tupelo Mississippi being overwhelmed by his first trip to the lights and excitement of big city Memphis. In the video, it’s still the straight up Christmas cliches, but at least he’s not out in a Vermont snow scene.
5. Deck the Halls, Mannheim Steamroller. I have to admit to switching this one off every time it comes up in my rotation. But there ain’t nuthin’ Whiter than techno and the White Supremicists…er…Alt-Right among you will love the name check to an important industrial center for Nazi Germany.
6. Christmas Eve Sarajevo, Trans-Siberian Railway. My Alt-Right readers will also love another important name check, this one to a city that attempted to ethnically cleanse all its Muslims into oblivion. And for that they will probably forgive the group name reference to an area often referred to as North Asia.
7. Christmas All Over Again, Tom Petty. And a swing back to White Trash with Mr. Florida Cracker himself. It’s worth noting that this song has found its way into some very White Christmas movies including: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Jingle All the Way with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Four Christmases starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon.
8. Little Saint Nick, The Beach Boys. Is there a Whiter group than the Beach Boys? My gawd, they were a favorite of Nancy Reagan! They try to Southern California it up, but we’ve still got Old Saint Nick, described in the White people’s version that was foisted on us by Coca Cola advertising. (Don’t tell your Trump supporter friends that the real St. Nick was not White and from Asia Minor.)
9. Go Tell It On the Mountain, Jim Nabors. What do you get when you strip all the soul from one of the most famous African American spirituals of all time? You gets something that’s White on White, especially if you have someone as White as old Gomer Pyle singing it. Vying for a close second was Andy Griffith’s (yes, Sheriff Andy of Mayberry) version. But Nabors gets the nod for his more complete and total Whitewashing of this classic by adding a Percy Faith style chorus on background vocals and changing the words to be as White as possible.
10. A Marshmallow World, Seth McFarland. What’s Whiter than marshmallow, that flavorless sugar treat reminiscent of ‘Smores on a Girl Scout campout? This song is one of my favorites when executed with the ring-a-ding panache of the Rat Pack. But all those Italians from New York and Philadelphia? Not White enough. I searched to see if Pat Boone ever recorded this, but no luck. Then I stumbled over Seth’s version. A perfect ending to the list.
There you have it! A Donald Trump voter’s dream: a Christmas scrubbed of any urban, Latino, African American, immigrant or any version of the holiday other than what you remember from classic Coca Cola ads.
Me? Even though I’m pretty White, I’m going to pull up the Reggae Christmas, Cuban Christmas, James Brown’s Soul Christmas and especially my Mexican Christmas albums. And bask in a country that is a wonderful crazy quilt of influences, languages, cultures and rhythms.
The rest of you, get out your Hellman’s, Cool Whip and Jell-o molds. And have a White, White, White Christmas.
Ironically, Bing was once known as the “first hip white person born in the United States.” He was hugely influenced by Armstrong and started his career singing jazz in the ’20s, accompanied by the great guiarist, Eddie Lang among others. It’s a complicated history, but interesting.
Oh, I give Bing a lot of credit. He used his voice as part of the orchestra (something Frank Sinatra would emulate). But he was still pretty White.
Would be pretty boring. I remember Christmas tv being dominated by The King Family singers (not Nat and Natalie) and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
All that whining is in essence “shut up and disappear – stop existing.” Not going to work.
One of my vinyl Christmas albums has Nat King Cole on one side and Ella Fitzgerald on the other. They did not work together, or sing together. Each just got a side and both are on the cover. Found it somewhere years ago. Also have a Tennessee Ernie Ford album – The Star Carol. He was my first vocal love.
I remember posts about your extensive and eclectic collection of Christmas music. Enjoy cranking up your playlists. And revel in the thought of horrified Puritans spinning in their grave 🙂