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Billy Blagg 1:59 Sat Nov 15
Billy Blagg's 8th Annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs
You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why. It's coming and there is feck all you can do about it.

This year the blog spot includes Lady Blagg's Kitsch Christmas Tree.

Catch it here or at the BlogSpot on http://blaggadventcalendarchristmassongs2014.blogspot.co.uk/

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Dowies Love Child 3:05 Sun Dec 28
Re: Billy Blagg's 8th Annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs
Billy, I thank you for some truly wonderful treats this year. Obviously not all were to my tastes but that is to be expected but there were some absolute crackers in there.
I particularly liked the "Christmas Unicorn" I had not heard it before but I do have a few Sufjan's albums and this is a beauty.

Lertie Button 6:13 Thu Dec 25
Re: Billy Blagg's 8th Annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs
Can just about see the tablet with ohe eye ckosed so just want to thank Sir William for this year's effort, throughly enjoyed as always.

Billy Blagg 12:22 Thu Dec 25
Re: Billy Blagg's 8th Annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs
And that again is that. Odd to think that, for many, this is the start of Christmas while for me it’s just ending. I now have to lock myself into a broom cupboard for another ten months until I can come out and seek out more festive cheer for the 9th Annual Advent Calendar – Deity of choice providing, of course.

Still I don’t need to drag you into my private hell so it just remains to wish you what you’d wish yourself and leave you all with a crackling ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR’. Oh and if If you want to pop into the blog you can find that we don't just do a kitsch tree at Christmas.

Thanks for dropping in and hope to see you all again next year.

Takashi Miike 11:31 Thu Dec 25
Re: Just Saying
always enjoy it billy and even got a suggestion included one year (smith and burrows)

have a nice christmas

Coffee 11:13 Thu Dec 25
Re: Just Saying
Happy Christmas, Billy and everyone! Appreciate thsi thread every year and appreciate the effort you always put into it.

Have a great day.

Billy Blagg 3:54 Thu Dec 25
Just Saying
OK Obviously a few people - Hi Clarky! - still don't get this - but that's fair enough as I understand it's not for everyone (Just for the record though, there's a fairly good chance my posts will outnumber everyone else's otherwise there's no point).

But for those who have enjoyed it and sent in nice comments and suggestions (DowieLC I think you suggested 'Gravy' last year and it is on the list ;) ) can I just say how much I appreciate it as I really spend a lot longer on this thing that is strictly healthy and it's good to know that some like it, at least.

I'll be back for a summation later but, otherwise, go forth and have yourself a good day! And don't forget the blog as that has links to all the other years and that means some 200 songs now.

Billy Blagg 3:44 Thu Dec 25
Day 25 - Christmas Unicorn - Sufjan Stevens
Despite protestations every year that this Calendar isn’t a ‘Best of’ or ‘Greatest’ list and Day 25 is no different from any other – in fact most of my favourite tracks appear earlier in the list ever year – there’s always a bit of self-imposed pressure to go out with a bang every Christmas Day.

The last track No: 58 from the ‘Silver & Gold’ box set of 2012, the sub-titled ‘Songs for Christmas Vols. 6-10’ was a follow up to Sufjan Stevens’ 1-5 volumes released in 2006 which was itself a 42 track EP set. It’s easy to see that old Suffie – as I like to call him - has his own Advent Calendar in place and, such is the quality of the vast majority of the tracks, it would be easy to include one a year until I become a Ghost of Christmas Past meself.

This undoubtedly won’t be for everyone then and the initial bit of early noodling may have some reaching for the stop key – I'm a Christmas Unicorn / In a uniform made of gold / With a billy goat beard / And a sorcerer's shield / And a mistletoe on my nose - but at 12 ½ minutes you can’t complain you’re not getting your money’s worth here and, in any case, I implore you to stick it out until at least the 7.30 mark when the burgeoning and in itself gloriously catchy chorus of ‘You're the Christmas Unicorn too / (It's all right, I love you)’ suddenly morphs into another song – you need to listen to find out what! - something truly wondrous happens and we’re in a wonderland of Christmas mayhem. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be glad it’s Christmas - and you can’t really ask for more than that.


stomper 2:44 Thu Dec 25
Re: Billy Blagg's 8th Annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs
First rule is no Humbuggery!

Blagg is a national treasure.

kylay 2:28 Thu Dec 25
Re: Billy Blagg's 8th Annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs
clarky, you ain't been around these parts long have you...

clarky 3:06 Wed Dec 24
Re: Billy Blagg's 8th Annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs
No disrespect intended, just making an observation, if you guys are into crappy Christmas songs I'll keep my humbuggery to myself!

As you were...

BRANDED 3:00 Wed Dec 24
Re: Billy Blagg's 8th Annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Songs
In my opinion inane and ill conceived replies are the scourge of this site.

Dowies Love Child 2:54 Wed Dec 24
Re: Day 24 - 'I'd Like You For Christmas - Julie London
Clarky that is a little disrespectful for a tradition like the Blagg Christmas Calendar. I personally look forward to it every year and search through my record selection for possible suggestions.
Which reminds me BB have you ever heard "How to make Gravy" by Paul Kelly a bitter sweet chrissy number about a man forced to miss the family function due to being in prison. Maybe worth considering for future years. Includes the great line "And Roger, you know I'm even gonna miss Roger
'Cause there's sure as hell no one in here I want to fight"


clarky 2:10 Wed Dec 24
Re: Day 24 - 'I'd Like You For Christmas - Julie London
I would say rule no.1 for a thread is if you've posted more then everyone else combined then it's not going well and it's maybe time to knock it on the head!

That's just a view from this casual observer, crack on if you want to of course, I'm just saying!

Billy Blagg 1:44 Wed Dec 24
Day 24 - 'I'd Like You For Christmas - Julie London
Julie London, the former actress cum jazz / pop singer, born Gayle Peck in 1926, had an illustrious singing career, probably peeking with the original version of the now standard ‘Cry Me A River’ that gave London a world-wide smash hit in 1955.

Julie had a big career in both film and TV appearing in many big movies and top-rated shows, but her main strength was her sultry voice, London herself describing it thus: "It's only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of over-smoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate”. That’s certainly the case with this gorgeous 1957 recording and It’s also available on an album called ‘Ultra Lounge / Christmas Cocktails’ and that in itself is likely to provide me with some tracks in years to come.

Julie sadly left this world in 2000 but with a Christmas legacy like this, she’ll live long in the memory. Turn down the lights, stoke up the fire, pour yourself some festive cheer, get your chestnuts out and prepare to roast ‘em. This perfectly sets the mood for Christmas Eve. And you know how I feel about Christmas Eve….


Billy Blagg 2:12 Tue Dec 23
Day 23 - Chrmas in the Airport - Nick Lowe
Great song, great video. My only complaint is Mr Lowe seems to have toured his release from December of last year exclusively in the States this year. Don't forget your roots, Nick!

It looks like Christmas / Christmas in the Airport this year / Don't save me any Turkey / I found a burger in the bin


Billy Blagg 2:18 Mon Dec 22
Day 22 - Christmas in Vietnam - Soul Searchers
There’s a few songs called ‘Christmas in Vietnam’ out there - one by Private Charles Bowen that appeared on Day 13 of the 2010 calendar (unashamed plug for http://blaggadventcalendarchristmassongs2010.blogspot.co.uk/ ) - and indeed the Vietnam war produced a number of Christmas related records, let’s not forget the mind-blowing ‘Christmas in the Jungle’ by Derrick Roberts from Day 10 of the 2007 Calendar (another unashamed link for http://blaggadventcalendarchristmassongs2007.blogspot.co.uk/) .

For this Vietnam track you can pretty much guess how it's going to pan out when a spoken introduction tells you ’A lonely soldier lay dying in a fox hole in Vietnam’ and sure enough the Gospel feel to this Soul song provides everything you’d expect as the dying man and his buddy sing “Ohh – I know it’s Christmas here in Vietnam’. Released in 1967 this is ‘of its time’ admittedly, but it still reminds us that men and women are out there this Christmas in other deserts and jungles.

Soul Searchers were apparently just Charles ‘Chuck’ Brown, a musician from North Carolina who was highly thought of in Washington and earned himself the epithet of ‘Godfather of Go Go’ on the east coast.


Billy Blagg 3:51 Sun Dec 21
Day 21 - O Little Town Of Bethlehem - Bright Eyes
It's the last Carol Sunday before Christmas and here's an atmospheric and ever so creepy version of the traditional carol from the U.S Indie band, a track from their 2002 'A Christmas Album'.


Billy Blagg 2:03 Sat Dec 20
Day 20 - Talkin' Christmas - The Blind Boys of Alabama with Taj Mahal
This year's Christmas album of choice combines the gospel of the Blind Boys with the Blues styling of Taj Mahal and the result - on the title track at least - is a surprising funk laden groove thang that will have you up and shakin' yer tail feather with nary a worry about anyone else. Cracking stuff and if you look up this track you can soon chase down the whole album


Billy Blagg 2:04 Fri Dec 19
Day 19 - Christmas Cancelled - Macka B
Blimey! Now he tells me! You could have mentioned it before I spent four hours in Primark today Macka.

Mr B – or Christopher MacFarlane as he better known to his local tax office in Wolverhampton – is pretty wound up about the commercialisation of Christmas on this scathing slice of dub Reggae and who can blame him?

This was released in 2000 – long before the joys of the John Lewis ad – so I’m not expecting things have got better for Macka in the intervening years. It is like shooting fish in a barrel though and I can’t help but feel his ire might be better extended elsewhere.


Coffee 6:14 Thu Dec 18
Re: Day 18 - What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas? - The Emotions
Put your new slippers on, add wood to the fire, settle in to that old armchair and listen to this.


Wake up an hour later.

Billy Blagg 1:41 Thu Dec 18
Day 18 - What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas? - The Emotions
What do the lonely do at Christmas? Stock up on the award winning Adnams Longshore Vodka, break open the Heston Mince Pies and listen to all eight years of the Blagg calendar - including this 1972 Stax recording - if they have any sense.


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