Give a Listen: Some Off-Beat Christmas Music Recommendations


By Steve Pauwels

Something lighter for the season …

All things being equal, the Christmas time-of-year is my favorite stretch on the calendar – which is why around the Pauwels’ hearth Christmas tunes start turning up in the background around 1 November (actually a bit earlier this time around). I want to expand the run-up to the big day as long as possible. Just as I enjoy a nice slab of fruitcake with my cupful of delightfully cholesterol-choked eggnog anytime during the year’s waning two months, so I revel in Christmas music of all kinds – wistful standards, Victorian age classics. And some less traditional entrants in the Yuletide catalogue.

Not only generations-old perennials reliably play a role weaving Christmastide’s charming tapestry. More recent aural offerings occupy a place in my cherished, seasonal selections. So here, a few, possibly unfamiliar, suggestions which – in the spirit of Noel – I humbly recommend for spicing up your holiday’s musical punch:

1) “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” (Bing Crosby/David Bowie): People who don’t remember glam-rocker Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” career phase can’t appreciate sufficiently the surrealism of his teaming up with buttoned-up Crosby to interpret a Christmas staple about a young shepherd/percussionist performing for the new-born Savior. Veteran crooner Crosby, whose pipes were crafted to carry Christmas melodies, supplies a pleasant take on “Drummer Boy”, while Bowie overlays it with a counterpoint written precisely for their 1977 television duet.

Allegedly, the flamboyant Briton initially grumbled,”I hate this [“Drummer Boy”] song. Is there something else I could sing?” The imaginative solution? “Peace on Earth”. The result? Unaccountably enchanting.

2) Manly-men aren’t supposed to be caught humming anything by balladeer Dan Fogleberg, but I’m secure enough in my masculinity to claim “Same Old Lange Syne“ as a personal favorite among December’s more unconventional musical crop. Contrary to its title’s suggestion, the piece’s narrative recounts faded dreams and heartache set on Christmas (not New Year’s) Eve.

Continue Reading at

Posting Policy
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

Trending on Liberty Alliance

Don't miss a thing. Sign up for our email newsletter to become a Liberty Alliance insider.