Soundtrack for Saving Christmas

The America First Weekly: Special Christmas Playlist Edition

What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a Shepherd I would bring a lamb; if I were a Wise Man I would do my part, yet what I can I give Him, give my heart.

Since you turn to your trusted friends, the editors of The America First Weekly, to learn all the proper political opinions, why shouldn’t you turn to them for approved Christmas listening?

We’ve all taken this very seriously, and here promulgate the official AFW Advent + Christmas playlist for your nationalist listening pleasure. The war on Christmas will not be won so long as we’re around.

You can listen straight through it on our YouTube playlist, or enjoy it song-by-song, accompanied by our astute criticism, below.

Untameable Native King

Christmas In Da Ghetto

C Murder and Master P

Christmas jingle set to the tune of “Deck the Halls” featuring two of the Dirty South’s most notorious MC’s, C-Murder (#FreeC-Murder) and Master P of No Limit Studio. Come for the realities of life in the hood that even Santa, American Consumerism and “Holiday Cheer” cannot erase: “Rich drink Champagne the poor drink beer”, “Homeless people no shoes on they feet”, “it may be cold but hell is the street,” but stay for the final minute and a half long keyboard breakdown of “Deck the Halls” with the rolling G-Funk beat of a West Coast inspired “Richmond, CA” group.

The Sussex Carol

Harry Christopher’s The Sixteen

If you like your Christmas music sung by a chorale ensemble, seemingly within some cavernous cathedral hall of a bygone organed era, this is the song for you. The harmonies sublime and the sopranos rising out of the music, seemingly lifting the room from the temporal oppression. Less than the lyrics themselves, the entire aesthetic is fitting for a Christian Lord.

Bring A Torch Jeannette, Isabella

Sufjan Stevens

Completely stripped down, recorded on what sounds like a cassette tape plunged into a 1987 Sony Boombox, Sufjan pays homage to one of the oldest continuously sung Christmas Carols. Originating from 17th century Provence, France, Un Flambeau Jeannette, Isabella, Sufjan’s recording mimics the simplicity of the two peasant farm girls who stumble upon Mother and Son in the creche. All that’s left is for the villagers and us to gather, follow, see, and believe.

Messiah: And The Glory Of The Lord

Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra

Some people say Handel’s Messiah is not a Christmas oratorio. Those people can suck it.

This recording is pure energy. Buy the vinyl. Turn the volume knob all the way right. Wait for your neighbors to call the cops.

Cassian Stylus

Frosty the Snowman

Jimmy Durante

A little-known ditty but irresistibly catchy. The tune always manages to get stuck in my head yet I never remember the lyrics. Nonetheless, a song to be treasured so that one can experience the elation of not hearing it for 10 months after December 25.

Petit Papa Noel

Raffi

A beautiful melody and arrangement with fancy sounding French lyrics. It’s all really quite touching until you realize he’s singing about a little brat jonesing for a pair of shoes from the flying fat man. 

What’s This?

Danny Elfman

Jack the Pumpkin King from Halloween Land experiences the magic of Christmas for the first time and can only marvel in awe. “What’s this?” the embodiment of Halloween exclaims repeatedly, just as the new world inaugurated by the incarnation demands joyful wonder from humanity enslaved by demons. 

Ulysses S. Musculus’ Apocalyptic Wassail

1999

Prince

2020 has all the markings of what I remember people expecting of Y2K. And that means you need some dance music! 1999 was the first time I, as a young man, began contemplating the idea of mass civil unrest and societal breakdown. And when I thought about it then, all the people warning me about it sounded kooky. This year, in the dark days of Christmastide, as you warm yourself by the bonfire that used to be your home before the BLM protestors peacefully set the torch to it, enjoy shimmying to this classic. It sure felt nice knowing only lunatics were prepping for TEOTWAWKI back then, didn’t it? Now we all know we should have bought some land in Montana. Party’s over—oops—out of time!

The End

The Doors

Continuing with your Christmas Party Apocalypse you’re gonna need something to chill to as you refill those mugs of hot spice cider. Tip a little brandy in there friendo. Or if you really need to come down, put some THC into the cup. As for the statesman’s dilemma between producing the conditions that make for the happy life or drugging us into feeling happy while being miserable they’ve made their choice. Whatever it takes to keep the calm juice flowing. When Christ came it was the beginning of the end of the principalities and powers. This Christmas it is just the end of the republic. No big deal. Ride the snake to the lake! 

Psalm 103:1-2

Gaelic Psalm Singers

Now that the drugs have kicked in (or even better, when you’ve realized you should kick the drugs) it is time for a Palm. The “S” is ilent, most are. Your house is gone, and it is time to find somewhere safe. Turns out the police aren’t coming—they’ve been defunded! I suggest you head to the nearest church. I’m not even gonna ask you to be denominationally picky. As you and your loved ones crawl across the hellscape, prepare your hearts by praising God who is good in spite of what a mess we are all in. No better way than with some Gaelic Choral Music.

Good King Wenceslaus

The Brothers Charles

Once we’ve worshiped the King who has come to save us, the reason for the season folks, it is time to return to fixing the earthly political situation. Now that the republic is over who wants to try out monarchy? Well then we need a vision of a good monarch; we need someone like Wenceslaus. This particular version of Good King Wenceslas is worth watching because while the lyrics lay out what a good monarch is like, the actors show what it is actually like trying to get your man on the throne: sloppy and sometimes violent. Keep your eyes open and stay ready for the fight!

Impossible Soul

Sufjan Stevens

Now that we’re ready to blast off into the inspired future that awaits the post-Republic America we can get funky and buckle in to “do much more together” as we “get it right.” It’s not so impossible! Life is weird, and so is Christmas. History is chaos. Don’t get distracted. Pinch yourself. Stand up straight. It’s a good life, viewed right. Do you want to dance? Wait till the brass kicks in. It’s a long life. Head back to the smoking hole that was once your house. Now grab a shovel. Time to build a home. Make babies. Christmas is the ultimate pro-natal holiday. Why do you think that August and September are the busiest months of the year on maternity wards?

Bedivere Bedrydant

In the Bleak Midwinter

Worcester Cathedral Choir

With apologies to my fellow AFW editors, this is the greatest Christmas song of all. The lyrics, set to music by Gustav Holst, were penned by pre-Raphaelite poetess Christina Rosetti, and they are utterly sublime. A taste: “Enough for Him, whom cherubim / Worship night and day, / A breastful of milk / And a mangerful of hay.” Extra credit if you watch the scene from Season 1 of The Crown, in which British villagers come to their earthly king caroling about the King of kings; little do they (or the other Windsors) know what King George knows: He’s about to die of cancer.

Minuit, Chretiens!

Marc Hervieux

“Minuit, Chretiens!” (translated into English as “O Holy Night”) delivers lyrically with poetic juxtapositions of the humble nativity with true eschatological glory. (The English-language version, AKA O Holy Night, suffers from a rather saccharine translation, whereas the original French simply throbs with celestial power). Musically, the song is often a bit two-dimensional since arrangers and performers get hung up on the vocal pyrotechnics of the high notes. This version delivers pyrotechnics in spades, while supplementing them with a heart-pounding Gothic pipe organ that is guaranteed to keep you from drifting off in an eggnog-induced stupor. 

I’m Going Home, It’s Christmas Time

Ralph Stanley

Now for Americana. Christmas and bluegrass are made for each other; both have an inherent nostalgic quality, and the great Dr. Ralph Stanley singing about snow lying deep in the mountain while he journeys home for Christmas magnifies the effect beautifully. Plus, the banjo is great and the duet is lovely.

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Mahalia Jackon

Let’s stay Southern. Simply put, this is a song of power, sung by a woman of power. Great Christmas songs always capture the frightening character of the Incarnation: power simultaneously revealed and concealed. I can’t think of a better messenger for this gospel anthem than Mahalia, and this version, arranged like a military march, will put you in the mind to do precisely as she says: to go tell it on the mountain. It’s only a pity that this arrangement omits my favorite stanza, which she sings in this musically simpler version: “He made me a watchman / Up on the city wall / And if I am a Christian / I am the least of all.” 

Justice Delivers Its Death

Sufjan Stevens

Since my fellow editors can’t stay away from Sufjan, here’s my choice from his Christmas oeuvre. It’s a take on “Silver and Gold,” but it’s all Sufjan’s own (so if you hate him, you’ll hate this one—but I love Sufjan and so I love this song). Just listen, and you’ll hear “Justice Delivers Its Death” is the perfect salve for the inevitable post-Christmas consumerist hangover. When you survey the gift wrap shredded all over the floor, plastic crap everywhere, and want to scream, wail with Sufjan instead: “Lord, come with fire / Lord, come with fire / Everyone's wasting their time / Storing up treasure in vain / Trusting the pleasure it gives here on earth.”

From all of us at AFW to your, our loyal readers:

Merry Christmas!