We need some new Christmas music. Here are some suggestions. – CT Insider

It’s time local radio stations gifted us with some fresh holiday songs.
The last few weeks of the year is the time for holiday cheer, goodwill and gratitude. What’s more, these benevolent feelings follow us from one corner of the state to another because several radio stations devote most of the month to Christmas songs. We hear them in the car, in restaurants, in malls — everywhere.
Which is why I spend December fighting the urge to engage in indiscriminate violence, staying away from farm animals (you’ll see why in a moment), and wishing the von Trapp family loved sports more than music.
I am not a scrooge. I love the season as much as anyone. But I dislike laziness and can’t think of one radio station willing to think outside the box, to play songs beyond their standard — and often annoying — playlists. There are hundreds of songs that never get played, many by our own Connecticut artists. 
I have nothing against Paul McCartney. I’ll take his talent (and money) any day. But face it, “Wonderful Christmastime” is one of the most tedious songs in pop music history, with a mind-numbing, Tetris-like arrangement that makes me feel like someone secretly planted a device in my head telling me to commit heinous acts, like what happened to Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate. (Tetris, an old video game with a mind-controlling quality, was developed by the Russians, so there you go.)
Animals are fine, but “Dominick the Donkey” by Lou Monte features what sounds like a dying E.T. True, it’s more or less a barn-centered novelty song, but the novelty is now as old as Connecticut tobacco farms.
When did The Sound of Music become a Christmas movie? There isn’t a single Christmas scene. But “My Favorite Things” is now a holiday standard. Readers might criticize me for this one since the lyrics can easily be associated with the joy of getting gifts. Here’s the problem: one of the most popular versions is by Rod Stewart, whose gravelly, meandering voice was perfect for “Maggie May” but seems disingenuous for a holiday sentiment. I’d much rather hear about Julie Andrews’ favorite things than Rod’s.
Catwoman (aka Eartha Kitt) sings “Santa Baby” as if Christmas has nothing to do with, well, Christmas. I don’t get the appeal. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” by Andy Williams, represents the least wonderful lyrics on record. Jinglebelling and mistletoeing are not even real words! 
Enough complaining — here are some ideas for local radio stations. 
The Monkees, whose late Peter Tork grew up near Storrs (his father taught at UConn), released their final album in 2018 (after Davy Jones passed away) called Christmas Party. Although “Wonderful Christmastime” is on it, so are several others we never hear on the radio. 
New Haven-born Michael Bolton, who recently represented Connecticut on TV’s American Song Contest, has a Christmas album called This is the Time, and though it has eight standards, it also has two originals cowritten by Bolton, one of which he sings with Wynonna Judd. 
If you’re anxious for something out of the ordinary, akin to “Santa Baby” but with less purring, there’s Liz Phair’s “Ho, Ho, Ho,” which the New Haven native calls a dystopian Christmas song. (One line goes, “Santa’s a joker and I need a laugh.”)
John Mayer, The Fifth Estate, Miracle Legion, the Carpenters and other Connecticut-bred singers and bands also have Christmas songs, though few make it onto the dial. The Carpenters, who grew up in New Haven, will always be associated with “Merry Christmas, Darling” (for which Richard Carpenter wrote the music when he was 20). But what radio audiences are missing out on is one of the most gorgeous renderings ever recorded of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” which the Carpenters did as a bluesy ballad that will make many people wonder why they never heard it before. 
Unless radio stations get creative, I won’t expect to ever hear it on the air. In fact, a Russian spy disguised as an annoying donkey might plant a chip in my brain while I’m waiting. I love gifts, but that will definitely not be one of my favorite things. 
Happy holidays.
Samberg’s grandfather, the comic musician Benny Bell, did not live long enough to give his permission for a seasonal version of his famous novelty song “Shaving Cream” to be written. Samberg wrote, recorded and marketed the spicy “Holiday Shaving Cream” anyway. He can be reached at JoeltheWriter@comcast.net.
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