PREAMBLE/DISCLAIMER/PRE-NOTE/WHATEVER YOU WANNA CALL IT: This is something I started working on last December with a blog I was writing for before Stitched Up. It was never completed because of stuff that went down with the site. It doesn’t exist anymore, but hey, that’s besides the point. The first 3 parts of this series will be a republication of the posts I wrote last year, with some revisions made. You’ll know where any major changes are (like any changes of decisions) when you see italicized text like this. After part 3, everything is brand spankin’ new. So, enjoy!
Part 1 gave you our field, and part 2 got the first round out of the way. No matter what did or didn’t make it to round 2, one thing remains clear: the Carpenters are still freaky.
So round 2 is about to go down for real, Flo Rida style. I’m excited to see how this is all going to turn out, and I can’t wait to make someone mad with my picks. Last time around, we had some powerhouses moving on with ease, some big upsets, and everything in between. Can they each keep it up throughout all this derangement? Who’s sweet enough for the Sweet 16? Let’s get into it!
We’ll continue with the Tree region.
#1 Fairytale of New York-The Pogues vs #8 Merry Christmas Baby-Bruce Springsteen
The thing that I love about Bruce’s Christmas songs is that they’re all recorded during his live shows. He brings an uncanny rush of emotion and pure excitement with every single performance, and it shows in “Merry Christmas Baby.” However, this song isn’t his best horse in the race, and it’s going against a multigenerational powerhouse. “Fairytale” surely isn’t your run-of-the-mill, “happy happy happy” Christmas song; it’s the opposite actually. But this tournament isn’t about picking the traditional songs, it’s about picking the best. I’ve gotta stick with the Pogues here.
#5 Do They Know It’s Christmas?-Band Aid (Original) vs #4 Run Rudolph Run-Chuck Berry
The original Band Aid just has soooooo much going for it. The artists complement each other nicely, and it’s now a holiday favorite 30 years later that has led to much more than good music. Chuck Berry is a legend in his own right, and “Run Rudolph Run” is certainly a song that fits his style, but the overwhelming talent in the 1984 Band Aid is something that a whole lot of people can, and have, enjoyed. The hipster Band Aid carries on to the Sweet 16.
#6 Jingle Bell Rock-Bobby Helms vs #14 One Foot in Front of the Other-Mickey Rooney and Keenan Wynn
I don’t quite know about this one. They both put me in a nice mood, but in different ways. I’m torn, but I’m leaning towards the underdog. Sure, Helms sings this song better than anyone, with Regina George and Co. coming in a close second, but Rooney and Wynn’s song sparks many more feelings personally. Maybe it’s a bit of a bias, but whenever I hear “One Foot,” childhood Christmas memories start rushing in, as I watched Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town nonstop when the holidays would roll around. Still do; I’m considering (again this year) changing my Twitter name to Burgermeister Meisterburger, if it fits of course (it doesn’t. Might just do Winter Warlock now). I’m feeling a lil’ upset special here.
#10 Sleigh Ride-Leroy Anderson vs #2 Christmas Time Is Here-Vince Guaraldi
This is an interesting pairing because both songs rely heavily on musical elements. Hell, one of these is all music. But that instrumental can’t knock off Guaraldi’s iconic “Christmas Time Is Here,” which leads off possibly the greatest Christmas special of all time in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Without much of a second thought, Guaraldi advances.
P.S. With all this talk about Christmas specials and movies, that might have to be my next project.
The Milk and Cookies region is up next.
#1 Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town-Bruce Springsteen vs #9 You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch-Thurl Ravenscroft
Bruce is a #1 seed for a reason. I don’t think you can put up too much of an argument for “You’re a Mean One” here. It puts me in a good mood, but the Boss’ tune blows Ravenscroft out of the water in that aspect. That’s what the Grinch gets for being a cotton headed ninnimuggins to Whoville. Yeah I know, he ended up being cool and everything, blah, blah, blah. Bruce by a landslide.
#4 Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer-Burl Ives vs #13 12 Pains of Christmas-Bob Rivers
Hmmm…..hmmmmm……hmmmmmm……Burl Ives’ “Rudolph” has been around for so long, and it continues to played by people of all ages. Yet Rivers’ comedy record is just so funny! “I WANNA TRANSFOWMAH FOR CHRISTMAS!!!” The thing that makes it great is that I’ve personally experienced a lot of those things mentioned in one way, shape, or form. Especially the crying kid; I’ve seen some real brats. I’m going back and forth here. I’m really split. But I think Burl Ives gets the tiebreaker due to its legendary status. Great matchup, honestly.
#11 Dominic the Donkey-Lou Monte vs #3 Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town-Frank Sinatra
This one didn’t take too much thought. Dominic is funny and cute and whatever, but let’s not play around here. Sinatra beats Monte’s ass.
#7 Christmas All Over Again-Tom Petty vs #2 All I Want For Christmas Is You-Mariah Carey
Same deal; Mariah’s song is just straight fire. I’m taking nothing away from Tom Petty and his fire song, though. It’s vastly under appreciated. But Mariah makes it a straight 1-2-3-4 in the Milk and Cookies region.
To the Stockings region we go.
#1 The Christmas Song-Nat King Cole vs #8 12 Days of Christmas-Straight No Chaser
It’s not far out of the realm of possibility that NKC will end up winning this thing. His case is a huge one, as millions of people love his classic take. Straight No Chaser just isn’t as good as its opponent here, and its championship case can’t compare. Kids from 1 to 92 can see Nat King Cole’s strength (Alright, now I’m just forcing it).
#5 Blue Christmas-Elvis Presley vs #13 Please Come Home for Christmas-Bon Jovi
I originally had Elvis losing to Bon Jovi here but now that the pride of NJ is gone I can’t really do that. This isn’t even the Jackson 5’s best Christmas song, so I’m gonna go with Elvis’ best. Elvis’ second and last surviving song keeps on rockin’.
#6 Christmas Lights-Coldplay vs #3 O Holy Night-Josh Groban
As a huge Coldplay fan (if, you, did, not, know, before, reading, this) this is tough for me to do, but YOU CAN’T STOP EL GROBO! “O Holy Night” is just so spectacular. The Grobs is just rollin’ at the moment. All aboard, choo choo!!!!! Groban keeps killin’ it.
#7 Believe-Josh Groban vs #2 Wonderful Christmastime-Paul McCartney
I’m not gonna push Groban that far here, though. While “Believe” is some quality Grobs, Sir Paul can get any room going with the first few bars of “Wonderful Christmastime.” It’s hard to stop Groban, but if anyone can do it in this bracket, it’s a member of the Beatles.
And lastly, we have the North Pole region.
#1 Happy XMass/War is Over-John Lennon vs #9 The Season’s Upon Us-Dropkick Murphy’s
I gave Lennon an easy victory in the last round, but this is a trap matchup. “The Season’s Upon Us” is simply a great song because it’s funny, it’s rowdy, and it’s straight up fire. Pure excellence all around. But so is Lennon’s classic. They each have much different aspects across the board, but they’re both songs I enjoy equally. I was stuck on this one for a while; so stuck that I had to think of a logical tiebreaker. I thought, “If I can’t pick an outright winner, then what’s the best way to settle this?” This is the best method I could come up with: the person who’s song featured Yoko Ono loses. There’s not many people I dislike more than the person who played the biggest part in separating the greatest band of all time, so anytime she’s in a song with you it has to come back and bite ya in the ass. It’s biting John here, honestly. The Dropkicks have a whole lot going for them in “The Season’s Upon Us” because it’s a ballad that everyone can get behind, especially the Irish population around Massachusetts as they can relate to what it’s saying. And I’m not taking anything away from what Lennon has done, especially with this song, but whenever you’ve got Yoko in your corner, I’m gonna notice it. Have to. I’m not doing my job if I’m not. I can link it because I’m now writing for a blog that isn’t hardcore about stuff like this but if you’re questioning my hatred of Yoko and the logic of using that as a way to go with an upset, watch Bill Burr’s video where he talks about Lennon and Chuck Berry performing with each other. It perfectly sums up how much of a witch that woman is. I didn’t think I was gonna do it this early, but only three #1 seeds remain. The (upset) season’s upon us.
#5 Last Christmas-Wham! vs #13 Christmas Vacation Theme-Mavis Staples
Well then. This one isn’t as big of a surprise. If it weren’t for Groban, then I think the big male artist I’d be riding would be George Michael. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I think he’s great. The theme to “Christmas Vacation” is fun and all, but George Michael makes me feel some type of way. Gonna go with Wham! here.
#11 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus-Jackson 5 vs #3 Hark, the Herald Angel Sing-Vince Guaraldi
A battle of two classics. I love me some festive AF MJ, but for some reason this doesn’t match up well enough with “Hark.” Anything Guaraldi touched with A Charlie Brown Christmas became Christmas immortality. Guaraldi keeps his championship hopes alive.
#7 The Chaunukah Song-Adam Sandler vs #2 Christmas in Hollis-Run DMC
This is the sole shot that our Jewish brethren have at a title, but that’s going to be shot down by Run DMC. They’re right up there with some other Jewish artists, The Beastie Boys, as one of the best rap groups of their time. Their creativity and personality shines in “Christmas in Hollis.” Like, who thinks of that stuff? But even in defeat, I’ll throw on Sandler’s comedic hit, and even watch the movie that takes its namesake from a lyric in the song. By the way, Whitey Duvall from Eight Crazy Nights is one of the most underrated holiday film characters. “Technical foul!” DMC runs into the Sweet 16.
So, that probably wasn’t what you thought, huh?! I love this, man. Unpredictable City, USA. I’m excited to see what I find myself picking, and what people think. Stay tuned for the Sweet 16, where things really get down to business because that’s where we left off last year. Until then, we’ll have to wait for this derangement to continue.