Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

1986-2016: Celebrating 30 Years of sending Scottish Music Worldwide.

cover image for Bah! Humbug (The Alternative Christmas Album)
October 2002
despatch next working day

12 tracks: Santa Bloody Claus * A Christmas Carol * The Present * The Lone Shepherd * There Are No Lights On Our Christmas Tree * Twelve Days of Christmas * The Man That Slits The Turkey’s Throats at Christmas * God Bless The Birthday Boy * Christmas Morning * Christmas Comes But Once a Year * Mary Christmas * We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Humorous Christmas songs performed by Robin Laing, Ian McCalman, Scott Murray, Tom Clelland, Eric Bogle, Tom Lehrer, Cyril Tawney, Bill Barclay, The McCalmans, Malcolm Jones, Loudon Wainwright III, His Worship And The Pig and Enoch Kent.

Do you twinkle like the lights on a Christmas tree at the approach of Christmas or do you throw up your arms in dismay? If the latter applies then this album is definitely for you!

The seemingly endless stream of re-packaged Christmas compilations which each November (or is it August?) hit the record shops provided the idea for this album. The blatant commercialism of modern-day Christmas, emphasised by Christmas cards and Jingle Bells in chain stores and supermarkets in the autumn, was the inspiration for poking fun at what Christmas has become, while providing some food for thought!

The Christmas phenomena clearly interests songwriters and provides loads of material for their pens - some tracks were recorded just for this album. These include the wickedly hilarious The Man That Slits The Turkey’s Throats at Christmas, written by John Rudkin and performed by Robin Laing (with barber-shop vocal backing from Ian McCalman and Scott Murray), and The Present, composed and sung by Tom Clelland, which captures the image of the present we’ve all received and hated!

Eric Bogle’s Santa Bloody Claus has a decidedly Australian slant and is a hilariously disrespectful contribution. This is followed by Tom Lehrer’s A Christmas Carol, humorously honouring the nation’s manufacturers in Tom’ s unique satirical style. The other gems are The Lone Shepherd (composed for this project) and There Are No Lights On Our Christmas Tree, two funny and cleverly crafted contributions from The Grey Funnel Line man, Cyril Tawney.

Bill Barclay performs his drunken Twelve Days of Christmas vinyl success of some years back. The McCalmans rock to Ian’s God Bless The Birthday Boy with a star-studded backing including Runrig’s Malcolm Jones. Loudon Wainwright III provides a very thought-provoking song of 1991, Christmas Morning, Enoch Kent has a dig at commercialism in Christmas Comes But Once a Year, and His Worship and The Pig describe how Santa’s wife Mary Christmas has run off with the man from Toys ‘r’ Us.

The album concludes on an almost serious but certainly genuine note with We Wish You A Merry Christmas from the one-off Greentrax Choir. Everyone who took part in this track gave their services free and the royalty will be donated to Cancer Research.

‘The funniest Christmas CD I have heard in a long time’ (The Folk Magazine)
‘It’s a breath of fresh air to the usual tripe regurgitated every year’ (Isles FM)
‘Relief from the schmaltz and commercialism’ (Folk on Sunday Radio)
‘A classic to be administered aurally every Christmas’ (Rootitooti)
‘delightfully irreverent compilation…’ (HMV Magazine)


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