“Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues (featuring Kirsty MacColl)

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A tragic and funny Christmas classic. Pogues lead singer Shane McGowan channels his inner Tom Waits for this wonderfully down-and-out duet with Kirsty MacColl. Some politically incorrect language, so not safe for work or little ones.  Look for Matt Dillon as a beat cop putting McGowan in jail.

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“The Bells of St. Mary” – The Drifters

Another great, soulful, holiday classic … this time from the Drifters.  This version of “The Bells of St. Mary” is sublime and was used to chilling effect in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” when Joe Pesci’s character pays Samuel L. Jackson’s character a visit one morning.

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Darlene Love

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Yes, I know I’m jumping the gun on this Christmas thing, but so are all the retailers this year, starting Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving evening. So, I’m getting the jump on them. Take that, retailers!

But I digress … This is my all-time favorite Christmas tune, especially towards the end where Love takes the vocals completely over the top. Puts a shiver up my spine every time. Say what you will about Phil Spector’s girl (as well as guns, drugs, and legal) troubles, he was a hell of a producer back in the day.