“Thank God It’s Them Instead of You”

I’m 36, born between the Stonewall Riots and the First Man on the Moon. I’m a part of a very particular generation, and I share this with many of my readers. You know who you are. You don’t need the title of this entry explained to you.

I’m thinking of Christmas, and that staple of 80s folk-art: the mix-tape. MP3 players have revived this quaint art form, and now I call upon you. There was never an album A Kate Bush Christmas, neither did Laurie Anderson make one, nor the Talking Heads, nor The Smiths, nor New Order. The Sugarcubes, for all I know, didn’t even try. The B-52s missed a great opportunity.

If you had to make an 80s era New Wave or Alternative Christmas mix-tape — likely made up of entirely unintentionally Christmassy songs — what would you put on it?

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. *smiles* I love this question! I just wish I had better answers. I can’t quite getcha a full-on alternative list (it’s been a long but productive day, so I’m dragging), but Tori Amos’ “Winter” at least evokes winter and childhood. As far as actual Christmas, though, I suppose one could raid the “Very Special Christmas” series and make a mixed tape (I miss those). I’d put these together:

    Gabriel’s Message – Sting
    I Believe In You – Sinead O’ Connor
    Oiche Chiun (Silent Night) – Enya
    Children Go Where I Send Thee – Natalie Merchant
    I Saw Three Ships – Sting
    The Christmas Song – Hootie & The Blowfish
    Christmas Song – Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
    I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – John Cougar Mellencamp
    Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas -The Pretenders
    We Three Kings – Patti Smith
    Winter Wonderland – Eurythmics
    The Coventry Carol – Alison Moyet
    O Holy Night – Tracy Chapman

    Out of the above, I’m particularly fond of Enya’s Gaelic “Silent Night,” Sting’s “Gabriel’s Message,” and Tracy Chapman’s “O Holy Night.”

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