In the spirit of the season, this Tape on Book covers Charles Dickens’ classic holiday novella about spirits of the season, A Christmas Carol. The tale of miserable miser’s forced redemption thanks to a ghostly grudge-holding partner and his haint buddies. Check your doorknobs and throw on your best night cap and shirt, tis the hour for Holiday time-traveling!
Tonight, when the bell tolls one, you will be haunted by a mix. Without it, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. (Well you actually probably can, but listen anyways.)
“Bah Humbug”: Scrooge – The Ventures
“Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.” Dickens, you brilliant bastard. Okay, okay, just one more: “Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.”
Ebenezer Scrooge: It’s Money That I Love – Randy Newman
Well, now that Randy Newman is on board for this, you might as well make a some sort of crappy CG-animated version of it. Oh wait…Nevermind.
Bob Cratchit: Well Respected Man – The Kinks
By far this role was Kermit the Frog’s finest work. I am still silenced by the way he powerfully encapsulated the plight of the 19th century working poor in those deeply emotive ping-pong ball eyes.
Face in the Door Knocker: Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Antony and the Johnsons
Perhaps the ghost wouldn’t haunt you if you’d quit banging him in his freakin’ nose.
Jacob Marley: Ghosts – The Jam / Past, Present, Future – Shangri-La’s
Dead, vengeful, and rocking chains and a hanky wrapped round your jaw. Some fashions just never go out of style.
Ghost of Christmas Past: Yesterday – The Bar Kays
Androgynous, whiny, focused on past shortcomings, an affinity for self-torment, swept hair (set on fire, of course) – thusly, Dickens invents emo.
Young Scrooge: Old Man – Neil Young
I imagine there is nothing worse than seeing yourself in the past and realizing that you were just about as miserable as you are now. And considerably less handsome than you remember. Just as dumb though.
Belle, the Ex-Fiancée: Flying Pizza – Swearing at Motorists
There she is…the one that got away. Got away with my ten pound note that is. Boo yah! High Five? Anyone?
Ghost of Christmas Present: Time has Come Today – The Ramones
The Ghost of Xmas Past is definitely the spirit I’d most want to hang with out of the three. He looks like he can really party. A real “live in the now” dude. And you just know he’s not wearing anything under those robes (unlike that Future spook).
The Crachit Family: We’ll Get Ahead Someday – Dolly and Porter
We may be poor, but at least we have each other. Unless, of course, one of us starves to death.
Tiny Tim: Sick Kid – The Babies / Forever Young – Bob Dylan
Creepy invalid impoverished child or creepy gangly ukulele-strumming manchild. I wouldn’t really want to meet either of them in a dark alley. Or a field of tulips. Or in the Victorian ghetto.
Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come: Your Time is Gonna Come – Led Zeppelin
Apparently, the grim reaper was on vacation or something. So we get his less-intimidating and much more British cousin, Ronald Reaper. Come on, C.D.
Mrs. Dilber and Old Joe: Thieves – She & Him
When you are part of the 1840s 1%, you gotta watch your back. As Biggie famously quoth, “Mo Money, Mo Financial Difficulties due to Elaborate Fencing Schemes”.
Scrooge’s Grave: Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard – Tom Waits
I especially love the part where Scrooge’s business associates talk about how they only will go to his funeral for the free lunch. I feel the same way about having to attend my own funeral. By the way, my funeral will be serving bottomless nachos.
Christmas Morning: Welcome Christmas – Red Red Meat / Change of Heart – The Vaccines
Just once, I’d like to experience a miracle that prompts me to madly run through the streets screaming “Merry Christmas” or the like. The closest I’ve come was when I mixed Nyquil and a fifth of Old Crow and thought I was being chased by terrifying clowns. They turned out to be just terrifying juggalos.
The Prize Turkey Feast: Home Cookin’ – The Band
I killed the prize Turkey sandwich the other day. Seriously, won it out of a convenience store claw machine. I must say the mayo had an interesting taste profile.
“God Bless Us, Every One!”: Good Good Day – Nick Cave
Except for you, jerk. (You know who you are)