Endless Loop (Christmas Edition): Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

darleneloveHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome to this extra special Christmas edition of Endless Loop.

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

Full Disclosure: I am an atheist…and I LOVE Christmas.

I love the lights and the decorations. I love the cooler temperatures, the TV specials, the gaudy, inflatable, light-up crap people put up in their front yards (not in my yard though), the ugly sweaters, the food and gifts and family, and all the parties and festivities. Hell, I even like Christmas shopping. Finding something to give to a loved one makes me feel good. There’s just something about the whole season that gets under my skin and makes me happy, allows me to look past and ignore the commodification and consumerism and exploitation that come along with the holiday. I don’t care about all that. Nor do I care about any of the religious stuff surrounding the whole affair. Sure, it’s important stuff, especially with it actually being a religious holiday and all, but I’m more about the feelings of love and brotherhood and goodwill that are supposed to accompany it. I’m more about the good vibes and good tidings we’re all supposed to be putting out there. Give me that Christmas spirit. And give me Christmas music. I really love Christmas music. And maybe that makes me weird, but I don’t care.

(Gets off soapbox.)

If you’re looking for nostalgia in your music, it all starts with Christmas tunes. Listening to them, you’re either tapping into your own youthful memories with the songs of yore, or going even deeper into your parents’ nostalgia, jamming to the songs of your childhood as well as your parents’ childhood. It’s a kind of nostalgia for nostalgia, but not in a bad or culture-less way. Rather, it’s a line to connect generations with one another. That’s why most of the prevailing Christmas songs are so old, just modern acts of the time doing their own cover versions of decades old classics, a veritable succession of carols on repeat. But every generation seems to get to throw one new song into the Christmas cauldron, a song to stand the test of time. For better or worse, my generation’s contribution is either Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (a non-guilty pleasure) or Elmo and Patsy’s “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” (a sonic abomination). So let’s do this Christmas edition of Endless Loop on a song from parents’ generation instead. Let’s do my favorite Christmas song. Let’s do Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” from 1963’s A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records, or from Phil Spector, depending on which edition of the record you have.

I first heard the song in Joe Dante’s Gremlins, a kind of mean-spirited little anti-Christmas movie that anyone around in the 80’s (or even beyond that) probably has fond memories of. Nothing like a bunch of little monsters attacking a small town to bring out the Yuletide spirit. Ever since, the song has been knocking around in my brain, bubbling to the surface every December. Harnessing Phil Spector’s trademark Wall Of Sound and 1960’s girl group aesthetic, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is a pop song first and foremost, and a Christmas song second. Love’s vocals are filled to the very brim with affection and yearning, and paired with Spector’s glorious production, psychotic weirdo though he may be, make the song an instant classic. It belongs on every Christmas mixtape, every playlist, every record player whilst drinking coffee and opening presents, or driving around the city looking at all the lights, or sitting in front of a fireplace just letting the day and night pass.

Merry Christmas everybody. Happy holidays too.

 

Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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