(Christmas) Songs That Suck: DOMINICK THE DONKEY

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dominick the donkey
Lou Monte
Roulette Records, 1960

At my age, I thought I had heard all of the annoying novelty Christmas songs that are trotted out every year. “Christmas Don’t Be Late” (aka The Chipmunk Song). “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”. “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”. These are all songs that have been played ad nausium since I can remember. They’re songs that don’t necessarily make me want to hurt fluffy woodland creatures whenever I come across them–as a matter of fact, sometimes it just doesn’t seem like Christmas until I hear one of those songs. However, there appears to be one Christmas song that has managed to escape my notice in all the 40+ years of existence: “Dominick The Donkey”.

There I was, in one of the half-dozen Cost Cutters salons that populate the town of Fremont, Nebraska, about to get my shaggy mane trimmed, when this song came on the piped-in overhead music. I sat, transfixed, at how annoying and yet herpes-like catchy this song was. Moreso at the fact that this song seemed to be about a donkey (duh) that helps Santa get some toys to children in Italy, because Santa’s reindeer seem to have trouble climbing the Italian mountains. Correct me if I’m wrong, but…can’t his reindeer fly? This is a tremendous stretch to attempt an endearing Christmas classic, and I believe I hate this song. Maybe I have heard this song before, and my brain just immediately blanked it out of my memory in an adorable attempt to prevent madness and insanity. But thanks to my need to look neat and tidy, I now have this song haunting my Yuletide nightmares.

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HALLOWEEN’ING Day 17: “Amityville (The House On The Hill)” (Lovebug Starski)

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halloween'ing 2017
amityville the house on the hill
The season of Halloween has produced some of the best novelty songs to be released. And hip-hop, when it started to take off in the 1980s, had some cuts dedicated to the holiday. “Are You Ready For Freddy” by The Fat Boys, “Nightmare On My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, and…um, there’s more out there, I’m sure. Rap’s not really my thing. Point is, though, I do loves me a good Halloween novelty song, regardless of the music genre.

Which brings us to “Amityville (The House On The Hill)”, by one Lovebug Starski. Doing a bit of research, it looks like Lovebug was pretty prolifent, releasing six albums between 1981 and 1986, which is when this particular song was released.

I’ve only recently come across “Amityville (The House On The Hill)”, and only because it was talked about in a podcast I listen to. I thought I was pretty up on the obscure Halloween novelty songs; evidently not.

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HALLOWEEN’ING 2015: Day 12 – “Monster Mash”

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HALLOWEEN'ING 2015

monster mash I think there’s some kind of official rule now, written down and notarized, that the Bobby “Boris” Pickett novelty song “Monster Mash” is legally required to be included in all Halloween party music mixes. Go ahead: Pick up any Halloween Music Mix compilation that comes out during the season, and nine times out of ten, “Monster Mash” is on there. And if it’s not on there, you know there’s someone out there wondering why “Monster Mash” wasn’t included.

Look, I understand that playing “Monster Mash” during Halloween is the seasonal equivalent of playing “Silent Night” during Christmas. It’s expected. You may even enjoy singing along to it at first. But, like all of those other Christmas songs, “Monster Mash” tends to get old after hearing it played ad nausium. But, it’s a mainstay, and thus inclusion on this Halloween countdown of mine.

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