Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gifts & Wishes -> Soundtrack Songs (Holiday Edition): The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)

Alvin & The Chipmunks: Christmas Don't Be Late


Okay, I'm cheating a little here. Technically, this song does NOT count for our coming theme, as it was recorded in '58, sans visual imagery, and went on to top the charts, garnering its author and sped-up tripartite singer Ross Bagdasarian three Grammys: Best comedy performance, Best children's recording, and Best engineered record (non-classical).

But given how famous it made the Chipmunks themselves, it's no surprise to find that the song managed to feature prominently in several subsequent television incarnations, from the short-lived sixties cartoon The Alvin Show to the '81 Alvin and the Chipmunks special A Chipmunk Christmas.

Which means that if you're young enough, like me, you can't help but visualize the characters themselves when you hear it. And here's the true test, really: if you picture the Chipmunks as cartoons with the above personalities, then you, too, have the boob tube image in YOUR head - for the original record sleeve showed three fairly realistic chipmunks, not the cartoonish characters with personality we all recognize.

Really. Check it out:

Looks wrong, doesn't it?

And that's the point of our coming theme, after all: to post songs which we cannot help but see in our mind's eye, due to their origin in the films and television specials of the holiday season. Now that this "cheat" is out of the way, we can focus on those songs - both originals, and particular versions of classic carols - which really do spring from the screen. Expect some nostalgic images atop this week's post, folks. And enjoy the season, both on and off the tube.

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