Thing a Week 11 – Podsafe Christmas Song
Yes, I know, it’s two days early. That’s how restful my week off was – I am now twice as productive! Actually, I’m off for a mid-Atlantic tour with John Hodgman tomorrow, and I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to post this if I don’t do it today. This week’s thing came from a suggestion made by a few podcasters: Len and Nora from Jawbone Radio, Big Mike and Just Sue from Extra Super Action Show, and C.C. Chapman from Accident Hash. They wanted a podsafe Christmas song (for those of you not on the podcasting tip, “podsafe” just means that the copyright holder authorizes its use on podcasts). The subject matter’s a bit inside, but the inspiration should be immediately clear if you’ve ever heard a Chipmunks song. I poke a little fun at Adam Curry, self-annointed “podfather,” because he has all the money and all the power. I kid because I love, and also because I want to curry favor. Ha! I said “Curry” favor!
Technical note: you have no idea how slow and awful the vocals sound at regular speed.
Anyway, enjoy! Play it on your podcasts, tip me if you like it, Merry Xmas, sorry for all the exclamation points!
Wow, nostalgia -- Chipmunks and Adam Curry. I'm so old I remember watching both of those on TV.
Unfortunately I do know hhhhooooowwwwww loooooonnnnngggg aaaannnnnddddd ddddrrrraaaaawwwwwwnnnnnn oooooouuuuutttttttttt it has to be. The easiest way I found to do it was to sing a falsetto at my recorder's highest tape speed (to give me some chance of understanding/singing with it at half speed), then record another track at half speed in normal voice using the slowed-down first recording as a guide vocal. I gained tremendous respect for Ross Bagdassarian after I tried it for myself. It's actually the parts you don't/can't sing correctly (particularly at the beginning and end of words) that make it sound chipmunky. If you did it perfectly you'd just be an octave higher. Fortunately, none of those recordings survive.
I'm looking forward to listening to your interview with Mark Forman when it goes up, btw.
Your song's a riot. I may have to throw a new podcast together just so I can play it. The only thing I would have done different is to ask Adam, "Are you taking a leak up there again?"
Great song! My favorite part: "I don't want to be forward, but I think you guys may have saved Christmas." XD
C.C. Chapman says
I still can't begin to express how thankful I am that you did this. When I first brough you into the loop it was to WRITE something. Not write, record and make a god damn masterpiece. I'm still laughing and everyone in the podcasting community is loving it.
The Almighty Charles says
I'm not yet tapped into the joys of podcasts... but this was still realy enjoyable (though I am a big fan of The Chipmunks, oddly enough.)
Dana Huff says
My two-year-son rocked out to it! He even had to throw down, pretending to play my husband's keyboard along with it.
Great song. I'm in the mood for Christmas now. Chipmunks roasting on an open fire and all that jazz.
Brooklyn Bluesman says
I can't believe you didn't tll me about this last night! I'm glad CC gave me heads up today! It's a scream! I never apologize for exclamation marks-and it's going in inteview show! Knock 'em dead with Hodgie!
Hugh: I feel you bro. That's what I did too, sang it at intended pitch, slowed it down to listen, and then tried to copy how it sounded. Sucked. The comedian Patton Oswalt has a really funny bit about listening to chipmunks records at slow speed, and how it sounds like a bunch of bored guys having a conversation with a horrible demon. You can hear a little in the iTunes preview called My Christmas Memory from his CD, which is very funny.
This song gets better and better the more I listen to it. I was totally blown away by it when I heard it and I concur with CC...you really did an awesome job!
I LOVE THIS!
I'm totally going to play it on a podcast before Christmas! :)
I love this song and I'll feature it on our big holiday show on Dec 22. Just played Baby Got Back on show 50! You're loved on The Big Show!!
You astound me with how consistently you produce something that is so funny and intelligent. This song will definitely be add to my Christmas playlist! (And I don't apologize for exclamation marks, either!)
i'll send you a helicopter for christmas :D
Jonathan, I remember when the original came out (we won't talk about how damned long ago *that* was - and no wisecracks about cryogenic preservation, please), and I've always liked it.
But your version - oh, man - I love it - and my wife, who was a HUGE Chipmunks fan as a kid, REALLY loves it.
Thanks for the best laugh I've had in a long time. And I'll be spinning your version at Murphy's Saloon very soon.
Eric Ginsberg says
Does it hurt to be so wonderful?
Bazooka Joe says
I blew snot all over my monitor when I Adam said "Jesus!" during the song from laughing so hard.
So simple. So obvious. So brilliant.
That was brilliance. I listened to it a bunch of times, and had a great laugh.
technical tip: Oh yeah, and why would you try and do it slow. There's options where you can just change pitch without changing speed.
Out of interest, what is the original mentioned above?
Having bought the "other" podsafe christmas song, I've sent an additional donation via http://fundable.org/groupactions/podsafeforpeace for this track.
My 8 year old doughter Chica loved it so much, she's playing it all the time on her mp3 player and going "jesus What", and she don't even know what it means, and i am laughing every time i hear the song, especialy the Adam bits are great, ThankZ.
btw, i got the song from C.C.
Again it's brilliant.
Anya P. from NJ says
Just leaving a comment cause I liked the song so much I played it on my show, Alternative Teen Music podcast 04! Great song! If you want to hear my show the website is http://atmpodcast.libsyn.com. Once again, Great song!!
"Out of interest, what is the original mentioned above?"
There are comments on this Amazon page and the full story is here.
A Fistfull Of We Three Kings Peeper Radio Theater- Peeper Brand Robo-Santas Jonathan Coulton - Podsafe Christmas Song Uncle Seth - O Come All Ye Faithful Doug Boldt - Silent Night Podsafe For Peace - If Everday Was Christmas
What were the names of the chipmunks, and who was Skyping in from his hellicoptor? You should have added helecopter noises at the end or something.
Azlan Ahmad says
I was wondering of what type of creative common license you are using for the song? Can th song be distributed and be edited for commercial use and such?
Dave Solon says
Just wanted you to know this one keeps giving, year after year! I'm borrowing it for use on my recent episode (http://www.twentyfortech.com/?p=43).
Thanks for sharing!
Jonathan, thanks for the song man. We're closing the Christmas special of the Giant Bomb Community Podcast (Bomb Should Have A Face) with it.
Thanks for great song.
Cheers!!! Christmas is not complete without its authentic touch… I have a good collection of christmas country music. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do….
Silly Bandz Fan says
Hooray for silly bandz! Everybody should discover the fun in trading them with their family.