Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Joyous Winter-time Holiday(s) to you and yours! For this special edition of Weird Al Wednesday, we have a song no Christmas playlist should go without: “The Night Santa Went Crazy” from the album Bad Hair Day.
This fantastic holiday song from Al features a tale of psychosis, alcohol-induced gun violence, death, and festive cheer. The song has several influences that culminated in it’s creation. A style parody of Soul Asylum’s “Black Gold”, with bits of “Mama I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy Osbourne, Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas”, and The Kinks’ “Father Christmas”, this song has a little bit of everything. One of the things that makes this work for Al, is the use of happy & upbeat music to describe the stuff of horror films and killing sprees. It’s the kind of off-the-wall stuff we’ve all come to expect from Al now and then. It’s a piece that brings a smile to my face when I hear it and something that will always have a place on my Zune’s Christmas Time playlist. As a holiday bonus, here’s the “Extra Gory” version that was only released on the “Amish Paradise” single album. Merry Christmas/(Insert Relevant Holiday Here) to all, and to all stay weird!
Welcome all to another installment of Weird Al Wednesdays! For this week’s selection, I have chosen one of Al’s biggest hits of the 90s: Amish Paradise.
One of the things that makes this a great song is the subject matter: the Amish. Most Amish have probably never heard this song, as they don’t electricity. While some might be offended, it is important to remember that the song isn’t made to poke fun at anyone. Al is a parodist; none of this is anything personal. The video for the song is also a well-done parody of Coolio’s video for Gangsta’s Paradise. From the profile shots of Al sweating (shots are of L.V. in the original), to the blonde woman in the chair getting mad and flipping it over, the video runs the gambit of Coolio’s original.
As my readers may have picked up on by now, I love full, rich harmonies. Amish Paradise delivers such harmonies in the chorus backup vocals, just as can be heard in the original. Al, of course, has to put a spin on it and makes it an Amish choral group. This is the kind of attention to detail Al puts into his music. It is another thing that makes him stand out as an artist. Doing a rap song like this also shows Al’s versatility as an artist, not to mention that of his band.
Do you like Amish Paradise? What do you like about it? Perhaps you prefer Gangsta’s Paradise. If so, why? Let me know in the comments. Stay weird!