new and expected

a  v e r y  e r i k  k e n n e d y  c h r i s t m a s ,  2 0 2 3
Oh my God I can't believe it but yes it's really true it's really that special and overwhelming time of year again it is it is eeek. Greetings and welcome to the sixth annual instalment of A Very Erik Kennedy Christmas.

Here are the five previous classic volumes:


To be serious for a moment, I almost didn't do this this year. There is an on-the-precipice feeling to being in the world at the moment, as if one unfortunate nose-twitch could send me (or anyone!) hurtling off the planet into some sort of absurd perdition. But I went ahead for two reasons. 1) I thought it would be good for my mental health. 2) As I gathered material, I found myself holding in my arms a swaddling cloth full of gold; I was the proud father of the best Christmas mixtape I've made since the first one, in 2018.

My methods are always the same. I scour for the most noteworthy and ooh-worthy and WTF-worthy public domain Christmas music, I choose twelve tracks, and I post them here as a wee stocking filler for you on

I like to think that I have become, in Christmas-mixtape-making terms, a 'mature artist'. I have largely selected songs for their interesting textures rather than for their bold proclamations. I'm delighted to have one of the great minor key Christmas carols played eerily on the harp, celesta, and Hammond organ. I'm elated to have an old cowboy tune I didn't previously know. And I am over the moon to have a track from a notorious 'song-poem' factory, and something off a CD that might have been given away for free with an entry-level keyboard, rubbing shoulders with songs by the Godfather of Soul and the Forces' Sweetheart.

I hope this holiday season is an uncomplicated handbagful of mirth for you. Failing that, I hope it's complicated but interesting, like cricket or love. Happy Christmas. XOXO

As a ZIP.

Or track by track (length 38.14):

01. Vera Lynn - I'm Sending My Letter to Santa Claus
02. The Majestic Orchestra - Dónde Está Santa Claus
03. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans - Christmas on the Plains
04. The Voices of Walter Schumann - The First Snowfall
05. Calvin Bostick - Christmas Won't Be Christmas (Without You)
06. The Fabulous Wailers - Christmas Spirit
07. MSR Records - The Birthday of Jesus Christ
08. Fran McKenna and the Mulcays - Mother's Christmas Tree
09. Dorothy Ashby, Jimmy Clark, and Tom Montgomery - We Three Kings
10. The Ramsey Lewis Trio - Egg Nog
11. James Brown and the Famous Flames - Let's Make Christmas Mean Something This Year
12. Electronic Computer Christmas Music - Let It Snow

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