The Jingle Babies

They are horrible, singing babies.

Is holiday spirit in our blood? It must be, seeing as how I can’t think of any other music—except perhaps for nursery rhymes—as deeply known by everyone from mass murderers to grandmothers. Why, then, do Christmas carols make us ache? Why do I cringe each year in early November when I find myself singing along in Crate & Barrel with in-store overhead renditions of whatever current recording artist has reinterpreted “Jingle Bells”? Sometimes I catch myself humming “White Christmas” in July, unconscious, giddy. I’m always told to shush.

Rockabye Christmas is a holiday tribute record consisting of twelve Christmas favorites presented via the sound of screaming infants (a.k.a. the Jingle Babies). The album art features an enormous disembodied baby head, its small blue eyes flecked with gleam, its two-toothed mouth gaping. The head is set on at the center of an LSD swirl, a swirl colored not in theme with the seasonal red and green, but just off—orange and aqua. Tacky fonts arranged around the unblinking baby declares this album “The Original Singing Babies,” sold with the slogan “Real Babies Sing Holiday Classics!”

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—Blake Butler

Blake Butler recently finished writing a novel in ten days in a David Lynch mode. He is the editor of Lamination Colony and blogs at blakebutler.blogspot.com.

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