It’s the Eleventh Day of Christmas, and your true love, and yours truly, are back with the fourth and final delivery of musical gift suggestions for the Twelve Days. It’s about time, too — the geese, the hens and swans have made a mess, the lords have leapt/stepped in it, and your Epiphany consists of wishing your true love, and yours truly, would just go away for at least 11 and a half months.
11 Pipers Piping
On the next-to-last Day of Christmas, your true love will show up with “Green Tambourine,” the Lemon Pipers’ 1968 No. 1; “Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” the 1967 debut album by Pink Floyd; “Guantanamera” and “Come SaturdayMorning,” by the Sandpipers (just to prove they weren’t one-hit wonders); "Pay to the Piper,” by the soul group Chairmen of the Board; “The Pied Piper,” Crispian St. Peter; and “Bagrock for the Masses” by the Red Hot Chili Pipers, for their take on “Smoke on the Water” (seriously, you need to hear something other than the over-played Deep Purple version).
Also in the delivery would be "I'm Your Man,” the 1992 single by professional wrestler and actor (but I repeat myself) Rowdy Roddy Piper — unfortunately (or maybe not?) available only in the U.K., so as an alternative Cyndi Lauper's music video of "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough,” on which he appears. Plus a quartet of rock songs that used bagpipes, sometimes inconspicuously, sometimes not: AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” “Mull of Kintyre” by Paul McCartney and Wings, Echo and the Bunnymen's “The Cutter” and “Shout” by Tears for Fears.
12 Drummers Drumming
On the Twelfth Day, the drummers alone will make things crowded on the porch or breezeway. The drummer is less than obvious in “Baby Face,” the 1975 Top 100 “hit” by the Wing and a Prayer Fife and Drum Corps, but disco music is high on everybody’s Christmas wish list, right? Your true love could also bring you songs or albums with long drum solos, although Iron Butterfly’s “In a Gadda da Vida” would be more like another lump of coal.
Zepp’s “Moby Dick,” “Toad” by Cream and “Karn Evil 9” by Emerson Lake & Palmer would be more welcome gifts. Ditto for albums by Ginger Baker, Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, and solo drum/percussion-intensive LPs by Art Blakey, Billy Cobham and Max Roach. But the bow on top of the package would be Bowie’s performance, with some guy named Crosby (but not David) on “Little Drummer Boy.”