I can now add to that list "No Christmas in Kentucky." Originally written and released by king of the protest singers Phil Ochs back in 1963, the song was recently recorded by Kentucky roots duo Heath and Molly and released as the title track to their Christmas EP.
If you know any of the songs above, particularly "Pretty Paper," the message is familiar. It paints a beautiful picture of Christmas shopping and merrymaking before reminding us that the very poorest are right here in our midst: "The trees don't twinkle when you're hungry, and the jingle bells don't jingle when you're poor."
What's nice about this version is that husband-wife duo Heath and Molly Eric deliver the song with a bit more hope than the Ochs original.
In reminding us that Christ is probably going to spend Christmas with Appalachian miners, they plant a seed that maybe we can all do something to help those in need this holiday season.
The four-song collection continues with a fun version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," followed by "Cherry Tree Carol," a traditional British ballad about Mary, Joseph and the unborn baby Jesus.
The EP finishes on an upbeat note with an extended version of "Jingle Bells."
The record is available for download now at heathandmolly.com.