If you haven't been following this all along, by "alternative" I mean the stuff that I didn't actually pick for Music Advent. Part 1 is here.
(Here's what I actually picked for N-Q)
So picking up again with N, the only thing I wrote down was "Nothing Compares 2 U" - which I think was just in case I completely didn't find a video for "Never Stop," to tell you the truth. Because that's just one of those songs that I have strong and ancient emotional ties with, you know?
So here's Sinead's version of that, in case you only know it from "The Voice" or something):
(Lyrics are useful for this song, I think - I always had trouble understanding her, at least.) This song was written by Prince, incidentally.
O: I think I mentioned somewhere along the line that I had "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" written down for O - that's always been one of my favorite old carols. (I have a weakness for the minor-key ones, generally.) What I actually used was Dishwalla's "Opaline" and I did have a couple of things besides those two written down: The Eagles' "Ol' 55" and also "One Headlight" which I think is the Wallflowers.
P: I used Radiohead's "Pyramid Song" but I had several other things written down. One was "Pat-a-Pan" which is most generally famous in this Mannheim Steamroller version. (Gawd, I just listened to that, & I didn't remember it being as boringly repetitive as it sounds to me at the moment. I suppose that's because it's one 30-second melody which they then proceed to repeat about 10 times.) Then there was "Psallite" which is also something I know from choir - it's not generally something you hear around at Christmas because it's too obscure for that, but from what I remember of the (Latin) lyrics it does seem to be a Christmas song.
That's a nice version of it. Much better than my 7th-grade choir one was, I bet!
The two non-Christmas songs I had written down were "Purple Rain" (speaking of Prince) and Jackson Browne's "The Pretender."
For Q, I had "Queen of Hearts" written down (which I know somebody else did use in Music Advent, because I looked) and something called "Queen of the Air." - I don't have easy access to my iTunes list right now so I'm not entirely sure what that is. (Possibly Everclear, because it's a song on an album I know I had.)
(R-U picks here)
R songs other than "River" which I used: Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere" - one of my old favorites. Here's David Byrne in a 2002 performance:
Other R's: Radioactive, by which I'm sure I meant the Imagine Dragons song, not any of several older ones. (One thing I've noticed about the Imagine Dragons song: it's one of those songs people sing along with. Pay attention the next time you're in the supermarket or somewhere and it comes on, I bet you'll notice it.) Also Real Fine Place To Start, which is one of those country-ish songs that I picked up somewhere along the line.
I better quit talking so much about every single song or I'll never finish this.
S: I used the cheesy 80s song "Stone Cold" but my alternatives were Fixx, "Saved by Zero"; "Superstar" by which I think I meant the old Carpenters song rather than the musical; and "Second Chance" - the Shinedown song from a few years back. (All I wrote down were titles, which is why I'm going through my list and trying to decide which version of a song I meant.)
T: I used the 80s song "True"; my alternatives were Dan Fogelberg's "There's a Place in the World for a Gambler," Pearl Jam's "Tremor Christ" (but I used Pearl Jam twice this year as it was) and that old cheeseball classic "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
U: I used Simple Minds' "Up on the Catwalk" because neither one of the other songs I had written down had a video I liked. In the case of "Under Your Spell" from the Buffy musical - and that seems sort of odd (that I didn't like the video, considering that it was the original video), but it didn't appeal at the time, that's all I know. The other one was "Unwritten" (Natasha Bedingfield).
(V-Z videos here)
V: I used "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel" (i.e., "O Come Emmanuel" in Latin) for my actual pick, but I also threw another V song into this entry, Ultravox's "Vienna." I also had "Valotte" (Julian Lennon) and Vasoline (Stone Temple Pilots) on the list.
Possibly my favorite thing that I skipped is "Wig in a Box" (movie version) (but again, I had already used a Hedwig song):
other W songs, besides the Wassail Song which I used: another musical song, the "Watch Dog Theme" from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and also Amy Obenski's "Words on a Page"
(Best Little Whorehouse is another thing that I have a weird emotional reaction to - or maybe it's more accurate to call it a heavily nostalgic reaction. The Chicken Ranch story broke in the summer, one of the years that I was a teenager, and we used to watch Channel 13 all the time and saw all of Marvin Zindler's posturing about it. I think we thought it was all pretty stupid even at the time, but I also remember being oddly riveted by the whole thing too. - Ask anybody from Houston: there was just something about that man you couldn't turn away from, possibly like a trainwreck.)
(I'm running out of steam here, so I'll be brief.) The Y alternatives were Coldplay's "Yellow" which I have always been unaccountably fond of, and another 80s song, "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record.) For Z, the alternatives I had were "Zat You, Santa Claus?" (if anybody actually used that, I didn't see it) and U2's "Zoo Station." (Frankly, I was at my aunt's house late on Christmas Eve after everybody had gone to bed, and I think the one I used was the first one I looked at, "Zydeco Stomp." I think I used it mostly because I was tired and I didn't want to look at any more videos. "Eh, I like that song, what the heck.")