yeeeeaaaaahhhhhhhh they’re oooooookayyyy

Last week I threw down the gauntlet of holiday songs, shazaaming the hell out of a few cafes and coming up with my least favorite Vietnamese holiday tunes. Here’s the other half: the Vietnamese Holiday Songs I kinda like!

I’ve been pretty consistent that there’s one thing that I just can’t seem to get into here, and that’s Vietnamese music. I just… don’t care for it much. Yes. Let’s just leave it at that.

It’s a bit late in the season, but here are 4 songs I’ve heard over the holidays that… well, they don’t make me want to self-lobotomize with a chopstick, they’re that good.
But don’t take my word for it!

And lately… well, I can’t put my finger on it, but it probably has something to do with feelings. Stockholm Syndrom feelings. Because, these songs… they are making me bounce a little. Just a little! (It might have something to do with my slow acceptance of standard cafe music, check it out.)

The 5th is another Evil Bonus, direct from me to you! Watch at your own risk! You WILL NOT stop singing it.

I could only find four. I may not hate ALL the songs I hear, but I’m not a miracle worker.

Bah Humbug – Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Dieu Uoc Giang Sinh – Dai Trang

“Meeeerry Chriiimah!”

There’s something to be said for the way these songs echo through even the most empty coffee shop, granting a little bit of local cheer to the season. On paper, Vietnam has the perfect recipe for a great pop music scene, but I haven’t found much I like. I’m far away from my friends and family on what is supposed to be a very close occasion, and I have never been sure how to spend these moments.

Miu Miu might be the answer… The background singer sounds, especially, are especially memorable.

Classic Vietnamese looks and a catchy tune save this from some kind of insanity. …Well, sort of.

“Merrrry New Yeaaarrrrrr!”

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town – DBSK

It’s not Christmas without boy band covers of classics! I’m coming out of that particular closet in 2015! This is a pretty classic version of a kids song, and it totally works.

I totally love this fan’s video – the still images are such classic representations of Vietnamese Christmas.

It’s difficult to say why Christmas is so big here, in a land that’s at least 96% other than Christian, except that it’s got a look and feel that is instantly recognizable. Even in this video, they’re wearing sweaters and scarves, and Holiday symbols abound. My only guess is that Vietnamese love a party, and so many of them are pacifists that the season’s messages of love and harmony are falling on very receptive ears.

The harmony at the end is so, so refreshing. It’s like I’m instantly 15 years in the past!

Santa U are the One – Sung by Super Junior – SMTown with Henry and Zhoumi

This is a MUST WATCH for an introduction to Vietnamese Pop x-mas culture, and you know you love it! You never knew that watching Vietnamese heartthrobs mugging in front of a camera was so addictive!

Man, I should have done this post last year. I’m so into these goofy songs! Just the best! On the face of it, this almost sounds like a love letter to the big guy. Santa, I mean, not the guy in the bowtie above.

Do I seriously put this kind of song on my “Better Than Death” list now? What has become of me??

I really do LOVE the photo shoot at the end. This is so perfect.

Chuc Xuan Moi Nha – Thien Truong

A New Year’s tune (lunar, for those of you keeping track at home), this is a surprisingly successful tune in recent years.

This one gets a little traditional for my tastes, but at least it’s not an Abba cover! I wanted to show something other than the sugary pop… and this is the *one* song that Shazaam deemed recognizable.

Yes, the end is the equivalent of Vietnamese rap. And then there’s a dragon fantasy, I’m not really sure what’s happening there yet.

Happy New Year – ABBA

This song is SO MASSIVE it is hard to overstate how prevalent it is in Vietnam, or how many artists have done covers of it. I actually can’t believe I haven’t heard it in America! Here’s the original.

Although the official Lunar New Years is 6 weeks away (mid-February this year), you can bet that you’ll hear this version mixed, remixed, beatboxed, shuffled, karaoked, whistled, and belted in a variety of ways, every day from now until Tet. Guaranteed.

Chuc Mung Nam Moi! How did you spend New Year’s?