H.P. Lovecraft enjoyed Christmas, and so do we! Lovecraft wrote a vast number of Yuletide poems to his many correspondents, and we were inspired by them to begin Solstice Caroling: one of the oldest traditions of the HPLHS, in which we rewrite holiday classics with horrifying lyrics and then sing them to reclaim an overcommercialized, oversentimentalized season and make it our own. We originally dressed up and sang our Solstice Carols on the Pearl Street mall in Boulder, Colorado in the late 1980s, and then later we produced a couple of albums and songbooks of our favorites. Christmas has always been a remixed, mashed-up holiday, combining ancient pagan seasonal festivals with later Christian symbolism. Some might go so far as to suggest that Christmas as it's often observed today is itself a parody. As HPL said himself in his story The Festival, "It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas though they know in their hearts it is older than Bethlehem and Babylon, older than Memphis and mankind".
Our holiday music albums A Very Scary Solstice and An Even Scarier Solstice include a collection of songs which many people enjoy even more than the originals. We have heard from more than a few shop workers who put it on the store’s speakers and turned the volume down just low enough to make shoppers doubt that they’d really just heard about something “abhorrent and ancient” in Handel’s Messiah. We heard stories of jolly goths, festive shut-ins and merry madmen, who managed to eke a little unexpected joy out of this holiday that’s been so thoroughly co-opted by the global machine of holiday commerce. Many people have told us that they now mentally replace the traditional lyrics with our Lovecraftian ones, and it can make the holiday season a little easier to get through for some people. Some have even made ambitious YouTube videos from them! You can find the complete albums in our online store here and here. Meanwhile, this page includes some samples, and links to download some sheet music so you can go caroling yourself!