Jeff: Ho, ho, ho, Mellowmas friend!

Jason: Ho ho ho! What gifts hath the devil brought us today?

Jeff: Well, I’ve been thinking.

Jason: That’s never good.

Jeff: You wound me, sir. I’ve simply been contemplating this year’s Mellowmas songs so far, and what we’ve been missing.

Jason: Tasteful music?

Jeff: Well, yes. But that’s a given.

Jason: Common decency?


Jeff: Yeah, we’re probably going to keep coming up snake eyes on those.

Jason: So then what? What are we missing?

Jeff: I was making a list of missing ingredients, and here’s what I found:

1. Mullets

2. Scary album covers

3. Loping rhinestone country beats

4. Inappropriate chest hair

Jason: Okay, so we need to find a new Dolly Parton track.

Jeff: We’ve picked on poor Dolly enough for one year. No, today I’d like to introduce you to Arne Benoni.

Jason: What’s an Arne Benoni?

Jeff: I’m glad you asked!

Arne Benoni

Hark! Arne Benoni sings!

Jason: Agggh!

What the shit?

Jeff: We should hold a captioning contest for that photo.

Holy hell.

A Merry Christmas from Arne Benoni and Olan Mills

Jason: Presenting Our Lord and Savior Arne Benoni of Wal-Mart

Jeff: Guess where he’s from?

Jason: The fiery depths of hell?

Jeff: The icy fjords of Norway!

He’s Norway’s top country performer, Jason.

Jason: He’s…Norwish? Wait a second. Isn’t Terje from Norway?

Jeff: Yes, Popdose’s own Terje “Carl” Fjelde is also from Norway. I wonder if they’re cousins?

Jason: How has Terje not mentioned this to us before?

Jeff: Perhaps Terje can explain the gut-busting, Flash-enabled bio I just read here.

Jason: “Listening to Arne is sort of like slipping into comfortable shoes. Everything just feels right.  But what is it that makes Arne such a popular entertainer? His telegenic looks, imposing stature (he is 6’4″ tall)…”

I DO like my performers imposing.

Jeff: It’s true. What is Timothy B. Schmit if not imposing?

Damn, man. Arne Benoni doesn’t even have his own Wikipedia page.

Jason: Yeah, I noticed that.

Jeff: How do you say “poor guy” in Norwish?

Jason: You can make him less poor. For $25, you can join his fan club!

And before you say another word, NO, you cannot sign me up. I do have Michael Parr‘s address, however.

Jeff: Halvesies!

Oh, I can’t wait until Michael gets his membership card in the mail. The next time Arne Benoni plays the Mohegan Sun, maybe he’ll stop by the Parrs’ for potato blueberry cocktails.

Jason: We should send the $25 in nickels.

Jeff: So anyway, I don’t remember how I found out about ol’ Arne, but once I saw he’d recorded a song called “Ding-A-Ling the Christmas Bell,” I knew he was perfect for Mellowmas.

Jason: I’m surprised you didn’t know it just from the mullet.

Jeff: That really might be the quintessential Mellowmas album cover. I love the cartoon garland in the corner.

Jason: Yes. That gives it the appropriate sparkle, doesn’t it.

Jeff: A Merry Christmas from Arne Benoni, Who Has Just Eaten Your Family.

Jason: Seriously! Look at those eyes!

Jeff: A Merry Christmas from Arne Benoni, Who Is Part Moose Beneath His Kite-Shaped Lapels.

Jason: Hey, take a look at this:

It’s the same guy!

Jeff: Bwahaha! Hark I Just Shaved Natalie Portman’s Head.

Jason: I can’t stop looking at those curls. I wonder what Arne Benoni’s hair looks like when he first wakes up in the morning?

Jeff: This is the scariest album cover since Andy Williams beckoned us from red holiday hell.

Jason: I guess I could ask Terje. I’m sure they live close to each other. How big is Norway, anyway?

Jeff: Arne, Terje, and the guys from a-ha probably live within half an hour of each other. Holy crap, was this album released in 2007?

Jason: Here’s a picture of Arne performing during a forest fire:

Pretty insensitive of you, Arne.

Jeff: [screams]

Jason: Wait, 2007? Wow! This album cover does NOT say “2007” to me.

Jeff: I know, right? He looks like he just voted for Ross Perot.

I wonder what he SOUNDS like.


Jason: Jeg er redd for livet mitt, Jeff.

Jeff: I’m not agreeing to that. I will, however, press “play.” Are you ready?

Jason: I said, “I am afraid for my life, Jeff.”

Jeff: Oh, that I’ll agree to.

Jason: Okay, let’s ding-a-ling this shit.

Arne Benoni — Ding-a-Ling the Christmas Bell (download)

Arne Benoni
From A Merry Christmas From Arne Benoni 

Jason: Ah, there’s that country beat.

Jeff: This is fascinating to me.

Jason: He just sang “ding-a-ling” with a straight face.

Jeff: Does anyone else sing like this in Norway?

Whoa. Where did John Carpenter come from? Is Ding-A-Ling killing the other Christmas bells?

Jason: He just said that the bell rang off-key, and then they played notes that were pretty much in key.

They just added a minor note.

Jeff: The bells are voting!

Jason: What the hell is Arne Benoni singing about?

And why does he not sound more Norwegian?

Jeff: Sentient bells and Michael Myers.

Jason: Man, those drums just sound SO REAL.

Jeff: I’m hoping this is from the soundtrack to a Norwegian holiday special.


Jeff: So gentle, so safe!

Jason: “The thought occurred to ding-a-ling.” That’s a phrase he just sang.

Jeff: Hee hee!

Jason: Fade-out!

Jeff: Everything has turned out well for Ding-A-Ling the Christmas bell. Us? Not so much.

Jason: You know, some of the songs that we cover for Mellowmas just get stuck in your head, for better or worse. Usually for worse. That will never happen with this song.

Jeff: So apparently Arne isn’t the only person who has recorded this saucy little holiday ditty.

Jason: Please tell me Leighton Meester has covered this song.

Jeff: Someone named Lynn Anderson recorded it. Apparently she’s a Grammy winner. Oh, she did “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden”!

So many parentheses this Mellowmas!

Jason: Did she write it?

Jeff: No, it was written by Arne Benoni.

Jason: You lie!

Jeff: Ha! Just kidding. It was written by largely unheralded badass rock mofo Joe South.

Lynn Anderson mugshot!

THERE’S something that’ll stick in your head.

Jason: AAAAGH!

What the hell?

That is NOT Lynn Anderson. I don’t even know what Lynn Anderson looks like, but that can’t be her.

Jeff: That’s Lynn Anderson. She has quite the rap sheet. I’m not making up this list, or rearranging its order:

Grammy for Rose Garden
Driving While Intoxicated Arrested 2-Dec-2004 in Denton, Texas
Shoplifting Arrested 24-Jan-2005, Taos NM (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban DVD)
Battery Arrested 24-Jan-2005, Taos NM
Resisting Arrest Arrested 24-Jan-2005, Taos NM
Risk Factors: Alcoholism

That’s a hell of a career!

“In November 2004 Anderson was arrested after being discovered passed out in her automobile on the shoulder of a highway. She was released on $1000 bail.” I wonder who would win in a fight — Arne Benoni, or Lynn Anderson?

Jason: Huh. I covered her for CHART ATTACK! once, but I guess I didn’t dig deep enough. My money’s on Benoni in that fight. Just on account of those eyes.

Jeff: Arne might be imposing, but Lynn will fight a cop over a Harry Potter DVD. Either way, I think we can safely say that being a DJ at a Norwegian country station has got to be a pretty terrible job.

Jason: Terje, are you reading this? Could you please defend Arne Benoni in the comments?

Actually, wait.

First, just explain him.

THEN, defend him.

Jeff: “And now here’s anÁ¸ther fucking Arne Benoni song.”

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: We may not have been entertained today, but we did learn a lot. Norway has its own country music star, who’s amazing in a very non-musical way, and Olan Mills is still doing bustling business in the fjords.

Also, if you ever happen to see Lynn Anderson, head the other direction.

Jason: Unless you have a full set of the Harry Potter DVDs.

Jeff: Shit, in that case, you’d better have a gun.

Jason: I would take her out.

I’d shoot her right in her Arne Benoni.

About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

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