Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Rant, part 2

Christmas music is annoying. No matter how you much you may actually *like* Christmas songs, by the time December is half way over. . . .it's headache season! What's really bugging me is how the Holiday Season is taking over songs that aren't even related to Christmas, so that 'Silent Night' is for some reason followed by 'My Favorite Things'-- which, hello, is from The Sound of Music and has zilch to do with Christmas, Generic Holiday, or even Winter. Basically there are four categories of "Christmas" songs, although I use that title loosely.

Category One: The Old-Fashioned, Religious Songs.

These are the old classics that stem from the time when Christmas had some sort of religious meaning. 'Silent Night', 'Away in a Manger', 'Little Drummer Boy', and 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' fall into category one. It's actually a small category, because they ain't making more like those, for obvious reasons.

Category Two: Songs about Santa, shopping, and the Christmas Season

Somewhere along the way, Christmas went from being a single day+ evening to being the entire block of time between Thanksgiving and New Years. These songs celebrate the non-religious social side of Christmas. There are lots of songs about reindeer, Rudolph and Santa, like 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town', 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer', and 'Santa Baby' (my personal all-time favorite Christmas song). There are lots of songs about general festivity and togetherness, like 'We Wish you a Merry Christmas' and 'The Most Wonderful Time of Year'.

Category Three: Songs about Winter That Do Not Mention Christmas in any Way, Shape or Form.

Have you ever really listened to the lyrics of 'Jingle Bells'? Really? Are you aware that it is not actually a Christmas song? There are many songs about winter, snow, and weather that could apply equally to December or February (or May up north). 'Let it Snow': not a Christmas song! Don't believe me? (link) Same with Sleigh Ride. There is one line in Sleigh Ride about going to a Christmas party, but the original lyrics are about a birthday party. 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' seems to have been added to this list of non-Christmas winter-time songs, although it's slightly scandalous to go from 'Little Drummer Boy' to 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' without any kind of segue.

Category Four: Totally Random Songs That Have Nothing Whatsoever To Do With Christmas or Even Winter in Any Way.

Umm, 'My Favorite Things', anybody? Yes, it mentions snowflakes, but there are also raindrops, kittens, ponies, wild geese, spring...


Anonymous said...

I agree about most of the Christmas music, but "Little Drummer Boy" just rocks. That song is a classic any way you listen to it. Forget the religious meaning and just remember the David Bowie/Bing Crosby version or the Joan Jett version. This song was punk rock before there was such a thing as punk rock.
--- Benjamin

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