01 December 2012

Christmas Songs - The List

While waiting on an oil change and alignment on the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML's mini-van this afternoon, I was subjected to a non-stop barrage of Christmas music which included the song, "The Christmas Shoes." For the two you who have not been subjected heard this song (you should be grateful), it is an oozing maudlin pile set to music.  It is awful and it is one of the songs that makes me go all kinds of irritated Grinch this time of year.

Probably not the shoes the kid had in mind for his dying mother
With more than enough time on my hands at the dealership, after hearing this and a couple of other train wrecks, no thanks to 24/7 holiday music on every radio station, I got to thinking about the Christmas songs that are responsible for my loathing of this music. So, in no particular order, here's a few of the high, or low, lights from that list:

"The Christmas Shoes," NewSong - as noted previously, it's oozing, maudlin claptrap that goes straight for the jugular of weepy sentimentality. It's also why Christian pop is perceived as more cheesy than the entire state of Wisconsin.
Any Christmas song by Celine Dion - Our Lady of Quebec takes no prisoners when it comes to blowing out a song.  Tradition be scorned, my friends, as Celine will shatter any of your favorite carols with overextended notes and a screeching octave reach, rendering them impossible to enjoy again.
"Santa Baby," Madonna - Madge trying to channel Betty Boop with horrifying results.
"O Holy Night," Christina Aguilera - With the gusto she lends to this reverential hymn, you figure X-tina thought this song was about the doughnut shop on Sepulveda that she was going to hit on her way home from that recording session.  Much like the doughnut holes, she should have left this one alone.
"Wonderful Christmastime," Sir Paul McCartney - for this mess, Paul should have had his "Sir" title stripped.  This one gets in your head in much the same way the creature from "Alien" made himself at home within that poor guy's gut with the same gory results.
Any Christmas novelty song by anyone - there are just too many to list here, but you know the ones, like "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."  If only the same had happened to the lyricist of that song before pen was put to paper...

To prove that I'm not completely soulless and filled with bitterness at this time of year, first you can thank me for not including audio/video files of any of the travesties listed above.  You're welcome.  Secondly, here's a peek at some of the Christmas music I do like:

"The Messiah," Handel - this is exquisite, absolutely exquisite. The story of our Savior's birth and mission set to Handel's music is as good as it gets. There's a version that the London Symphony Orchestra did that is in heavy rotation this time of year for me. The Mo'Tab has a version that knocks it out of the park as well.
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" Band Aid - most will probably say that this song should be in the list of horrors cataloged above, but I just can't do it. This almost single-handedly sums up my musical experience in my late teens and it managed to get people to think about the famine that was destroying Ethiopia at the time.  It was the 80's, remember? Not a decade known for its collective concern for the welfare of others.  Besides watching it today you can play a game called "Dead, Rehab, or Jail."  See how many people you can pick that fall into those categories.  If you default to Boy George or George Michael, you'll pretty much sweep the game.

I know I'm in the minority here on my distaste for the Christmas music scene.  It certainly didn't help that I worked retail in high school at a year-round Christmas store.  That will scar you for life. But I'll just hunker down with the music of "The Messiah" for next 24 days and all will be well.

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