Here’s the deal. I fucking hate Christmas music. Working retail and hearing it blasted against my ear drums doesn’t help, but it is for a lack of a better (or less unintentionally ironic word) too shmaltzy. Whenever I hear Christmas music, it’s so over the top, that its only effect is simply causing me to feel the exact opposite of any way it was intended.
“Here comes Santa Claus… right down Santa Claus lane”? Seriously. You couldn’t make up a better lyric than using the mythical bastard’s name a third damn time?
And any carol that references Jesus and the nativity just makes me feel like a terrible person, listening to Christmas music but doubting that two thousand years ago, a man was born two thousand years ago in the Middle East was crucified in order to die for my sins. All I wanted to do was buy some nice things for the people I care about, and you want to make this a time for me to feel guilty?
Jingle Bell Rock? Rock’s been dead for at least 5 years, and never, ever would it have ever combined with jingle bells to make a song like that.
That song Wham did? Fuck you.
But, I actually enjoy a couple of songs.
I’ve never had chestnuts roasted on an open fire. But the way Nat King Cole sings about them, I want them. Like they’re delicious and somehow soulful.
This is another song that I’ve always loved, but then again, maybe it’s just the fact that I’m a miserable bastard this time of year if I’m not careful, like Charlie Brown and relate to the depressed giant-headed cartoon.
See the thing is, a lot of this music has its roots in an earlier time when instead of passively listening to music on a radio, if you wanted a tune, you had to actually play/sing it yourself. Carols were something that people sang together. And they got hammered while they did it and called it wassailing. In lieu of this companionship, they tried to overproduce songs, and in faking the funk, killed the joy of the season.
Which is why the last song is so beautiful and strikes a chord with me. It’s real people in a real situation, and though they’re all trained singers, it seems so natural you can’t help but me moved… enjoy: