For the most part I enjoy Holiday music (I’m not pulling a Rhode Island here, some of the tunes this time of year have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas) but there are some songs that give me a peaceful, nostalgic feeling and others that make me cringe. We’ll start with the offenders to my good taste and get to my favorites tomorrow.
Santa Baby by Madonna or Catwoman. This lovely little ditty really calls to mind all things Christmas: love of self, greed, bribery,vanity and women objectifying themselves.
Another Auld Lang Syne, Dan Fogleberg. I have a love/hate relationship with this song. It’s depressing but I can never bring myself to change the station. It’s more of sad little anecdote than a song, maybe he should have just sent it in to the Reader’s Digest. I also can’t help but think one or both of the characters should maybe call a friend to sit with them that night. Doesn’t sound like either one is in a good place.
Mele Kilikimaka, Bing Crosby. I love Bing, he is Christmas music. Adeste Fideles, Away in A Manger, Little Drummer Boy. But Mele Kilikimaka, Christmas in Killarney…he should take his own advice and just be home for Christmas.
Hard Candy Christmas, Dolly Parton. Originally from the play “The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas” (do I even need to go on after that?!) this song is another depressing one that has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. Times are tough for Dolly and she’s singing about dying her hair, trying something new, losing some weight but she knows she’ll be fine and dandy. A hard candy Christmas is an expression used for a family so poor all they can afford to do for Christmas is a bag of hard candy, but they survive. I think someone could write a song about poverty and sickness in third world countries, use the word Christmas in it and the light rock stations would throw it in rotation on November 17th . Oh wait, they did. It’s called “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
Mary Did You Know, Kenny Rogers or Clay Aiken. First off the artists themselves should say this song is crap. Clay Aiken sings Christmas carols because they’re genetically imbedded in his twisted elfin DNA. Kenny Rogers…oh Kenny. You were cool. But he didn’t know when to hold ’em or fold ’em when it came to plastic surgery and now he looks like a cabbage patch kid. The song has lyrics such as: Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule all nations, or calm a storm with his hand, save our sons and daughters etc. Nope, she had no idea. That angel appearing to her and telling her as much, the words of Simeon and Anna in the temple at His presentation; all in one ear and out the other for the silly incubator. The Wedding at Cana when she informed her Son that they were out of wine? She expected him to run to local packaged goods store! Nothing miraculous.
The Christmas Shoes, NewSong (and I do wish they’d get one to replace this one). Man is not in holiday spirit waiting in line at the store behind grubby kid. Grubby kid gives cashier sob story about his dying mother needing shoes. Man gives kid money. Man receives infusion of Christmas cheer. Wait…what? The kids mother dying has made you feel better? Maybe the lyrics “Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you” from “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” were wafting through the stores PA system. I picture the Grinch sitting up on Mount Crumpet: “I made a suit, rigged a sleigh and tortured my dog for an entire night, when all I had to do to ruin Christmas was write a song about Christmas shoes?! Well played, NewSong. Well played.” The best reaction I’ve ever heard to this song was my husband’s. After listening to it in its entirety in the car he scoffed and said “Well, that man just got duped by a little cross-dresser”.
Lastly, anything by the Transiberian Orchestra. It sounds like music that was made specifically for holiday themed action adventure movies. And their light and sound concerts should probably have surgeon generals warnings on the tickets. I don’t know how the audience doesn’t all fall down convulsing in sensory overload ceizures.