Well, I am proud to say, that my ban on Christmas music at work has been very succesful this year. (yes, I'm one of them). It's not that i don't like Christmas music per se,it's just that I don't want to have to listen to the radio station that plays Christmas music. Why? Any number of reasons.
The first is Jingle Bells. They play it every hour and a half (and never play the barking dogs version) by various artists like Bing Crosby and the Andrews sisters version (which I like) to Barry Manilow's version (which is the same arrangement, rendering it entirely pointless). But what I've noticed is, although there are four verses to the song, nobody sings more than the first verse and the chorus. Repeatedly. Granted, Perry Como sang all four on his Christmas album, but they don't play that version, and Smokey Robinson did half the second verse on his version, but, once again, they don't play that version. (extra brownie points to anyone who can tell me how the second verse goes)
Second is Silent Night. I have a beautiful version of the song sung in Gaelic by Enya, but it's not something I necessarily want to hear while I'm working. It's better suited to listening at night, preferrably a snowy one (which we don't get too much of any more)At home, it's uplifting, at work, it's a downer. And I don't want to hear Clay Aiken, or any other former American Idol contestant's version of it.
Then there's the Christian disco version of Mary's Boy Child the radio station plays that is so wrong on so many levels that I can't believe that anyone would enjoy listening to it.
Or how about Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas? Originally written, the song was kind of a downer. And sung properly (such as the Pretenders version), it's a beautiful song. But when the Carpenters do it, all meaning is drained form the song, and that's the most played version on our local Christmas music station.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no heartless Scrooge who proclaims "Humbug" like some Grinch with a small heart. I still get choked up watching Elf, and I've seen the movie several times. But there's a difference between something done well with real meaning, like, say John & Yoko's Happy Xmas (War Is Over), and something crass and exploitive done poorly, like Paul & Linda's Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime. If Paul McCartney really wanted to tap into Christmas cheer, he'd have Apple release the Beatles 1967 Christmas record Christmas Time Is Here Again!, which would probably be a big seller, which leads me to believe he didn't write the song, otherwise he would have, so in the next Beatles documentary, he could take credit for it like he did for Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Just because an artist is popular is no excuse for them to record a whole album of Christmas standards. When Bing or Frank, or Dean did it, many of these songs were just written, but when today's artist are recording the same songs with out adding anything new to them, it reeks of exploitation. Or when they try to write their own Christmas song manipulating the same cliches used by Mel Torme` when he wrote The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (best version:Chet Baker). And maybe it's me, but who really goes on a sleigh ride on Christmas (except for Santa) every Christmas?
Now, there's a list of songs that if these stations played, I might be more apt to tune into and listen, but since they're playing the crappiest of the crap, I'll just listen to them on my CDs.
1.Zat You, Santa Claus?-Louis Armstrong
2.Christmas Time Is Here Again-The Beatles
3.The Christmas Blues-Dean Martin
4.Christmas In Prison-John Prine
5.Please Daddy, Don't Get Drunk This Christmas-John Denver
6.Walking The Floor This Christmas-Ernest Tubb
7.Father Christmas-The Kinks
8.Christmas Wrapping-The Waitresses
9.Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)-Darlene Love
10.Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)-The Ramones
11. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! -Vaughn Monroe
And then, there's the three Christmas songs I hear too much, and really need to be given a rest:
1.Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree-Brenda Lee
2.Blue Christmas-Elvis Presley
3.Holly Jolly Christmas-Burl Ives
Please feel free to add your own songs to either list, as I'm sure there's some for both I overlooked. Happy Holidays to all!