We’re smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Season.
While tinsel, lights and ornaments have draped our houses and businesses, Christmas music is billowing from store speakers and radio stations.
Christmas/Holiday music is a polarizing thing. Some love, some loathe. Some it drives them almost to the point of Christmas Crazy (you know who you are.) While I lean towards enjoying much of it, there are certain ones that stick out for various reasons.
First–can I just say that there are WINTER songs, and Christmas/Holiday songs? Why do we only hear Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, and Baby It’s Cold Outside during the month of December? NOTHING is holiday! (although the jingles get annoying).
I’ve come to realize that I haven’t liked a ‘New’ release in 15+ years. Which to me means the music that I heard as a child has a sentimental value (and, it was just better.) Beyond that singers/groups that I enjoy, I’ll likely enjoy their Christmas stuff. I smile at Louis Armstrong’s playfulness. I Absolutely adore the passion in Otis Redding’s voice. I think the Beach Boys had harmonies that are nearly extinct now. I love instrumental pieces that don’t even need words to move you, and since I grew up in ‘High Church’ I love the hymns. The traditional ones that will be sung for eternity.
Of course there are songs that stand out:
I have a soft spot for Madonna’s Santa Baby. I sang it, solo, in front of the entire student body at our Middle School performance. (I was 11. My parents should have realized then I’d be a saucy one.)
I love the Boss’ covers. I ALWAYS turn them up. He rocks out for Santa y’all.
I firmly believe if the world could choose only 1 Mariah Carey song (and have the rest destroyed) the public would overwhelmingly choose “All I Want for Christmas is You”
Of course, nothing beats the classics. I adore the Rat Pack. I listen to them when I’m cooking. Bing is a classic. But if I had to choose one voice? It is Nat King Cole’s.
His voice sounds like a beacon of light that pierces the dark gloomy world around us and gives solace that somewhere there is peace. This could be my favorite song of his. I Absolutely love how his voice rings out strong but is still soft.
Of course there are the songs I’d be fine never hearing again. The Chipmunks Christmas song is always up there, but it’s a gimme.
The worst in my book, actually comes from one of our legends. I cannot stand ‘Happy XMas (War is Over)” by John Lennon.
I think he used ‘Xmas’ as a ‘look at me’ statement. While his verses have a good message, I think the song is a political one disguised as a holiday tune.
He let Yoko sing. Knowing a feral cat in mating season sounds better.
And most of all? I can’t stand it for the line “So this is Xmas, and what have you done?
It sounds condescending to me. We can’t all be John frickin’ Lennon and lay in bed for peace or cause frenzies at Shea Stadium.
(However after hearing it one night I’ve come to realize I’ve done Quite a bit this year, and therefore didn’t hate it as much.)
Since I don’t want to end on that note—I’ll close with a fun one. Christmas in Hollis. No matter what you choose to listen to, Happy Holidays.