Since the Sentinel has recently documented employees' favorite Christmas songs, I thought I'd join them (though I'm not an employee).
Deciding on my favorites is rather complex: I think we need categories, like “childhood,” “teen-age,” “church hymns,” etc. However, there is another perhaps under-rated category: least favorites.
Those are easy. First, “The Little Drummer Boy”, sung by females. You can find several renditions out there. Now, I hate to be sexist, but do you listen to the words, ladies? “I am a poor boy, too.” Oh, wait, I'm not a boy. Who makes these decisions, anyway? Much as I love this song, if I were a diva, it wouldn't be on my album.
Likewise, “Hallelujah”. Even though Handel's masterpiece belongs with the Resurrection in his Messiah, I have long accepted it for Christmas. It closed every Christmas program of my high school choir, and it seems appropriate. I guess we don't need Handel's opinion.
But Leonard Cohen's song of the same title? It's on at least three of my Christmas albums. I love the song, but for Christmas? I don't know--maybe we need to contemplate Bathsheba bathing on the roof for a few minutes.
Then there's “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The mass popularity of this one baffles me. I mean, have you seen the Judy Garland movie? The little girl is crying; Judy almost is. She wanted the words changed because they were so sad. The director wanted it sad.
Maybe people like it because its another respite from all the joy. Like Bathsheba . . .
The other song I could do without is Mariah Carey's “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Oh blasphemy!
I'm gonna guess that this song is about unrequited love. I mean, if you've already got the guy, you're probably not gonna be happy when he shows up Christmas morning empty-handed, responding to your frown with, “You said all you wanted for Christmas was me. For Pete's sake, say what you mean and be done with it!” After all, Madonna made it perfectly clear in “Santa Baby.”
Cosmopolitan has a video clip tagged “Even the goats like it.” Maybe that should tell you something. They also say she didn't want to record it. I guess she's grumbling all the way to the bank.
They also laud it for selling over 14 million copies. Supposedly putting it at the top of the seasonal list. But do your homework. Since 1949, Bing Crosby's “White Christmas” has sold over 50 million.
That's over three times Carey's hit. You can let me know in 70 years if she's caught up.
Although this isn't among my dislikes, I do feel motivated to comment on “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” I read an article that said a historical attempt to change “Merry” to “Happy” was made when “merry” became associated with drinking and carousing during the holidays.
“Happy” didn't catch in America, but it did in England and Australia. Anyway, it gives a whole new outlook on the song. Yeah--bring on those merry gentlemen!
Trying to identify a few favorites just boggles my already over-stimulated Christmas brain. However, if you want to spend some time having fun with Christmas parodies, check out YouTube. The “Twelve Days of Christmas” provides numerable examples. Here are my favorites:
1) Straight No Chaser's version
2) “The Twelve Pains of Christmas” (popular on radio a few years back)
3) Frank Kelly's “Dear Nuala”, where the true love is a girl.
Honorable mention would go to teacher parodies from the Cove Elementary teachers and one on Happily (no school given). As a retired teacher, I think these are fun--especially the children's' reactions in the background.
When I tire of these, I slide into the Christmas light shows. You know, those million lights all over someone's front lawn, accompanied by pulsing music. Wish I could drive down their street. I'm sure their shell-shocked neighbors will not miss me.
And I'm glad none of my neighbors has caught the light-show bug. But that's a whole other category for Christmas favorites.
Now that you've seen all of these lists in the Sentinel, I hope you're working on one of your own. Feel free to borrow from mine. And Happy Listening (note that I didn't say “merry”. . .).