and now, a short word about the sounds of the holiday from the music-obsessed one himself :
okay, so that wasn't as short as i'd intended. i dragged it out a bit. but it fits, does it not? hey, i know you're probably not QUITE as open to the idea of hating things as i am, and that situation's not helped any when the topic at hand is cosy, merry, jolly TRADITION...some of it over a century old...but that's cos you haven't yet learnt to overanalyse things the way i do. so, here. let me help.
i've compiled a list of christmas songs, some older than dirt, others a bit more contemporary, but all "classics"...or classics in-the-making at least...and all at best plain ridiculous and at worst, complete and utter shite. here it is, people, at your disposal. make of it what you will.
we wish you a merry christmas angels we have heard on high christmas in killarney happy christmas (war is over) santa claus is coming to town (the springsteen version all i want for christmas (mariah carey) so...anyway...before i start to get outta hand (i'm about 16 seconds away from it at the moment) i'll just drop this topic for now, and leave ye with this list of christmas music that not only doesn't suck, but actually kicks much ass. there's just so much music talk i can do without tossing out a coupla recommendations, y'know...
yeah...now here's one ya can't escape. it's so old everyone's fairly well forgotten exactly WHO wrote it, when, or where. but they know all the words...at least to the first verse anyway. and the first verse, if i may say so myself, is pretty goddamn cosy...conjures up all manner of warm holiday images...carollers, fireplaces, friends and families.
but after that merry first verse comes the lesser-known second verse, the one that conjures up images of certain members of my OWN family and sorta chucks a big bucket of cold water on that glowing fireplace.
"now bring us some figgy pudding!"
bring you some WHAT?
"BRING US SOME FIGGY PUDDING!"
what the fuck? all of a sudden this is beginning to sound like it was written by the same one-track-minded git that re-wrote that song for the jeep advert.
"bring us some figgy pudding and BRING IT RIGHT HERE!"
heeeyyy....wait just a gosh-darn minute. isn't the whole point of holiday gift-giving that the recipient doesn't have to frickin' beg? since when do we bloody trick-or-treat at christmas?
"WE WON'T GO UNTIL WE GET SOME!"
were these mofos even INVITED is what i'm starting to wonder.
"WE WON'T GO UNTIL WE GET SOME!"
hmm...well at least now we can surmise the song was written BEFORE u.s. cities had an organised police force...else this pack of screaming vagrants would've been cuffed and mirandised by now and sitting in lock-up.
"we won't go until we get some, so BRING IT RIGHT HERE!"
and thus began the xmas custom of jacking off in one's guests' figgy pudding before serving, now practised world-wide and year-round in burger king and mcdonalds restaurants everywhere.
lovely li'l song, ain't it?
this song, whilst oozing with religion and the true meaning of christmas is far too easily bastardised to be a good holiday hymn. sure it's got latin, angels, and the baby jeebus, but it also runs ever so beautifully into the banana boat song, which is possibly the furthest thing from a christmas tune ever written. perhaps whoever wrote this solemn goody ought to come back from the dead and beat harry belafonte about the head with a shovel for writing a song in just the right key beginning with the word "day-o". or maybe they should beat ME with the shovel, along with the rest of the legions of catholic choir boys who at one time or another pulled that very medley in church at christmas vigil. or maybe, just MAYBE, they should have had the foresight to realise that some time in the not too distant future, their great-great-great-great-great grandchildren's generation would come to associate the word "deo" with something just a bit less than godly.
can you say STEREOTYPE? this is the only xmas song on the books that actually makes me CRY...and not for it's devestatingly sentimental holiday message, either...for the memories of the abuse i had to endure as a child at the hands of catholic school administrators who'd learned all too well the value of appealing to the tourists. tourists don't want to see ireland, normal country just like the one you live in. they want to see ireland, land of rabid catholicism, big steamin' heaps of green, and small, freckled ginger boys in aran jumpers and tweed trousers who get up in the middle of a church xmas concert and sing a (depressingly off-key) completely secular xmas song covering just about every one of those beloved stereotypes save the faith and begorrahs. it wasn't long before i'd learnt to bastardise this one as well and they had to find a new kid to do it, but the memories live on in my nightmares.
fuckin'ell how i HATE this song...
don't get me wrong, i love john lennon. hell, i worship at the ALTAR of john lennon. but what i DON'T love and worship is a miserably depressing, overpoliticised song trying to pass itself off as a holiday tune. in fact, the only thing that could make such a piece of music suck even more than it already does would be if it featured a shrieking yoko ono. and lo and behold...this one DOES! yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.
i think it's pretty much safe to say the springsteen version of EVERYTHING sucks ass. he is, if you will, the male equivalent to yoko ono. this here is otherwise THE quintessential secular christmas carol, but he just COULD NOT leave it alone, could he? he think's he's the bloody patron saint of music, doesn't he? so HE had to go off and re-do it, fairly well killing the melody, talking (or croaking as the case may be) his way through the lyrics, and generally sounding as if he was in a great deal of pain throughout. i don't think i need to tell you what happens to the merriment of a song when the singer sounds as if he's gonna begin crying for morphine at any second. and now THIS version has pretty much replaced all others as far as christmas compilations and radio stations are concerned.
THANKYOU, bruce springsteen, for forever ruining the xmas carol what once was my childhood favourite.
ms carey should quite simply be strung up. not even for this in particular, but just in general. she is one individual that can be accurately described as a pointless waste of space.
but we were talking about the song.
this here is not a christmas carol. it's a poppy little fucking self-promotion whose words could easily be switched around to fit ANY season. now, i'm not saying pop celebrities can't SOMETIMES get away with recording holiday tunes...take madonna's version of eartha kitt's "santa baby" back in the '80s. sure ms kitt's version still kicks its ass a thousand times over, but madonna's didn't exactly blow either. but this isn't eartha OR madonna we're talking about here. this is senorita dog-whistle, who honestly expects people to believe her glass-shattering caterwauls are stylistically UNIQUE and QUIRKY. phooey. if she really had any talent she wouldn't need to be stageing nervous breakdowns every 10 seconds in an attempt to sell her albums.
but i digress...again. what i mean to say is whoever wrote this song wasn't even TRYING to make it sound christmasy...the christmas bit they supposed would come from the accompanying video, which features ms carey running amok in a 13-sizes-too-small snowsuit and trying to molest santa claus in front of a load of little kids. (if you haven't seen the video and christmas means ANYTHING to you at all...AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE. it is very upsetting.) the fact that crap like this is what modern society associates with christmas actually SCARES me.
corollaries to this, by the way, include the xmas albums released by hanson, destiny's child, the backdoor...errrmm, i mean backstreet boys, 98 degrees, and christina aguilera, as well as every FUCKING instance in which JEWEL has gotten off her fat ass to sing (and no doubt ruin) a sappy hymn at a christmas tree-lighting ceremony. if you know what's good for you you won't even get me STARTED on those...
angels we have heard on high
christmas in killarney
happy christmas (war is over)
santa claus is coming to town (the springsteen version
all i want for christmas (mariah carey)
so...anyway...before i start to get outta hand (i'm about 16 seconds away from it at the moment) i'll just drop this topic for now, and leave ye with this list of christmas music that not only doesn't suck, but actually kicks much ass. there's just so much music talk i can do without tossing out a coupla recommendations, y'know...