It's mid-December, which means that stores and radio stations have been playing Christmas music for about two months now. They start earlier each year. And it's impossible to get away from them. So I've been listening to a lot of crap lately. Over and over and over. Lousy 99.9 KEZ is everywhere. And they play the Delilah show at night. Delilah! *shudder*
Before you write me off as some sort of holiday-hating shrew, let me explain. I'm not against ALL Christmas music. There are some really smashing songs this time of year - "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," for one. And BNL's album "Barenaked for the Holidays" is a favorite of mine. And I've always liked traditional Christmas carols like we sing in church.
But there are a number of Christmas songs that frankly I could do without. They bother me, which means (all together now, children) that it's going to bother you as well.
I'll warn you: these are bad songs. Bad Christmas songs! To quote Norm MacDonald, "Happy birthday Jesus. Here's some crap!"
The first offender makes me want to bash my head against something hard. I believe the name is "The Little Drummer Boy." It's about some little street urchin with a drum and a dream, on his way to visit the baby Jesus. But even though he could clearly afford a drum, he's got bupkis as a gift, so when he gets to Bethlehem, he asks Mary if he can make a loud noise in front of her newborn baby. And Mary agrees. So he drums for a bit, and the baby Jesus smiles. Pah-rum-pa-pum-pum. Pah-rum-pa-pum-pum. Ad nauseam. The most popular version of this song is performed by a choir of wobbly-voiced women who sound like, as they're singing, they're either very cold or very frightened.
I hate this song. I hate it like poison. I know mothers of babies, and they're rather protective of their newborns. And Mary gave birth to the Son of God. So I reckon she was more than a little protective. Would she really have let some little brat come into the stable and bang on a drum? I doubt it. Aside from which the song has no historical basis, and the constant pah-rum-pa-pum-pumming makes my blood pressure spike and my fists tighten.
Moving on, then.
Second on my list is a more modern, touching, heartfelt piece of tripe called "Mary, Did You Know?" It asks Mary if she knew her baby would walk on water, heal the sick, calm the seas, etc etc. Nothing too offensive, right?
WRONG! Let's consider this for a moment. Mary was a virgin. She was visited by bloody angels. You know something? I think the had a pretty good idea of all of that. But thanks for asking.
Number three isn't even a Christmas song. "My Favorite Things" from that movie with the Nazis and the nun has nothing to do with Christmas. I suppose the imagery about silver white winters and brown paper packages and warm woolen mittens conjures up a wintery feel. But really, what in the name of arse has it to do with Christmas?
And honestly, who the hell has favorite things like these? Whiskers on kittens? Schnitzel with noodles? Doorbells? Wild geese? What kind of demented freak would sing such a song? What's wrong with ... I don't know ... ice cream or movies or spending time with family? I don't suppose they hold a candle to bright copper kettles, do they?
Moving on again. The fourth is "The Christmas Song." Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost, blah blah blah. This is called "The Christmas Song." So why is there no mention of Jesus? Why is it just yuletide carols and tiny tots and Santa? The nerve of some people ... Velvet Fog, my arse.
Number five is "The Man With the Bag," a swinging little jazzy number about how everybody's waiting for the man with the bag (Santa, I assume). This song didn't bother me the first few times I heard it. But then I listened to the lyrics: "He'll be here, with the answers to the prayers that you've made through the year."
I beg your pardon, but since when does sodding Santa answer prayers? I thought that was God's area. I guess maybe if you pray to Santa, he does the answering.
Six is "Do They Know It's Christmas" by the slapably-smug Bob Geldof and a bunch of arrogant celebrities. There won't be snow in Africa this Christmas, no. But that's because most of it's in the bloody southern hemisphere, so it's actually Summer in December. And no, I don't reckon "they" know it's Christmas, because "they" aren't Christians and I'm guessing they don't celebrate. Hey, "philanthropic" celebrities - how's about helping out the millions of diseased and impoverished American children before spreading the wealth to Africa? Probably because American children don't make good news stories. And they're harder to adopt, aren't they? Psht. I spit in your general direction, Hollywood.
Number seven: "Baby, It's Cold Outside." A lovely little Christmas date-rape song. "Hey, what's in this drink?" Oh, just a little rohypnol. It'll wear off in the morning when I'm done with you.
The woman wants to LEAVE, you jackass. No means no.
Number eight: "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Radio stations play the Andy Williams version eight times a day. Riddle me this: if it's really the most wonderful time of the year, why do suicide rates spike in December? Also, since when do we tell scary ghost stories at Christmas? Ditto toasting marshmallows.
Ninth on my list is "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." What message does this song send to children? Nobody liked Rudolph until he did something for them. Like saving their white-tailed arses. And do we need the constant repitition? "And if you ever saw it, SAW IT..."
Number ten is "Santa Claus is Coming To Town." (And I wholeheartedly believe that Bruce Springsteen's version is guaranteed to void even the strongest of stomachs.) Why? "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake ..." Another instance where we're confusing Santa and Jesus. And I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of some old man constantly watching the little kids in my life. That's pedophilia, isn't it?
And speaking of odd sexual compulsions, what gives with "Santa Baby"? Is Eartha Kitt trying to hit on the old man? Gross. He's old! He's married! Shame on you, Eartha. Bad kitty.
I should probably stop at ten, but number eleven kills brain cells: "Merry Christmas Darling" by Karen Carpenter. I'm convinced that, with a little research, Modern Science could prove conclusively a connection between Carpenter songs and fatal gunshot wounds. "Rainy Days and Mondays" makes me want to commit voluntary euthanasia, and/or maim the radio DJ responsible for playing it.
Twelve on the list peels the enamel from my teeth. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is disturbing on so many levels, only one of which I'll mention. What a rotten bastard that Santa is. He doesn't care how many homes he wrecks, does he? He just slides down the chimney and makes out with people's mothers. I always wished there was a follow-up: "I Saw Daddy Killing Santa Claus" would have been awesome.
Lucky thirteen is last on my list for now. "Wonderful Christmastime" should be banned on account of it violates the eighth amendment. This song is atrocious. Paul McCartney was a BEATLE, for goshsakes. What happened? I think this song and "Say, Say, Say" ought to be enough evidence that Paul lost his mind years ago. This song is an embarrassment for a former Beatle. This song is an embarrassment to Wings, and that's saying something.
I think I'll conclude now. I've probably stuck all sorts of rotten songs in your head, and I'm sorry. But don't worry. I'm sure if I pray extra hard to Santa he'll put me back on his nice list. Maybe bring me some warm woolen mittens and raindrops on roses. All of my favorite things.