22 December 2004

Deck the halls and shoot out the speakers

Hearing Christmas music at the malls - sometimes before Halloween - brings out the Grinch in me. I love the holiday but I hate the pressure to buy, buy, buy. Of course, like everyone, there are some holiday songs I like more and some I detest more. Here's a short list, in no particular order:

I like and will turn way up and sing with loudly:

Carol of the Bells. The real one. For SATB choir or just bells. I learned it in high school and rarely get to hear it, so I never get tired of it.

Do They Know It's Christmas. The real share-with-the-less-fortunate spirit of Christmas (even if it's being preached at me by wealthy rock stars). Linus would approve and so do I.

God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful. There's a descant. I'm a soprano.

All I Want for Christmas is You. As I said, the only Mariah Carey song I like.

Let It Snow. Which, due to the weather patterns in the DC area should really be a Valentine's Day song. We have a brown Christmas year after year.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays. Or any holiday song sung by Karen Carpenter. A warm, sweet, lovely voice and her interpretations always put the song first.

The Little Drummer Boy. But only the Bing Crosy/David Bowie version. I hate all the rest, which are twee and horrible (as is the song). But Bing and Bowie have this beautiful blend to their voices, so it sounds lovely, and after all these years of hearing it, I'm can still amuse myself by considering the meeting where some very, very drunk record exec suggested teaming Mr. Republican Golfer and Ziggy Stardust.

Jazz editions of carols by great singers like Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.

I don't like and will change the station if it I hear:

The Little Drummer Boy. Unless it's done by Bing and Bowie.

Oh, Holy Night. Oh, wretched excuse for sopranos to overemote. But to be fair, any singer can make Oh, Holy Night into an awful experience. And most do. Fall on your knees and cover your ears.

Any holiday song sung by Celine Dion or Barbra Streisand. "It's not about the holiday! It's about me!" I find that people are generally either Karen Carpenter fans or Celine/Barbra fans. I'm completely in the Karen camp.

Pops stars ruining otherwise nice music. Carols whined by Avril Levigne and her ilk. Be joyous, be thoughtful, be silly, but dammit, don't be sullen. I recently heard Stevie Nicks do bad things to Silent Night. Why, oh why, is this country debating a ban on gay marriage when humanity would be so much better served by passing laws that prevent this kind of horror?

But let's keep things in perspective. On December 26th, they disappear without a trace. Until next year.

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