I love Christmas. And I love Christmas music. I have my favourite CD’s that I listen to over and over again. (Yeah, that’s right. CD’s. I’m old, remember?) And I get so excited when the local radio stations start playing Christmas music. But…we’re two days in and I am already over it.
First: Mariah Carey, all I want for Christmas is for you to be quiet.
Second: there are some lyrics out there that make me wonder if the writers forgot to add the egg nog to their rum.
Yesterday I heard a new song that I hope to never hear again. The lyrics were:
Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, and happy holiday. It doesn’t matter what your holiday, it’s a time to celebrate.
Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, and happy holiday.
Lyricist, is that supposed to be an attempt at being inclusive? Because ya kinda suck at it.
On the other hand, there’s this share-the-joy-with-the-whole-world classic that makes me cringe every time I hear it:
There's a world outside your window And it's a world of dread and fear Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears And the Christmas bells that ring there Are the clanging chimes of doom Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time The greatest gift they'll get this year is life Oh, where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
Cheery, ain’t it? Okay, I know the song was originally written and recorded to bring awareness to the Ethiopian famine in the 80’s. It accomplished that goal and raised a lot of money for relief efforts, so yay for that! But playing it out of context year after year after year only serves to perpetuate a horribly inaccurate and inappropriate stereotype of Africa. It makes it sound like we Westerners think all of Africa is a God-forsaken wasteland, but at least the people living there are too stupid to know they’re missing out on the snow and presents. So let’s raise a glass to them. That’ll help.
Then there is this poignant and brilliantly penned verbage:
Hey, yeah Yeah-ahhhhhhhh, whoa Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, yeah-ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
That festive joy is brought to you by Christina Aguilera…in every. Single. Song.
To finish my tirade, I present to you The King. No, not Jesus. The other King. Elvis.
Let me preface this by saying that I think there is room in the festivities for some cultural stuff and joyful commercialism. I am not against Santa Claus, presents, Christmas trees, and overabundant meals with the family. But I wish we could keep a protective boundary around the holiness of the holiday’s origin. The birth of our Saviour, the manger, the shepherds and wise men…I want that celebration to have a special spot: central, but separate. I don’t like the Santa/manger overlap. Not in people’s lawn decorations, and not in my Christmas carols.
So every time I hear that line, “Let’s give thanks to the Lord above, ‘cause Santa Claus comes tonight”, it doesn’t really fill me with gratitude. It makes me want to poke Elvis in the eye. And that’s not quite what Christmas is supposed to be about!
And now, I hereby release my negativity as I go to my happy place where the air is filled with the magnificent splendour and glorious tones of Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Pentatonix, Holly Cole and Michael W. Smith. God bless us, everyone!