Saturday, December 19, 2009

Not Scrooge, I just have standards

Here's my thing with Christmas music.

I like Christmas. It's fun, it's got religious stuff, it's got a season etc. And I support all of December being Christmassy, as I support all of October being Halloweeny etc etc. So the Christmas songs coming on after Thanksgiving doesn't bother me. Before Thanksgiving I think is a stretch, but whatever, that's not my issue.

I love variety. There's a reason my ChrisMix is all new music. I listen to dozens and dozens of new bands every year. Sure, Radiohead is, and (fingers crossed) always will be awesome, but, I love getting new music.

What was the last good Christmas song? Do we have to go back to the 50s for Rocking Around the Christmas Tree or Jinglebell Rock? I'd accept Last Christmas from 1984, but still, that's 20 years ago.

Yes, I'm sure there are thousands of Christmas songs released every year, but the fact that a song mentions, or is even about Christmas, doesn't make it a Christmas song to me. Half of being a Christmas song is being about Christmas, and half is the reminiscent nature. It's not a traditional favorite unless you've heard it before, to establish the tradition.

And I realize I'm contradicting myself. I want more Christmas songs, but I want them written before I was born so I grew up with them. And since recording artists don't have time machines, that puts them in a hard position.

So what do we get? Covers. And, if you recall, I love covers. BUT, the problem is who is covering the music. Who does Christmas covers? Josh Groban. Mariah Carey. Crappy people. Yes, there are awesome covers out there, David Bowie doing Little Drummer Boy, pretty much anyone doing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (my favorite Christmas song) but those don't get played on the Christmas stations. They do the same 20 songs I've heard, over and over again, only changing the innocuous mainstream drivel-schlocking pop singer singing it.

That's my thing with Christmas music. I like listening to MY Christmas music. Just probably not yours. And I don't listen to mine every day, just every once in a while, in small doses. Then it's great.

4 comments:

peetie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peetie said...

Granted, 2003, but Connick's The Happy Elf is, I think, a great "new" Christmas song.
http://www.lala.com/#search/the%20happy%20elf

esodhiambo said...

Here is MY thing (OK, 1 of my things) with Christmas songs:

Any that include talking, suck.

That is aimed specifically at I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and Rudolph.

To get more picky, I have a deep disdain for non-religious Christmas music.

How about Do They Know It's Christmas Time?

anna. said...

<3 baby it's cold outside. somehow i never heard it til this year, but it's my new fav.