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Thursday, December 24, 2009

I hate secular Christmas music

Except for these two songs: Bing Crosby's version of White Christmas and Nat King Cole's version of The Christmas Song.

Today at noon, a bunch of carolers converged on the courthouse lawn to sing ... carols.

Colin Hanna, a conservative activist and former Chester County commissioner, organized this carol fest. In an interview earlier this week, Hanna told me that he distinguishes between Christmas carols and Christmas songs.

Carols, Hanna said, are religious. Songs, he said, are not.

The sing-along, he said, will involve "carols," not "songs."

Which was not entirely true. I went to the carol fest today and heard the carolers sing "Deck the Halls." The lyrics, as far as I can tell, have no religious content. The other ten pieces the carolers sang, however, were religious.

And, yes, I wrote a lengthy article about Hanna's carol fest - an article which will, when it appears tomorrow, give Christmas heartburn to many a Daily Local News reader. (Read it here.)

Anyway, back to the motivating force for this entry: I hate secular Christmas music. I used to like it. But its appeal has totally worn off. Childhood is long gone, and Christmas has revealed itself to me for what it truly is: a consumerist orgy. All season, other drivers, stressed out because our culture requires them to take on massive amounts of credit card debt this time of year so that they can buy their friends and relatives a bunch of crap that will end up in a closet, have been unwittingly trying to do me harm. All season, cheap studio recordings of Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree have been following me from store to store as I grudgingly participate in this stupid, stupid gift purchasing tradition of ours.

If it were up to me, we'd do away once and for all with the corpulent Norwegian who sleds across the sky bringing plastic to all the world's children. He is the root of our Christmas misery. My Jewish friends grew up without him, and they're doing just fine. In fact, at this very moment, all of them are happier than I am.

Yes, Christmas should involve a few overtly parent-given gifts for the kids; a nice family dinner; and attendance of a religious service that features an exceptional choir. (The Protestant revolution, I fear, has taken the virtuosity out of religious music. It's as if, to certain new denominations, getting truly good at an instrument (or at one's own voice) is an affront to God, rather than a means of praise.)

OK. This is too much. It's 6:20 p.m. on Christmas Eve. I'm not done work yet. And a coworker is playing the Chipmunks Christmas Album - the worst thing ever recorded.

How about Luciano Pavarotti singing It Came Upon a Midnight Clear? Why can't I hear that song? Why must it be the Chipmunks?

I'm off next week. See you in the New Year. And,

Merry Christmas!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Faa la la la laaaaaa

Okay, seriously, hope you enjoy your holiday in whatever fashion you like.

December 29, 2009 7:54 AM 

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