Sunday, November 30, 2008
The Best Jazzy Swingin' Hepcat Christmas Song That Is Not An Old Standard, "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' "Jingle Bell Rock" or "Run Run Rudolph"
Everyone in every city in every country on Earth by now has a radio station that plays nothing but Christmas music, usually beginning around October 23rd. With 24 hours a day to fill for a minimum of about 30 days, and each song lasting 3 minutes or so, those radio stations could play 14,400 different Christmas songs during that time.
And yet, when I turn on that radio station in my city to get a little holiday cheer, I inevitably hear version after version, ad infinitum ad nauseum, of three songs: Run Run Rudolph, done by the pseudorockers like Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen, or Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree done by aging singers who are not rockers, regardless of their proximity to a Christmas Tree, and/or Jingle Bell Rock, done by, well, everyone else.
Then, those same radio stations fill out the schedule with the aural equivalent of peanuts in the Chex Mix -- a lot of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and O Holy Night and Deck The Halls by the Percy Faith Orchestra.
Well, I've had it. Christmas has been around for 2008 years, or so, give or take, and there have been literally dozens of bands in human history -- go ahead, count them -- and yet, Christmas music is still the same old Christmas music that we've been hearing for all of human history? Everything advances and changes -- even crossword puzzles have been updated and modified into that dumb Sudoku game that people are so crazy about but which to me just looks like a newspaper game for people for whom the "Jumble" is too taxing.
Whatever. The problem is, great Christmas music in a variety of genres that is being ignored. Christmas is more than just Rudolph running, Christmas trees and Jingle Bells rocking, and chestnuts roasting. Christmas embodies a whole lot more than those things, and Christmas music does, too.
You just don't know that Christmas music embodies all those other things because you never hear it. So as a Public Service from The Best Of Everything -- you can tell I'm doing something noble because of the capitalization -- I'm going to peridically, from now until Christmas, provide you with
The Best [fill in the blank with a descriptive term] Christmas Song That Is Not An Old Standard, "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree', "Jingle Bell Rock," or "Run Run Rudolph."
And I will at the same time provide you with a short description of what aspect of Christmas that song demonstrates, both in terms of the Classical Christmas we've come to expect our Christmases to be -- that is, Christmas as set out in 'Twas the Night Before Christmas/A Christmas Carol, and in terms of the Actual Christmas We Celebrate, that is, Christmas as set out in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."
Shall we begin?
We shall. We shall begin with The Best Jazzy Swingin' Hepcat Christmas Song That Is Not An Old Standard, "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' "Jingle Bell Rock" or "Run Run Rudolph."
The song: "Christmas Of Love."
The singer: Little Isidore & The Inquistors:
How This Song Demonstrates A Classical Christmas: The lyrics say "Tellin' every one/Santa's gonna come... /Santa send you everything you've been dreamin' of" Clement Moore's possibly-miscredited classic poem was originally called A Visit From St. Nicholas.
How This Song Demonstrates Our Actual Christmas: In "Christmas Vacation," Clark stares out the window at a vision he has of the pool that he'll install, a pool in which the shopgirl with the big boobs is swimming. The song actually used in the movie is "Meli Kalikimaki," but this song would be far better for that scene. Plus: the song features making out, which helps demonstrate how far our morals have fallen since Dickensian/Clement Mooresian days, when Christmas featured sugar plums and Mamma went to be in a kerchief, not a Victoria's Secret Santa Lingerie Outfit. Play this song at your family Christmas gathering and get exactly that lecture from Grandma.
But, while you're getting lectured, you'll be sitting back, sipping your eggnog, and snapping your fingers in time to that song - -a song that's so catchy, I listen to it in July.
Stay tuned for more Christmas Songs and Christmas Related Posts!
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