I whole-heartedly agree with the crooner whom my mother described, “If velvet could sing it would sound like Andy Williams.”
Mom raised us listening to Andy, Frank, Nat, Rosemary, Bing, etc. in hopes it would have an immunizing effect against Madonna and Boy George. It worked in that I do love golden oldies, but unfortunately I still can sing all the words to Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.
When it comes to Christmas music my collection is comprehensive because I loooooove Christmas music. Have I mentioned that before? I think I may have. I think I’ve written about how I can’t wait to play Christmas music, so I don’t. I play it way too early and stalk iTunes for new releases because a lot of holiday albums come out in the fall – perfect timing!
Though I am a Christmas music junkie, I acknowledge the high cheese content in the holiday genre. I don’t know why there’s a “click, click, click” noise while Santa is up on the housetop, or why lyricist James Lord Pierpont couldn’t think of a better word than “upsot” to rhyme with “lot” in the tragic second verse of Jingle Bells, or what the freak “reindeer games” are.
It’s all part of the frivolity of the season so our tolerance for absurdity is higher.
Beyond the cheese, there are some Christmas songs that should never have been written. There are some Christmas song arrangements that should never have happened. And there are some musicians that should never EVER do Christmas music. It’s just wrong when a band called Barenaked Ladies has a track of Oh Holy Night on their holiday album. But we’ll get back to that. Let’s start with Christmas songs that should never have been written.
I grew up singing and loving John Denver’s catchy downhome folk songs. Rocky Mountain High and Country Roads made us all want to suit up in full Eddie Bauer and hike indefinitely. Grandma’s Feather Bed describes the best cousin slumber party ever, so why this talented singer-songwriter produced the holiday bummer Please, Daddy Don’t Get Drunk On Christmas is a head-scratcher. And as soon as those distinct and odd electric keyboard sounds blurt from the radio, we all cringe and wait for Paul McCartney to tell us over and over he’s “simply having a wonderful Christmastime.”
As far as arrangements go, the redneck Robertson clan may be masters of duck calling, but they should have steered clear of duck caroling. Punk bands and rockers should not do Christmas music. Period. It just doesn’t work. I’m usually a Bon Jovi fan but Back Door Santa is shameful. Bruce Springsteen can put on a tacky red felt cowboy hat lined with white fur and bellow out the lyrics to Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town but it will never feel jolly. And Iggy Pop should never have attempted to sing White Christmas. Actually, Iggy Pop should never attempt to sing anything.
These are a few of the carols and carolers to avoid this season, but there is definitely plenty to enjoy. In a word, Pentatonix.
Oh, yeah. Listen and love.