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20 December, 2008

Resting Ye Merry

My husband and I were listening to the radio while out driving somewhere the other day. This being December, the usual "Hrm, don't want to listen to this commercial, change the station" was supplemented with "Don't want to listen to this shitty Christmas pop, change the station."

Somewhere along the line, it started playing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and I insisted on leaving it there.

Here's the thing that drives me nuts about Christmas music: in the name of being "accepting" or "inclusive" or what have you, the only stuff that gets much airtime is crap. Frosty the Snowman. Here comes Santa Claus. Winter Wonderland. Bibble-bobble fluffstuff.

I'm not Christian. That doesn't mean that I don't like Christmas music -- real Christmas music. The stuff with soul, religion, faith, the stuff with actual musical merit. (Not to say that all modern Christmas music is universally crap, but it's so much the way to bet.)

It's one of those things that puts me in some sympathy with the "Jesus is the reason for the season" folks, even if I'm more of an "Axial tilt is the reason for the season" kinda gal -- because in the name of tolerance and diversity, we don't get meaningful music for everyone. We just get pap. Grind it down to the point that all of us have been run over by a fucking reindeer.

I learned a few years ago that getting me drunk in December was a good way of getting me to belt out proper carols -- the kind that mean something -- at the top of my lungs. (And I can sing loud.)

Generally, what it produced was:

Adeste fideles
Laeti triumphantes
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte
Regem angelorum

Venite adoremus
Venite adoremus
Venite adoremus

A good Solstice to all, happy Channukah tomorrow, merry Christmas next week, a good secular/Christian new year upcoming, et cetera, et cetera, and so forth.

(Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice justice and freedom demand....)


Anonymous said...

I'm grateful for the Carol of the Bells. It gets a fair amount of play, and it's actually a good song, one I'd listen to year 'round. These qualities in a Christmas carol seem otherwise almost mutually exclusive.

Tony said...

Thanks for that last line ... "Light One Candle" is one of the greatest seasonal holiday songs ever done by popular musicians. IMNSHO.

Anonymous said...

I love just about all Christmas music. Jackson Brown singing "The Rebel Jesus" is my favorite paganish song; but I can't help singing along with even the silly cheesy songs. And I lit a LOT of candles...

Seraph said...

My favorite modern Christmas song is probably "Mary Did You Know" (preferably sung by Kathy Mattea). A -real- Christmas song.

Some of the older "holiday" songs are alright ("Sleigh Ride," "Let It Snow," etc) but damn if I don't get tired of them. And my dad looooves them. As soon as Christmas music starts up on his favorite station (right after Halloween) that's all he listens to in the car.

Peter of Lone Tree said...

A post over at the Blondesense website entitled Some People Really Get Into Christmas has a very unusual Christmas-themed audio/video youtube link that your readers might find interesting.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Hope you had lovely holidays, Kiya.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

Thank you, Daisy. We had a mellow quiet time, mostly, which was good.