I like Christmas carols. So sue me. I know they can be cheesy and annoying, but I like them. I like “Good King Wenceslas” (I had to look that up to spell it – I know the words but have I ever had to write the word? I don’t think so…) – traipsing through the snow, dragging his page along with him, giving some peasant enough firewood to keep him cosy – that’s a king I could get behind and go “Huzzah!” for. “We Three Kings” – I used to be able to play that on the piano! “Silent Night”? Love it! (even if the whole “yon virgin” bit used to make us titter slightly in primary school). Anyway, for someone who is not in the least bit religious, I am a fan of the mighty Christmas carol. I like the feel of them – that warm, enveloping feel of festive, familial celebrations and unwrapping presents with your brother in your PJs on Christmas morning and oohing and aahing over what Star Wars figure you got and how many Crayolas are in this year’s set. Good times. Better times. Simpler times.
But there is a sad and disturbing trend leaving a nasty stain on all that is holy in my Christmas heart. And what can that be you ask innocently? What could possibly taint the joy and good will to man that is suppose to be celebrated at this festive time? I shall tell you (otherwise this whole post would be pointless). It is (and here I shudder) the “contemporary” Christmas carol. Oh you know the ones I mean…shopping centres have them blaring out at you from all angles and television advertises them constantly. Teenybopper pop stars bleating and warbling all over poor Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer or some old has-been rocker destroying “Away in a Manger”. Don’t even get me started on the “jazz” takes on the classics. Bing Crosby is about as contemporary as I get. Justin Bieber, your days are numbered (don’t think I didn’t see your Xmas CD in the shops…I’m on to you!).
Call me a party pooper if you like, but why can’t they just leave the old carols alone, so that they sound like the old carols? If you want to destroy a song and render it completely unrecognisable, please don’t pick an old classic like “Do you hear what I hear?” and get Mariah Carey to hoot and holler all over it, hands flailing about so that it sounds like what you are hearing is something akin to a cat being bludgeoned to death with a plum pudding.
This is my rant for today. May your night be sugar-plum-fairy filled and your halls be decked with fa la la la las.