Since we’ve passed Thanksgiving, we’ve come into the time of year when you can play Christmas music without fear of being murdered by retail employees. But there’s something you should all know about Christmas music … and it’s this: It’s awful.
Okay, so not 100% of it is awful but like, 95% is at least. The melodies are simplistic so they’re more likely to get embedded in your subconscious and easier to sing along with in your car before you realize what you’re doing and go “OH GOD WHAT AM I DOING?!?” The lyrics sound like they could have been written by a four-year-old with only the most basic grasp of the holiday.
There are exceptions to this rule. “Joseph, Better You Than Me” by The Killers is one of the most beautiful and heart-rending takes on the religious Christmas story I’ve ever heard. “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses (and, later, by the Spice Girls) is a whirlwind tale of the kind of near misses that seem all too common when you’re trying to connect with someone you like. There are others, but the reason why they’re notable is BECAUSE so many Christmas songs are an insult to the art of song-writing.
The truth is, though, that there are far more bad songs than good out there, period. This is accurate of every genre on the planet. Yes, most bad music gets abandoned as time marches on and we just maintain the illusion that things like Carly Rae Jepsen never happened (please, world, get on my level with that one, at least). But for some reason, at Christmas time, we haul out every terrible song that’s ever been written about December 25th or anything related to it the way you lug out those strings of Christmas lights that you know burned out four years ago but somehow always end up in the box of decorations again. Let’s be honest, there’s no reason for “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” to ever be listened to more than twice unless you’re five AND YET, there it is again. Every year. Like clockwork.
This year, demand better of your Christmas music. Don’t be taken in by cheap sentimentality or a list of things that are connected to happy holiday memories with no skill or talent in the delivery. Or, if you must listen to the aural equivalent of Little Debbie Christmas Cakes, at least have the decency to keep it to your own car so the rest of us don’t have to suffer. Happy Holidays!
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