This weekend, we were on the road, and because it’s the Holiday season, we heard a lot of Holiday songs. Let me amend this: We heard a lot of Holiday AND Christmas songs. I don’t want Sarah Palin accusing me of waging a war on Baby Jesus by not uttering the word “Christmas”.
Back to the songs. We need new songs. I heard five different versions of Santa Claus is Coming to Town and while I could listen to Bruce Springsteen’s version all day long, I do think we need a bit of variety in our song selection. I am not even sure the last time a new Christmas or Holiday song was written, but I am guessing it was somewhere around 1953. I understand the Holidays do not offer a lot of leeway as far as subject matter goes, but a little imagination can breathe new life into this long season of celebration. Since I am not a songwriter or a musician, I don’t have suggestions for new songs, but I do have a list of songs I think we can delete to make room for new material. Here is my list:
Do They Know It’s Christmas? I hate this song. Why? This song is nothing but one big guilt trip, and between family obligations and charity sob stories, I think the Christmas season has enough guilt attached to it. And it wasn’t enough that the British musicians shipped this gem to the US in the 1980s in an effort to thwart famine, but then US musicians had to jump on the guilt bandwagon and release their louder and crasser version called “We are the World”. Soon after, another song hit the airwaves. This one was entitled “Tears Are Not Enough” which in case you didn’t know was the version recorded by Canadian musicians who basically consisted of Bryan Adams and nine artists no one has heard of since. More than 20 years later, we still have to listen to this bad music and feel ashamed each time we take a bite of a decadent elf-shaped sugar cookie which some kid in a third world country can’t have. (I know I am rotting in Hell as we speak!)
Dominick the Donkey I object to this song because the premise of this tune is flawed on so many levels. If Santa has reindeer that fly, these reindeer should be able to fly up all the hills of Italy no matter how high or steep they are. Why? Because reindeer fly; they don’t climb, so logic dictates Santa shouldn’t need a slow jack ass to get him to the top of the mountains. Relying on a donkey wastes a lot of precious time, and I would think it might also serve to demoralize the reindeer who break their magical butts on Christmas Eve each year to get to each kid whether they live at sea level or on Mt. Everest.
Santa Baby If every day of the Holiday season were Black Friday, I could see the practicality of this song as this song screams greed, selfishness and commercialism—all the wonderful traits that make Black Friday great. But the chick in this song never gets enough and because she just wants more and more stuff (at no discount prices), she needs to be dumped, divorced or at least forced to get a job and learn about the real value of the “stuff” she so craves. Perhaps instead of diamond rings and furs, the woman in this song should ask for something more practical like gift cards for gasoline or an unlimited text and data plan for her cellphone.
My Favorite Things My objection to this Holiday song is that it is NOT in any way a Holiday song. Sure, it’s pretty, but it has nothing to do with any holiday. And just because Barbra Streisand put her own dramatic diva, boring spin on this tune from The Sound of Music, it doesn’t change the fact that it has nothing to do with any holiday.
Jingle Bell Rock No rock musician in the world thinks this is a rock song, so why throw the word “rock” in it? Not even the Flintstones would accept this rock tune as a Holiday song. It needs to fade into history.
This list is not complete, but I think if we chip away at the bad Holiday songs, new songs will be emerge and we will again have fun screaming them at the top of our lungs when we are drunk at family gatherings.