Christmas music, Part I

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Do you love Christmas music?  I do, and I invite you along to explore some of its sublime weirdness.  I’ll be examining, in three or four parts:

Santa Songs: These are songs that illuminate the character of Santa Claus, the troubling moral implications of his mythos, and modern attempts to say something about him that Macy’s and Coca Cola haven’t.  (Our Santa is a living Santa, Santa goes modern)

Nativity Songs: These are mostly traditional carols plus a few 20th-century tunes that make the Gospel of Luke come alive if you imagine hard enough.  Some sound a bombastic trumpet at the coming of the Lord, while others are smaller-scale, introspective, and human-centered. (The Nativity graphed, Botching the Incarnation, Awards Quickies)  And finally…

The Politics of Christmas: These are all modern songs that use Christmas to make a political, social, or economic point.  Some are better than others. [DECEMBER 26 UPDATE: this section has been postponed.  I hope to continue next Christmas, and wish you a safe and happy New Year’s Eve.]

I’m ignoring songs that say:

“I’m Cold”–I live in a subtropical paradise and these just don’t do it for me.  (Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, Let it Snow!)

“I Love/Miss You (On Christmas)” –These are just love songs deceptively coated with a holiday shell.  (Blue Christmas, All I Want For Christmas Is You)

“It is Christmas” –Can be replaced by a calendar (It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Silver Bells)

“Santa can Rock”–You don’t improve on the previous theme just by adding electric guitar.  (Jingle Bell Rock, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree)


Written by pinkocrat

December 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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