A radio station near me started playing ONLY Christmas music recently. It must bring ratings because I feel like it gets earlier every year. But I think this kind of extended Christmas season has had a downside. The classification of “Christmas music” has been a bit liberally assigned.
So CMR has hired fourteen high school dropouts, three winos, and two former game show hosts to listen to Christmas music all day and classify those songs which actually have nothing at all to do with Christmas. And I don’t mean having nothing to do with the birth of Christ because we’re all used to Christmas songs having nothing to do with Jesus’ birthday. I mean these songs have absolutely nothing to do with anything even close to Christmas. I mean, no mention of Santa, Christmas trees, gift giving, nothing.
Here’s what they came up with:
1) Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg – OK. Here we have a song about a rock star who’s out roaming around a grocery store at some odd hour (probably looking for booze) and he happens upon an old girlfriend. She doesn’t recognize him at first glance which probably ticks him off because he’s a big time famous rock star and she’s the high school girl he dumped. When she recognizes him, she drops her purse causing them to laugh until they cried which probably means they’re both drunk as heck already. So what do they decide to do? They hop in their cars, drive around and can’t find an open bar and decide just to sit in the car and drink themselves happy and maybe forget how miserable they both are.
They toast to their innocence which is kind of ironic as they’re sitting in a car drinking and likely contemplating adultery and they soon realize that they’re so drunk they can’t figure out what to say to each other so she starts kvetching about her marriage and he says how much he hates touring because you know the life of a rock star is just sooooooooo unbearable.
And you just know that all the great Christmas songs are really about rock stars complaining in the frozen foods aisle.
Anyway, after all the beers are gone he allows this past flame who just drank her face off and is so completely emotionally unstable that she was laughing and crying over spilling her purse to hop into her car and drive away probably to run someone over.
Now that’s Christmas.
2) Jingle Bells – Jingle Bells is one of the most famous Christmas songs in the world but unfortunately it actually has nothing to do with Christmas. It was written by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh” in 1857 about Thanksgiving. Yup. Thanksgiving. But nobody wants to hear a Thanksgiving song so it’s now a Christmas song.
The dude has “Lord” in his name but that’s about as close as the song gets anywhere near God.
Everyone knows the first verse but not many know the second verse which seems to be about…well you be the judge what it’s about.
A day or two ago
I thought I’d take a ride
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.
So he got Miss Fanny Bright to get in the sleigh with him, he went a little fast (if you know what I mean) and crashed into a ditch. That’s the 1850’s version of “I ran out of gas” I guess.
And then the fourth verse consists of some dude sleighing by and laughing at the idiot who crashed his sleigh and then driving off. Nice.
Doesn’t sound much like a Christmas song at all does it?
3)Jingle Bell Rock -Adding the word “rock” to nonsensical words doesn’t really make it more Christmasy does it?
4) Sleigh Ride – It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you. It’s about eating chestnuts, eating pumpkin pie and drinking coffee and that’s it. No Christmas.
5) Winter Wonderland – It’s a song written by a guy with tuberculosis sitting in a sanitarium writing about a snowy day. That’s it. A snowy day.
6) Baby It’s Cold Outside – I have zero clue how this song worked its way into Christmas airplay. Just to give you some idea, it’s a duet about a girl who keeps insisting she must go home while the guy uses every excuse to keep her there saying that it’s cold outside so she should really stay. The female voice in the song is called “The Mouse” and the male “The Wolf.” I mean, this song is about one step short of the guy slipping something into her drink and her waking up three days later shackled up with a ball gag.
7) Let it Snow – Oh the weather outside if frightful but the fire’s so delightful. Yup. Pretty much the same thing is going on here as in “Baby it’s Cold Outside” but at least here it seems mutual and the police won’t need to get involved. But while a lack of necessary jail time is a plus there’s nothing real Christmasy going on here.