Sunday, December 09, 2007

They're Singing Deck The Halls

Throughout my childhood, the coming of Christmas meant that the giant six-hour Christmas tape would be threaded into the reel-to-reel player, filling our home with a constant loop of holiday music drawn primarily from the 40+ songs included on the original Time-Life Treasury of Christmas. This set of albums featured classic songs by unparalleled artists - Ella Fitzgerald's "Jingle Bells," Gene Autry's "Rudolph," Julie Andrews' "Joy to the World," an indispensable dose of Johnny Mathis and of course a couple from Elvis. Perhaps this is why I have so much trouble listening to any Christmas music recorded after 1972, but I think the real reason is that all Christmas music recorded after 1972 is, quite simply, ridiculous.

This point was emphasized for me when we pointed the satellite toward XM's "Holly" channel. The constant stream of Amy Grant, Celine Dion and Clay Aiken is just about enough to send me crawling back to the analog altar of my youth. With the single self-righteous, religiously confused yet relentlessly appealing exception of "Do They Know It's Christmas," I unilaterally dismiss all seasonal music offered by or to my generation. XM would truly be earning its fee if it thought to separate Christmas music out by decade, or at least at the dividing point between good and horrendous (that point occurring, of course, in the joyless 13-year void between John Lennon's "Happy Christmas" and Wham's "Last Christmas"). Because really, all I want for Christmas is to be able to hear The Ronettes harmonizing about their "Sleigh Ride" without having to worry that Mannheim's Steamroller is following right behind.

7 comments:

Stacey Greenberg said...

aw man Do They Know It's Christmas gets me everytime!!

Stephanie said...

What do you have against Harry Connick, Jr?

Kristy said...

Rosemary Clooney's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is the most perfectly wistful, hopeful, melancholy-tinged Christmas song ever.

Kelly said...

I had the same issue with Holly over the weekend. Dial it up a few more until you get to the Holiday Traditions channel on XM...very close to the reel to reel.

The Saucier said...

Have I got a Busconductors Christmas album for you! Check your e-mail.

warren said...

the Kinks' "Father Christmas" says it all for me:

Have yourself a merry merry christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothing
While you're drinkin down your wine

CarrieJ said...

The Alabama (the band, not the state) Christmas Album says Christmas to me everytime. Fun fact. If you start it at my house and drive toward Graceland you should be in front of Graceland just about the time he sings "And, maybe down in Memphis, Graceland's all in lights".