I wrote this on my netbook and have been trying to post it ever since. PH finally managed to find me a connection with some fiddling on my netbook at my in-law’s house, thanks to an unsecured connection.
THANK HEAVENS, because I seriously need to talk to you folk about the Christmas songs I’ve been hearing on the radio. I need to find out if I’m the only person having these thoughts.
I’ve never been much of a radio person. Normally at Christmas I just have Barenaked For The Holidays on constant loop playing in the car.
Perfect Husband, though no less loyal a fan of BNL than I, has less tolerance for repetition and tends to switch to the radio.
Happily, we have found middle ground on QM FM, which plays Christmas music non-stop during December.
The only unfortunate side effect to constantly listening to radio Christmas music in the car is a tendency to walk around with songs like Six White Boomers and Mele Kalikimaka stuck in your head all the time.
But some of these songs, which I hear being played again and again, sometimes covered by a variety of artists, are starting to make me think weird thoughts… And now that I have overthought these songs, thus ruining them for myself, I feel the need to spread the weirdness.
Therefore, I bring you:
If By Yes’s Top 5 WTF Holiday Songs
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” – Andy Williams
Shall we add Paranormal Activity to the list of popular Christmas movies?
Okay, barring the fact that this song has been tainted by cruel back-to-school commercials featuring jubilant parents anticipating inflicting the public school system with their spawn (whom clearly even they can’t stand) you have to recognize that this is an old Christmas standby.
I get sucked into it every time as he paints a picture of Christmas for me:
There’ll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There’ll be scary ghost stories
Who tells scary ghost stories on Christmas Eve?
Has Stephen King’s Pet Sematary supplanted The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in the Christmas story department? Did The Ring join Muppet Family Christmas and A Christmas Story on the list of holiday classics when I wasn’t looking?
The only Christmas ghost story I can think of is A Christmas Carol, and it’s not really scary. Jacob Marley is more pitiful than anything else, and the Ghosts of Christmas are mostly quite jolly in their way. Even the last one just points a lot.
The only part of A Christmas Carol that gives me the shivers is that part where Dickens tell you that he is standing at your elbow in spirit right now as you read his book.
I’m like, “Dude, Charles, I’m in THE BATH. Can’t your spirit go elsewhere? Go tell Alistair Sim that he did a great job or something.”
So maybe that’s what Andy was talking about, but I just don’t know.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Frank Loesser
The world’s most romantic date rape
This is an old classic, and you can’t help but love it. Such a great duet, especially after you’ve had a couple of egg nogs.
It starts out so cozy, too. You can just see the couple reluctantly parting.
So really I’d better scurry
(beautiful, please don’t hurry)
well, maybe just a half a drink more
(put some records on while I pour)
But then it takes a sinister turn.
Say, what’s in this drink?
(no cabs to be had out there)
Okay, now I KNOW I’m not the only one out there who does a double-take at this line, because it totally sounds like she just noticed the roofies he added.
DUDE, what did you put in her drink? And instead of answering with “a little rum, my queen, why, is it too strong?” or at least “too weak, do you think?”, he just responds with “NOW YOU CANNOT ESCAPE ME.”
Now, the previous line “put some records on while I pour” takes on a new meaning. Was he trying to distract her attention while he mixed up her Roofie Colada?
Suddenly my image of the cutesy 1930s couple on the verge of needing a shotgun wedding turns into a mental image of a woozy teenager and her leering internet date.
Oh, and did you know that traditionally, the name of the female singer is “mouse” and the name of the male lead is “wolf” in this duet?
It gets worse, too.
I wish I knew how
(your eyes are like starlight now)
to break the spell
(I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell).
I ought to say no, no, no sir
(mind if I move in closer?).
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
(what’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
Dude, she’s said no THREE TIMES, and all you do is move in for the kill? Oh, and don’t forget the guilt-trip he puts in.
Why don’t you see
(how can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
(think of my lifelong sorrow)
And then he moves on to subtle death threats…
at least there will be plenty implied
(if you caught pneumonia and died).
Damn straight that there’s plenty implied. This sounds like a subtle implication that she’ll be found dead in the snow tomorrow.
I really can’t stay
(get over that hold-out)
That’s right. Wolfie here just told her to “get over” her plan of leaving his house. After that, they both start singing about how cold it is outside.
So the question is… did she stay? Or did he chase her out into the snow?
Was she found alive the next morning?
WE’LL NEVER KNOW.
“It’s A Marshmallow World” – Carl Sigman, usually sung by Bing Crosby or Brenda Lee
yellow is harder to rhyme, ok?
It’s a marshmallow world in the winter,
When the snow comes to cover the ground,
It’s the time for play, it’s a whipped cream day,
I wait for it all year round.
This is a fun song, and rather catchy. The line “that’s how it goes whenever it snows” always gets stuck in my head.
But I can’t get over this line:
The sun is red
like a pumpkin head
First of all, sunset excluded, I have never seen the sun look RED, especially in winter. It’s pale yellow and usually hidden behind clouds.
Tell me – if you were outside on a snowy day in winter and you looked up and the sun was a lurid red, would you think “yup, that’s totally normal” or would you think “JUDGEMENT DAY IS AT HAND”?
Secondly, and I feel this is just as valid a point…
What kind of crazy-ass pumpkins does she see every hallowe’en?
Have you ever seen a RED pumpkin?
I’m pretty sure my 15 month old son has a better concept of colours than this nutty lady. I can’t handle this song just for that line, which appears over and over.
Seriously, lady, you couldn’t think of a better rhyme? How about
The sun is bright
it’s a lovely sight
the yellow sun
shines for everyone
or, if the sun really must be a kind of food in order to fit with your theme,
the sun up top
is a lemon drop
Seriously. Those took me two minutes to think up. Put some effort into it. I can’t enjoy your song if I know that you put DICK ALL into composing the damn thing. You might as well be saying “here, take this song I just pulled OUT OF MY ARMPIT.”
“Do They Know It’s Christmastime” – Band Aid
Thank God for another person’s suffering.
What is UP with this song?
The Barenaked Ladies covered this song in Barenaked For The Holidays. It’s the only song on the album that I can’t stand.
I feel like this is one of those songs that I really SHOULD like, because by disliking it I’m somehow implying that I don’t like the MESSAGE, which would make me a real twat. But I’m ok with the message. Yes indeedy, let’s feed the world. Let’s take the giving of the Christmas season and give to those who really need it, rather than spending the money on a watch that your father won’t wear. That’s good. Great.
But seriously, this song drives me BATTY.
It’s starts out fine…
It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light, and we banish shade
But there’s a world outside our window and it’s a world of dread and fear
Ooh, I see what you did there, suggesting we look outside our own cozy little first world living rooms. I like it.
And the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears.
Um. Okay. I guess we’re talking more about Africa than, say, Bangladesh. I would like to suggest that maybe some of the places where people live in dread and fear actually live in dread and fear of floods and mudslides, but okay, artistic license. No water flowing.
And the Christmas bells that ring there
are THE CLANGING CHIMES OF DOOM
Okay, getting a little melodramatic…
WELL, TONIGHT THANK GOD IT’S THEM, INSTEAD OF YOU!!
Thanks for making life miserable for all those Africans, instead of for me. Good call.
I’m really glad their life is so awful, because it just makes mine seem that much better by contrast! I really appreciate your choice.
While I’m gaping at THAT, the song goes on.
There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time
Yup, definitely an African focus.
Although, technically, this isn’t true. There’s snow on Kilamanjaro, at the very least. Also, I think Morocco may have ski resorts.
But more to the point – what does snow have to do with anything? I don’t think many starving Ethiopians are thinking “Gee, you know, I have no warm clothes and no food. If only we had more SNOW.”
The only gift they’ll get this year is LIFE
Is… that supposed to be a bad thing?
Ooh, these people are so poor that they think that LIFE is the best gift they could recieve! Those poor people, who will never appreciate the joy of a new xbox 360 under the tree! Hurry, help them so they can get SOMETHING better for Christmas than stupid old LIFE.
Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?
Well, maybe, but since many of them are actually MUSLIM, I’m thinking that this is a separate issue.
So, let’s take stock, shall we? Reasons we should pity Africa, according to the artist:
1.They have no cold weather.
2.They think that life is a better gift than a Rolex.
3.They don’t celebrate Christmas.
These are the reasons that I should take pity in my heart for the starving people of the world?
That’s odd, because if I made a list, it would look more like this:
1.They have no food
2.They have no medicine
3.They live in war zones
But hey, that’s just me.
“Last Christmas” – Wham
Someone needs to discover that you don’t need someone else to burn you in order to be a complete person.
We hear this song a lot because apparently EVERYONE IN THE WORLD HAS COVERED IT.
I want to know… WHY??
Last year I gave you my heart
The very next day you gave it away
Okay, so, he offered his heart to someone and that person turned around and regifted it?
First, how do you regift someone’s heart? I mean, I can see giving it back, like, “hey, I know it’s Boxing Day and all, but I don’t actually love you, so here’s your heart on a silver platter, I’ve gone ahead and put the dagger in it for you.”
But how do you give a person’s heart AWAY?
“Oh, your heart? Was that supposed to be for me? Because I gave it to someone else… who? Um, I think it was Bob? Yeah, I’m pretty sure Bob has your heart now. I didn’t think you’d mind…”
So the song has me perplexed from the start. But then it gets weirder.
So this year, to save me from tears,
I’ll give it to someone special.
Really? That’s your plan?
You got your heart broken, er, REGIFTED by someone last year, so to avoid repeating old mistakes, your new criteria for a potential heart recipient is “someone special”?
Who did you give it to last year, someone random off of the street?
I keep my distance but you still catch my eye
Tell me baby, do you recognize me?
Okay, maybe you did.
I wrapped it up and sent it
With a note saying “merry Christmas”
How very Vincent.
So she received a human heart in the mail, possibly from a near stranger. No wonder she gave it to someone else. If that happened to me, I’d probably pass on THAT hot potato as soon as humanly possible. The person she gave it to was probably A COP.
But it’s ok. Human-Heart-Donator has a plan now – give the heart to a SPECIAL someone, not just ANYBODY.
(I also feel that this song leaves out a significant portion of the plot. How did he get his heart BACK, anyway? That could be a whole tv special, this guy running around trying to figure out what Randomly-Chosen-Lover had done with his heart, and having to go through all kinds of rigamaroles to track it down as it is regifted again and again in increasingly unlucky circumstances.)
He continues on to say that he considers it entirely possible that he may end up repeating the whole wrong-heart-recipient fiasco again.
Now I know what a fool I’ve been
But if you kissed me now I know you’d fool me again
But a couple of stanzas later, he has reversed his position.
Ooh hoo, now I’ve found a real love
You’ll never fool me again
I have to say that if he is basing this claim on a relationship that began less than two stanzas ago he may be getting ahead of himself.
We also gain new insight into what he wants his “someone special” to do with his heart.
Who’ll give me something in return
Hold my heart and watch it burn
I am also unconvinced that this new “special” person (who is willing to reciprocate his love by holding his flaming cardipulmonary system) actually exists. She may be a figment of his imagination, invented to make Heart-Regifter jealous. By the end of the song he’s getting so desperate that he drops the whole “special” criteria and just starts moaning
I’ll give it to someone…
I’ll give it to someone…
over and over again.
It gives me the feeling that he doesn’t actually have anyone SPECIAL in mind yet, and is becoming increasingly desperate as he realizes that Christmas is approaching and he hasn’t found anyone who might show an interest in his vital organs, and even less likely to hold them while they incinerate.
I’m beginning to see that this could quickly devolve into another quick-just-give-it-to-anyone situation, leading to yet another contrite heart-hunt in the new year, or possibly a heart-bomb mail incident.
Uni-bomber, move over. The special-heart bomber is on his way.
What Christmas songs drive you crazy?