Can I be honest with you?
Of course I can be honest. If I can’t be honest on my blog, where can I be honest?
I’m not feeling very Christmas-y this year. I know… It’s 2022… Maybe that’s excuse enough. Or maybe that’s more of a reason to get into the holiday spirit than any year before. I don’t know…
There are only so many Christmas songs to be found out in the world. And there are only so many artists available to cover those songs. It can be exhausting to hear “Silver Bells” three times in the course of an hour. Just because I’ve heard it sung by three different singers doesn’t make it better!
Sorry for shouting.
Let’s start there, shall we?
5. Silver Bells
Since I’m not over the age of 72, I can’t tell the difference between a lot of those old school crooners’ voices. I don’t know if it’s Andy Williams or Dean Martin or someone else singing “Silver Bells” in the cover I’m thinking of. Whoever it is sounds plastered. I picture him in the studio after completing the chorus for the 53rd time, yelling at the sound engineer to get him another tumbler of scotch. All throughout the song the lyrics sound slurred and, while it may have been an artistic choice, he just sounds like he’s coming in late with the chorus.
4. All I Want for Christmas Is You
I’m sure this is gonna be what the kids are calling a hot take. Look, I don’t hate this song. I really don’t. It’s catchy and has a nice beat. But do we really have to make sure it receives airplay on local radio 18 times a day beginning every November 1? I get it… This song keeps Mariah Carey relevant beyond 2007. And good for her for being that rare artist who managed to come up with a new Christmas song that carolers haven’t been singing for the past century and a half. It just gets played too much. I swear I hear “All I Want for Christmas Is You” more times in the month leading up to Christmas than I hear any/every other Mariah Carey song combined for the rest of the calendar year.
3. Christmas Shoes
I’ll admit… There was a time when I actually liked this song. It’s touching. I cried. It’s hard not to listen to the song and picture a sad little kid whose mother is dying and not cry, okay? Maybe enough time has passed now that I’ve become desensitized to the emotion behind the song. And they milked it for all it was worth back in the 2000s with two or three made for TV movies based on it. I just can’t do it anymore…
2. Mary, Did You Know?
Yeah, okay? She knew! Gabriel told her all about it. I mean, the account in Luke doesn’t have Gabriel spelling out all the miracles that Jesus would grow up to perform, but I’m sure he explained a lot of it before she was even with child.
1. Anything where the artist feels the need to add some kind of ridiculous flourish…
When you’re a big time singer and the studio is pressuring you to release a Christmas album, you want to be able to distinguish yourself from all the other Christmas albums that have come before you. That means you’re going to have one or two crappy original songs that won’t amount to anything (unless it happens to be Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”). It also means you’re going to cover the same 10-15 classic Christmas songs that everyone and their mother has done for the last 2,000 years. So how do you make those covers stand out? Throw in some high notes. Give it a different beat. That kind of thing doesn’t bother me… It’s when they randomly change lyrics that really gets under my skin. I mean, I’m singing along with the radio and I’m singing the words that 83% of everyone already knows by heart and this guy has the unmitigated gall to replace one of the words with a synonym that just happens to have the same number of syllables, which makes it okay because it still fits in the song?!
I feel like I should apologize for the pre-A Christmas Carol Scrooginess of this post. But I don’t think I’m gonna.