Music has a tremendous power over us as human beings. Certain songs can make us happy or sad or a host of other emotions. But for me, no music is more stirring than Christmas music. It puts me in a warm and fuzzy mood. And it distinctly reminds me of December afternoons of my childhood. My sister and I would come home from school and dance around the living room "choreographing" moves to go along with the Nutcracker Suite.
Aside from Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" (which I could listen to every single day on repeat without getting sick of... seriously, I love that song) my favorite songs are the ones I find on my parents old records. I even bought a record player just so I could fill my apartment with the crackle and pop of Mr. Johnny Mathis on the turntable.
Granted I only have about 6 Christmas records (I don't count "The Care Bears Christmas" or "Christmas With The Chipmunks Volume 2" as part of my collection) so I listen to the same songs pretty frequently. And I've noticed something strange about what people considered holiday music 30+ years ago.
For instance, I have two different albums entitled "Christmas America" (I have no idea why they made 2) from 1974. And on these albums there are compilations that include:
God Bless Our Native Land
My Country, Tis of Thee
Star Spangled Banner
Battle Hymn of the Republic
America the Beautiful
America (My Country Tis of Thee)
Now I have nothing against America (I live here) but there is nothing about decorating a tree with ribbon and ornaments that makes me want to burst into the National Anthem.
Maybe I'm kind of misguided, but patriotism and Christmas have just never gone hand in hand for me. When my friends and I regularly get together to discuss the birth of Jesus to Mary and Joseph we rarely bring up the birth of our nation.
"You know what Frankincense and Myrrh remind me of? The rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air!"
But those patriotic songs don't really bother me. Christmas music is Christmas music wherever and whenever you are. But there is a more modern song that doesn't appear on my records that really gets to me. Like I said, I like most songs, but this particular song makes me so angry that when it comes on I want to shove a Christmas tree in each of my ears.
It is a song that, for some ungodly reason, gets a ton of radio play and has been covered by other bands as well.
That song is none other than "Last Christmas" by Wham! For me, this song is quite possibly the most depressing, annoying Christmas song that exists. I don't expect you to feel the same way I do. But I will now point out some of my issues with the lyrics of this song. We will start at the beginning.
I gave you my heart
You gave her your heart? What are you 12? Did you also tie it up with string and attach a note to it before you put it in her locker? Who even says that? I gave you my heart. Did you also plan to give her your flower?
But the very next day you gave it away.
Well, did you ever stop to think maybe your heart was defective, or maybe it was a crappy heart? That's why I give shit away. Maybe this girl felt the same way. People regift things sometimes. Get over it.
To save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special
Seriously? Are you still giving your heart to people? But aside from that you are really getting profound on me. So you didn't think this girl was special when you gave her your heart? Why on earth did you give it to her for, moron? You're so dumb it's no wonder you gave away such a crappy heart.
Once bitten and twice shy.
Once bitten and twice shy? What is this, A True Blood Christmas? Here's a hot tip for you songwriter of the year, if you are looking for a romantic verse to slip into a song, girls rarely fall for lines about biting. That just doesn't put them in a great holiday mood.
I keep my distance.
But you still catch my eye
Tell me baby
Do you recognize me?
Why do you care? You already said this person is not special. Why do you care if a not-special person doesn't recognize you? Why? Do you have some other crappy thing you want to give them?
It's been a year
It doesn't surprise me
I wrapped it up and sent it
With a note saying "I love you"
I meant it
So basically it's been a year since you decided to give your heart to a not special person and since nothing happened you thought it was a good idea to contact them again and your opening line was "I love you?" Really?
Perhaps you are thinking at this point that I am being a bit of a scrooge about this song. And maybe I am. But I am not an overall scrooge. For some reason this song just irks me. I know Christmas isn't the most favorite time of year for everybody. But listening to Wham bemoan their Christmas woes does not put me in any kind of mood other than "stabby."
I guess I am just more of a traditional guy when it comes to Christmas. I like songs about the magic of winter, the joy and rapture that comes from singing carols around the fire, and of course, bombs bursting in air.
Happy Holidays everyone.