Thursday, December 27, 2007

Top 5 Holiday Songs I Begrudgingly Like…

I like Christmas and the holiday season. I’m normal in that regard. Sure, there are things I don’t like about it; but it always instills a nice, cold, dreamy mood in me that has hasn’t deluded itself since my formative years. I do not, however, enjoy Christmas music. Carols, hymns; all of it strikes a weird chord with me. Mostly, it is either far too cheery or far too unintentionally creepy. “Fa la la la la la la la la?” What the hell is that? I’m not trying to be a “grinch” here, but, seriously, shut the hell up already.

Nonetheless, there are several choice songs that I will hum along to (sometimes without even noticing) if they are playing in a department store, a mall, or (God forbid) at work. There nothing obscure or hard to find. Just the run of the mill stuff you’ll hear every day. The following venture is largely due to Todd’s urging, and his assholian nature while dehumanizing my end of the year music plans. So, I’ve decided to compile a small list of Christmas and holiday tunes that you may hear around this time of year that won’t give you a tooth ache or make you vomit in the process.

05. Christmas Time Is Here (A Charlie Brown Christmas)

I’m cheating here…maybe. Whatever, though, this is a classic Christmas staple and you know it. Plus, it makes me think of Arrested Development—which is never a bad thing. I enjoy this tune mostly because of its bittersweet tone. It’s kind of sad, kind of wistful, even-tempered and really comforting.

04. Let It Snow

Turn on the cheese! This was a favorite in the Rivera household in my early days. I don’t necessarily like it, but it is nostalgic at best and corny at worst. Really, though, it’s hard to hate a song that uses terms like “goodbyeing,” and “I brought corn for popping.” Plus, if you find the Dean-O version, you get…Dean-O.

03. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

This is probably one of the cheesiest songs I have ever heard. But it is so damned festive and catchy. I usually pinch my leg if I find myself singing along to this or even humming it; but it happens! If we are talking about the original here (which I am ), Brenda Lee has an undeniably charming delivery in the choruses. Granted, it is cripplingly derivative of just about every female recording artist from the same period, but…who cares?

02. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

It’s the religious themed Christmas tunes (which is roughly what? 95% of them?) that always end up making me the most uneasy. Hark! is one of the exceptions because it actually can be kind of powerful if you are in the right mood, and doesn’t ever really lay the dramatics on too thick. I’m looking at you “Oh Holy Night.” It’s got that church choir vibe to it, but it’s also kind of poppy and requires great harmony to pull it off well; always a plus for me.

01. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Tidings of Comfort and Joy)

This is just a good song. Again, it requires pitch-perfect three part harmony to make it work, and it is just friggin’ epic. When I think of Christmas, I think of this song. It just pops into my head and I immediately start humming it with those rapid pauses in each measure. The narrative is literal and simply stated, but the flow builds upon an already established atmosphere and purposefully drives it into the ground. I’m humming it right now!

So yeah, listen to THOSE songs if you must hear holiday music this year--what’s left of it, anyway. Please, feel free to post your favorites or least favorites in the comments section. Insults as well; I love insults!

Stay tuned for my Top 15 Albums of 2007 in the very near future.

Until then, I wish you a very (late) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Moses McCluer said...

You forgot "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey.

Daniel said...

Well, I thought that was *our* song, Mozatron.