Based upon what you probably reason from my taste in music, you would expect that I would be a huge lover of the festive music that is recycled at this time of year.
However, barring the Calypso Carol that we pleaded with our primary school to let us sing, I have not been able to bear 99% of Christmas songs. They feel to me trashy with either a preachy or commercial purpose that I don’t want to hear at this time, both in production and lyrics, and do not give a meaning to this time of year that I appreciate.
I thought though, Christmas might mean something different to me this year, the fact I only arrive back in Rochdale on the 24th is going to make it a whirlwind exciting adventure. Maybe then the imagery of Christmas time and so forth would make the music more appealing. Not at all.
From listening to songs at home based on suggestions from people, to running choir rehearsals for the Lucia concert on Tuesday (which, culturally speaking, is most equivalent in the UK to nativity performances, but it is very different and that description does not do it justice), I find myself in general really unmoved by the music we are singing, especially considering how special it is meant to be. A small pardon to this rule actually I will give to White Christmas, but that’s more because it is really fun to sing powerfully now I actually have a man’s voice (our singing teacher at school did it every year amazingly and I was always a bit jealous).
No matter what imagery is used, lyrically or musically, I’m left cold. I think part of the problem is that especially with Christmas music, the imagery you are doing you are trying to sell alongside your understanding, and it just isn’t compatible with what I want – the word Christmas just leaves the cold feeling with me in almost every usage – it feels fake.
And this is coming from the person who will squeal on a well written key change.
Maybe that explains why my favourite Christmassy songs are those that are actually in languages I don’t understand.
Maybe though, it suggests how not Christmassy I am as a person. Yes an organised time of celebration in dark winter months is perfectly rational and should be encouraged. The symbolism alongside it though. We make a deal now about the ‘alternative Christmas’ in the UK. It doesn’t need that, we just need to embrace fun and frolics again, and that doesn’t need us to mumble through Last Christmas and Auld Lang Syne and any other recycled nonsense this time of year has. Please say our music is better than that (and better than what Switzerland picked last night), and let’s have something that actually warms my heart and thinks of home this time of year.
Something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_-1cstzR5g