Given that we’re well into Advent (and yes, there will be an Advent devotional coming next week — in the meantime, you can check out this year’s Mondoville crop here), it’s no surprise that I’m hearing both a lot of Christmas music and a lot of complaints about various examples of same.
Now, I remain confident that the record for Most Hilariously Depressing Christmas Song remains with Red Sovine, and certainly the novelty of songs like “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” wore off a few thousand spins ago — I think nearly all of us can agree on stuff like that. But there seems to be a Christmas music issue about which I’m a rank deviant.
(Breathes deeply. Stares into middle distance for a moment. Resumes typing.)
I prefer Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time” to John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” I like the melody, and I particularly like the fact that the melody isn’t a ringer for an old folk song about a horse. Macca’s song makes me smile, while John’s puts the listener on the defensive from the second line (“And what have you done?”) I carry enough guilt in my life for sins of omission and commission as it is — I don’t need it in my Christmas music. (Besides, Greg Lake warned us in “I Believe in Father Christmas” that “Be it Heaven or Hell/ The Christmas we get we deserve.” Enough!)
Both songs are overproduced, but Paul is honest about it. John brings in the Harlem Children’s Choir, but still tries to maintain the earnestness of a bedroom recording. Fauxverproduction? And of course, Paul’s song doesn’t have Yoko, and has the decency to keep Linda nicely submerged in the mix.
So there. I await your scorn, but I’ve been a fan of prog rock for years. I can handle scorn. In the meantime, I hope you’re simply having… oh, the heck with it.