It’s hard to imagine writing a blog about music without addressing holiday music. I’m not a huge fan of it, but I still enjoy some “songs of the season.” Most of the classics bore me. I’m no fan of Silent Night or Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I like some versions of The Twelve Days of Christmas, especially the version done by the Muppets. I can’t help listening to it and belting out “FIVE GOLDEN RIIIIIIIIIIINGS! Ba-dum-dum-dum!” along with it.
I have a special place in my heart for the joke songs to be found on the Twisted Christmas albums. Songs like Something Stuck up in the Chimney, 12 Pains of Christmas and The Restroom Door Said “Gentlemen” make me giggle, and for some reason stick with me more than most of the songs they are based on.
But of all the various songs out there, there are two that I love more than any other. Even though I am not religious, I absolutely love O Holy Night. There are a lot of versions of it, but not all of them are great. You need the right voice for it. There is one part of the song, and if you’ve heard it, you know exactly which part I’m talking about, that requires a set of pipes few people have. Hitting that right is everything. Fluffing through it is a crime against music.
But by far, my favorite Christmas song isn’t one of the classics, and comes from an unlikely source. It’s by the Irish punk band called The Pogues, with help from vocalist Kristy MacColl. It’s called A Fairytale of New York. The song tells the story of two down-on-their-luck lovers in the drunk tank on Christmas Eve. Most of the song revolves around the two of them consistently bitching at each other and blaming the other’s shortcomings for the current situation. But the song unexpectedly changes, when it is revealed that the two actually love each other, and more than that need each other. It’s beautiful in the grimiest, crassest way. And if that doesn’t say Christmas, I don’t know what does. It may be the emotional break of the song, or it may be the sentiment, or possibly just the music, but I have trouble getting through it without crying.
I hope whoever you are reading this, that your holidays are filled with the family that you love and the mirth of hearth and home. I will continue on with regular posts, but I figured a little post about the holidays was in order. Happy Holidays to you and yours, and a Happy New Year, too.