Saturday, December 24, 2005

Notes on Christmas Songs

The most comically fucked-up Christmas song I know is "The Cherry Tree Carol." Seriously, where to fucking BEGIN? Well, begin with the first verse: "When Joseph was an old man, an old man was he/He married Virgin Mary, the queen of Galilee." Um, is there any Biblical indication that Joseph was in fact "an old man?" I'll field that one: no. No, there isn't. You just made it up, for no apparent reason except to make the song that much creepier. Was this necessary? And it only goes downhill from there. How is he expected not to be upset when she just sort of casually mentions in passing that she's pregnant? I mean, come on. And then Jesus talking from inside her womb? Gah. I don't want to think about it anymore.

"I Wonder as I Wander": good song. But man alive...the last line, in my family at least, always is the cause of great hilarity. "He surely could have it--'cause he was the king." As, for, since...but NO. For some totally bizarre reason, everbody is OBSTINATE that it has to be "'cause." Cuz Jeezus wuz, like, totally king omg lol!!!11 Very strange indeed.

The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York." Yes, it's a great song. Really, really great, in fact. But I can't help thinkng that people fixate too much on the you're a bum you're a punk you're an old slut on junk verse and kind of miss the point in the process. Their viewpoint seems to be, ha! Look how transgressive it all is! Take THAT, saccharine Christmas cheer! And that might be a legitimate reading if that were the last verse. But it's NOT, and however cynical it might be, it is ultimately a love song, and a moving one at that:

"I could have been someone."
"Well so could anyone.
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you."
"I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you."

Tell me that doesn't bring at least a little lump to your throat.

"Carol of the Bells." Is this the most sinister-sounding Christmas song you've ever heard, or what? I keep thinking it should be part of the soundtrack to the end of the world. Do dododo, do dododo...jeez.

Steeleye Span's version of "Gower Wassail"=best Christmas song EVER. Don't fucking argue with me. Just play it. And...have a happy [war on] Christmas.


Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. pontificated to the effect that...

Granted, but you'll need to explain exactly which of my many foolish qualities you're focusing on here, so that I'll know what specifically I should feel ashamed about.

2:36 PM  

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