Skip to comments.Why is so much of the Christmas music we hear so lame?
Posted on 11/27/2009 4:29:59 PM PST by SamAdams76
I have been listening to and collecting Christmas music for over 30 years now. During this time, I have collected well over 3,000 songs. I consider practically every song in my collection to be of high quality and in the spirit of the Christmas season.
My point is that there is a huge library out there of excellent Christmas music. My question is, why is so much of what we hear on the radio, at the shopping malls, and even in the movies, so horribly lame?
Already there are many radio stations (including two on Sirius satellite radio) playing Christas music around the clock through December 25th. Yet despite having weeks and weeks to play all the Christmas music that is out there, they insist upon playing over and over the same couple hundred or so Christmas songs.
Even that wouldn't be so intolerable if they at least played the couple hundred of the BEST Christmas song. But instead, we are hearing a couple hundred of the very WORST Christmas songs.
I had a long drive today and was caught without my iPod so I was forced to listen to what Christmas music was on the radio. It was basically a steady diet of horribly uninspired singers (i.e. Michael Buble, Barry Manilow, Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Josh Groban, Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Madonna, etc.) playing endless variations the most inspid, Christmas songs out there (Sleigh Ride, Silver Bells, Happy Xmas, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, Do They Know It's Christmas?, Let It Snow, etc.).
By the time I got home, I wanted to turn the calendar forward to Dec 26 and get this season over with! Fortunately, I was able to delve into my vast collection of REAL Christmas music and get back into the spirit again.
I even picked up a few new Christmas albums that came out for the first time this year that you will likely NEVER hear on the radio. One of them was "Christmas In The Heart" by Bob Dylan that has been made fun of by virtually every record critic out there. But despite what the "too-cool-for-school" critics have to say (the same people I might add who think President Obama is a swell idea), this is a breathtaking Christmas album by one of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time.
Now before I go on, allow me to get the inevitable "Bob Dylan gargles with razor blades and smokes five cartons of Camels a day" comment out of the way. Yes, it is true, Bob Dylan does not have a "smooth and polished" studio-friendly voice like Whitney Houston or Neil Diamond but so what? Bob's gritty takes on such Christmas classics as "Do You Hear What I Hear," "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" and even the playful "Must Be Santa" are all heartfelt, genuine and these renditions absolutely blow the pop stars of today out of the water. You can guarantee that Bob Dylan's astonishing Christmas album will become a part of my permanent Christmas collection for many years to come, even though you are unlikely to hear so much as one track on the radio.
I would like to list some of the 3,000+ tracks in my Christmas collection here but I have no idea where to even start. So in no effort to start with the best, I will hit shuffle on my iPod and post the first 25 songs that come up. This should give you an indication as to just how vast and diverse my Christmas collection is. I encourage fellow fans of Christmas music to post some of their collection so that I can compare and maybe find some new tracks to add to mine, as I'm certainly not finding any new music on the radio!
Here are the first 25 Christmas songs that came up on my iPod in shuffle mode:
Aimee Mann - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Gabriel's Message - Sting
Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming - Mannheim Steamroller
When Southern Bells Ring - The Judybats
Tennessee Christmas - Amy Grant
Come On Christmas - Dwight Yoakam
Donna & Blitzen - Badly Drawn Boy
Terra Firma - Delirium
Light Of The Stable - Emmylou Harris
Joy Is Within Reach - Adrienne Pierce
Winter's Night - Nox Arcana
Pearly Dew Drops Drops - Cocteau Twins
O Come All Ye Faithful - Bing Crosby
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day - Jars Of Clay
Lachrimae Antiquae - London Symphony (w/Chip Davis)
Winter's Carol - Tori Amos
Make It Home - Juliana Hatfield
Christmas In The Jungle - Derrik Roberts
Winter Wonderland - Reverend Horton Heat
I Believe In Father Christmas - Greg Lake
The Christmas Song - Angel
December Will Be Magic Again - Kate Bush
O Little Town Of Bethlehem - Crash Test Dummies
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
Good King Wencelaus - Melanie
And about 3,218 more gems that you will probably never hear on the radio or in your shopping mall, which is a real tragedy....
I want to know why they only play 20 songs over and over and over and over?
I’ve always liked Jethro Tull’s Christmas Album. I also think Baroque brass music is great during Christmas.
(sarc) Sorry but don’t you mean “Holiday Music”? ... (/sarc)
The Holly and the Ivy, by the Cambridge Singers is one of my favorites.
That’s what I don’t like — even Christmas music on radio has been sanitized, at least sround where I live. Give me the hyms that reflect the true meaning of Christmas.
O Holy Night gives me goose bumps.
Each of my replies to this thread will include 10 additional songs from my collection (from Shuffle on my iPod)...
Coventry Carol - Loreena McKennitt
Carol of the Bells - John Fahey
Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton
In The Bleak Midwinter - Liz Story
Come On Christmas - Cheap Trick
My Christmas Card To You - Partridge Family
White Christmas - Chris Isaak
Red Ribbon Foxes - A Fine Frenzy
Amazing Grace - Ani Difranco
Preset Dem Konig! (Praise The King) - Amy Grant
Music arranged as background music to appeal to the sloppy sentimentalities of lounge lizards and drunks in bars, who want to pretend that Christmas means something to them.
The collators of playlists use it to keep the listening inoffensive to the atheists out there.
The liberals have censured the music through political correctness.
I’ve been looking for the song “Christmas in America” by Pat Benetar, and can’t find it. It was played regularly on the radio leading up to Christmas in 2001. She and her husband wrote the song in the aftermath of 9/11 as a tribute to America and the Christmas season. I thought it was a beautiful song, but apparently it was not meant to become a Christmas standard.
I know what you mean about playing the same Christmas songs over and over. It could well be that the radio stations playlists are about 200 songs and that’s it.
I just read where Best Buy has quit telling people Merry Christmas and is saying Happy Holidays but is saying Happy Eid Al-something-or-other to Muslims ... and forget about Happy Hanukkah ....
What you describe is actually very simple in explanation ... the music is secularized as much as possible... I listened to XM today and what I heard was just jazzy versions of well known tune...
The secularist who run the entertainment industry wants nothing to do with real Christmas music and will ‘genericize’ until is become non religious - not recognizable.
I noticed this last year too...
BTW — do you have Kim Pencil’s Christmas Album -— a Dallas area artist - great mostly solo piano - with at least one original Christmas composition. It is my favorite in my little collection.
Our local radio station plays a canned program of less than 100 songs, as you say, the worst ones!!! And plays the canned program over and over and over starting around Halloween. The popular culture intends to dilute the holy meaning of Christmas with this crassness.
$14.97 at Amazon
I like listening to Holiday Pops on Ch.77 starting Dec. 7, 2009 through Christmas.
Bing, Frank, Nat. All others are wannabes.
Heard that story too. Ok to trash Christians and Jews, but we have to treat the Muslims with respect. What is wrong with this picture?
That's one of the most beautiful songs ever written regardless of subject.
To 19 - C’mon now, don’t leave Dean Martin out of the mix.
Just an ad. No link for music.
Thanks for the info. on the Pat Benetar song. Appreciate it.
Most of the songs are more than likely recorded in July so they will be ready for the Christmas season who's ready for Christmas in July ?
Also a-lot of the singers don't have Christmas spirit because they don't know Christ or believe in any thing Greater than themselves...
No Sinatra or Dean Martin or Elvis....
I heard that one on the radio this past Wednesday evening.
Some more fun Christmas songs:
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Barenaked Ladies
The Redneck 12 Days of Christmas by Jeff Foxworthy
Let It Be Christmas by Alan Jackson
She’s Right on Time by Billy Joel
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch - the Original
2,000 Miles - The Pretenders
Oh Holy Night - Nat King Cole only.
Two of the best albums of Christmas ever!
Okay, so Dean’s good too. Try some Dinah Shore or Glenn Miller as well.
Now here was a classic Christmas tune....
This has one of the most beautiful renditions of O Holy Night I have ever heard- Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve (2001)
Starring: Michael Crawford, Ossie Davis
This is the link for the page which lists the different types of music:
Let me know if you have any more trouble.
Jingle Cats Silent Night
silent night / the singers unlimited
Your last sentence is very true. Another example of the tail wagging the dog. A few atheists who are hell-bent on taking the joy out of Christmas for everybody else. While I have known for years that the typical Christmas playlist on radio stations have been sanitized so as not to "offend" the few cranks out there, it appears that they are also on a mission to make Christmas music seem sappy and lame.
Another ten songs at random from my iPod Shuffle...let's take our Christmas music back:
O Holy Night - Dustin Kensrue
Merry Christmas Brother - Gordon Gano
Christmas Must Be Tonight - Joan Osborne
O Come O Come Emmanuel - Sufjan Stevens
Just Like Christmas - Ingo Star Cruiser
Christmas Is Coming - George Winston
100,000 Fireflies - The Magnetic Fields
Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers - The Crystals
Pas De Deux: Variation I (Tarantella) - Kirov Opera
Bells Ring - Nazzy Star
Loved the Christmas album “Three Ships” by Jon Anderson back in the ‘80s. It hasn’t been available for years.
Also like the Christmas album by Asleep At The Wheel.
Can’t stand “Silent Night”. It would be tolerable if people didn’t do a slow slide up the third on “heavenly peeeeee-eeeeeace”.
We are now in the last two days of the liturgical year. The Christian year begins anew on Advent Sunday, which this year falls on 29 November. Advent ("Parousia" in Greek) is a four-week period of penitence in which we contemplate both the Advent of the Lord (i.e. the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem) and His Second Advent (the Second Coming, when this world will end). This period is supposed to be one of penance and prayer, not excess and celebration; unfortunately, the secular Christmas holiday season almost exactly matches Advent on the calendar, leaving many people tired, broke, and wondering what all the fuss is about come 25 December.
Observing Advent instead of the secular "holiday season" is a great way to revive the sacred and special feeling that this time of year is supposed to bring. You can start at Catholic.com's Advent 2009 site, which has the prayers, the Gospel readings, and the traditional observances for each day listed for you. (Note: you don't have to be Catholic to observe Advent.)
As for music: if you want inspiring, beautiful music for Advent and Christmas, locate a traditional Catholic parish in your area and drop in for a visit. (You'll want the High Mass on Sunday morning.) A traditional Catholic mass is prayed musically, by singing the prayers and what music it is! Sacred music by the greatest composers along with traditional hymns and prayers can all be heard for free just by visiting a mass. And if you're not Catholic, that's okay -- no one will proselytize you when you visit, nor will anyone expect you to genuflect, know when to sit or stand, etc. Just come on in, take a seat, and let the candles, incense, sounds, and beauty of traditional Christian seasonal observance enfold you. You won't regret it!
It’s only because they go about blowing up innocents and killing everyone that disagrees with them ... IOW - I don’t shop at Best Buy anyway .....
Who here remembers the song, “Christmas Gift”?
Mission accepted! I loved that song too but it never made it into my collection as it is somewhat of a rarity. If I remember correctly, it was a "hidden track" on one of her albums but maybe I can find it as an MP3 somewhere. I do have the Melissa Etheridge version of that song and while she does a decent job with it, there is a certain cringe factor having something on my iPod by Melissa Etheridge. If I can find the Pat Benatar version, I'll be happy to dump Melissa into the recycle bin.
Ten more of my songs (at random from "shuffle mode")...
Gagliarda - Mannheim Steamroller
Spotlight On Christmas - Rufus Wainwright
Winter Wonderland - Aretha Franklin
Christmastime is Here - Diana Krall
First of May - Bee Gees
Poets + Angels - Ottmar Liebert
Breath Of Heaven - Donna Summer
In The Bleak Midwinter - Crash Test Dummies
Pat A Pan - Mannheim Steamroller
The First Noel - Billy Pilgrim
Their rendition of Stille Nacht (Silent Night) is still the most beautiful cover version of that song I've ever heard.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.