Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Music: Turn it up or turn it off?

So here it is, the 16th of December already.  The Christmas decorations have been up in retail stores, in many cases since before Halloween.  The Christmas music has become ubiquitous.  Are you tired of it yet?  Or do you look forward to when the "lite" music station goes "All-Christmas, 24/7" starting in early November?

I've worked in retail as one of my jobs for years.  Usually by now I'm tired of the same old songs since there are only a handful that seem to get regular play.  But the intercom system on the floor I work on has been broken for quite some time now.  The bad thing is that we can't call out for a supervisor when we need one at the register, or announce that the store is closing to remind those who walked in at one minute to closing that they had better try on those clothes quickly.  But the good thing is that there is no music station repeating the same tired songs I usually get so sick of so quickly.  If I never hear Michael Jackson's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", or anyone's version of "The Little Drummer Boy" again, I'll be a very happy woman.  But personally I love Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You", so I sing along with that one every time, even if it's played every hour.  My very favorite Christmas song is the Platters' version of "White Christmas", which I first heard in the first "Santa Claus" movie with Tim Allen, in the scene where he and his son are in the diner on Thanksgiving after he set their turkey on fire.  I love that movie, but I also love that song.

As a kid I took piano lessons for eight years, so I always accompanied the choirs at our school presentations.  I've played along with traditional songs like, "The Holly and the Ivy", and "Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella", as well as modern songs like "We All Need a Little Christmas".  I love the back-story about "The Christmas Song", told by Mel Torme to Jay Leno, about how he and another Jewish song-writer were floating  in a pool on a 99-degree day out in Hollywood, sipping fruity drinks and challenging each other to come up with things that symbolized Christmas.  That's how they wrote the song...doesn't matter, I still love it.

If you want something completely different, check out any of Bob Rivers' CDs; my husband owns them all. Rivers does a "take" on Christmas songs that's similar to what Al Yankovich does to modern songs.  For instance he does "I Am Santa Claus" to the tune of "I Am Ironman" by Black Sabbath.  From the first few notes, to the singer's voice, you'd swear it was the original Black Sabbath song...until you listen to the words!  "The Nutcracker Suite" becomes a story of the plumber working on your kitchen sink during the holidays:"The Butt-cracker Suite".  There are many CDs to choose from, but my personal favorite is called "White Trash Christmas", in which he sings about dreaming of a White Trash Christmas in which they'll "decorate the double-wide", and there'll be "cousins kissin' and front teeth missin'", and they'll "hear Grampa peein' in the snow". Yup, just what I need to get me into the Holiday spirit!  Bring me a glass of Baileys on ice (with a little Kahlua in it to sweeten it), and let's sit and enjoy the fire in the fireplace along with the lights twinkling on the tree, as we sing along with Bob.

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, and if I missed anyone's favorite holiday, I wish you a joyous one of those too.  And here's to a great New Year for all of us, no matter what the Mayans predicted!

Read about my favorite Christmas movies and share yours at my blog: www.fionamcgier.com


Tina Donahue said...

Good subject, Fiona. I listen to a local radio station while I work - they play Adele, Mariah Carey, LeeAnn Rimes - all of my favs.

However, a week before Thanksgiving - yes, Thanksgiving - they start playing Christmas songs. Nothing but Christmas songs. By New Year's I'm ready to tear my hair out.

The only holiday music I can listen to again and again is an instrumental of the song that goes "Christmas is here...Christmas is here." I think it's by the Translyvanian Orchestra (don't laugh). That's what I recall the announcer saying. :)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Sometimes I do grow tired of Christmas songs, movies and advertisements when they start in October, for Pete's sake. But I do love music and I am fond of my own Christmas albums (yeah, the vinyl kind) and CD's. I have a big selection by Celtic artists and some very spiritual ones as well as the unconventional like Creole Christmas. When my great-niece and I were making gingerbread Big Foot cookies for Christmas, we played some of the music and it helped us get in the mood.
I haven't decorated for Christmas yet. It's on my list for today. I'm going to keep it simple this year.
It must have been very annoying to work in retail around Christmas. I feel ya, Fiona.

Fiona McGier said...

Thanks for reading...Sarah, I still work in retail. I wish it was in the past, but alas, the bills still need paying so off to work I go.

Tina, as I said, I'm truly pleased that the intercom system has been broken. Others say they miss the music...not me!