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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ABF Wednesday:  Special Molochmas Edition!

Every year Janet and I play a Fun Tedious Game.  She puts on a CD of “Christmas music” in order to fill the house with “Christmas cheer” and the “spirit” of the “season,” and I do my crabby eyerolling Scrooge routine.  I can make it through about two weeks of “(Walking Through a) Winter Wonderland” and “Christmas Song” by singing along in Bill Murray-lounge lizard mode, bending or breaking a few notes along the way in order to indicate that I am singing in a “hep” and “jazzy” manner.  You know, “and folks dressed up like wacky Eskimos,” “and pretend that he is that coo-coo Parson Brown,” and so forth. 

But after two weeks, I’ve had enough, and no amount of parody will suffice.  If I hear “Frosty the Snowman” or “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” one more time, I will scream until they come to take me away.  Did you know that “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is best sung by people wearing bright red sweaters with reindeers and Santas on them?  It’s true, you know.

Now, I’m not really a bah-humbug sort of fellow.  I like hearing a good “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” or “Angels We Have Heard On High,” and I think “O Holy Night” can be quite nice when it’s not too bombastic.  (Joan Baez does a fine, subtle job with “O Holy Night,” and in French, no less.) But I miss the songs I grew up with, like “Jingle Ba’al” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Moloch.” Nobody sings those anymore, because of the War on Molochmas.

So as Janet, Jamie, Lucy the Dog and I pack up for Connecticut (meeting up with New Haven Nick and the Extended Janet Clan), thence to San Francisco for the always-thrilling Modern Language Association Festival of Lights, I’m going to turn the blog over to those of you who have special Christmas holiday songs you can’t stand to hear.  To make it more fun (and yet arbitrary!), I’m going to split the unbearable songs into two categories.

Category one: “Classic” songs from the past century, including but not limited to all the atrocities named in the first two paragraphs of this post as well as “Rudolph” and “White Christmas” and Moloch knows what else.

Category two: “Rock” and “pop” songs from the past half-century that induce cringing, wincing, and boils among the unfortunates subjected to them, including but not limited to Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time,” Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas,” the Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping,” and Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas.” (Don’t be fooled by those first twenty seconds of pretty little guitar-pickin’!  And be sure to watch every last second of the Elton John clip so that you can see Elton’s band literally stepping into Christmas!)

Just one thing about category two: no one, but no one is permitted to cite the Bing and Bowie duet on “Little Drummer Boy,” on the grounds that over the past thirty years this whimsical little number has gone way beyond “Classic Weird” and “Crooner and Space Alien Weird” and “Teh Awesomest Weird Duet Ever Weird” and has become a thing unto itself that none of us really know how to categorize or comprehend.

Merry Molochmas and Happy New Year to you all.  I’ll be back sometime in 2009.

Posted by Michael on 12/24 at 10:13 AM
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