Christmas time has come and gone for me and for capitalists everywhere. That means that non-Christians have had to put up with the truly epic amount of holiday music that the season has generated. Now that the new year has begun, we can expect them to taper off, so now might be a good time to reflect upon the absolute madness that saturates some of these tunes. Most of us don’t notice the insanity because the songs have simply been a part of our lives from the beginning. We accept them as normal because they exist in their own little reality, dodging the probes of logic for the same reason that we don’t question the Simpsons for being yellow. Well, it is time to quit cutting them the slack and look at them for what they are, which is ramblingly insane.
Let’s look first at Jingle Bells. For many this is the definitive Christmas song. I used to feel that way, until I started to listen closely. Think about the lyrics of the song. Not once does it mention Christmas. It doesn’t even indicate it. This is a winter song. A little research reveals that the song is actually a THANKSGIVING song, which makes even less sense. Who ever heard of a Thanksgiving Carol? And even if it WAS a Thanksgiving Carol, it doesn’t mention thanks, and it doesn’t mention giving. It doesn’t even mention TURKEY!
Now, another song that is a sort of pseudo-Christmas song is Winter Wonderland. Once again this is a winter song, but at least this time the name makes it clear. My main gripe with this particular song isn’t that it doesn’t mention the holiday it is most associated with, but the disturbing lyrics. Read this:
In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
He’ll say: Are you married?
We’ll say: No man,
But you can do the job
When you’re in town.
Okay. You got that? Let’s look at what they did here. Build a snowman. I’m with you so far. Pretend he’s a clergyman. A little wacky, but okay. He’ll ask if you are married. Umm… It just gets worse, because we answer, not as though the snowman IS Parson Brown, but as though we are talking to Parson Brown THROUGH the snowman. This is some sort of weird living seance, where you contact a man by building an effigy of him. That is cult stuff right there. It gets worse:
Later on, we’ll conspire,
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we’ve made,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
Let’s ignore the fact that they seem terrified by the prospect of keeping a promise they made to a church official through a snowman. They are dreaming by a fire AND walking in a winter wonderland. That sounds like a seriously hazardous situation. I think they may have set fire to the meadow, and are now sleep walking through it. The song goes on to sing about plans to build a snow clown, knowing full well that other kids will destroy it. It is a dark glimpse into a twisted and tormented mind.
Finally, we will look at the New Years Song. Aud Lang Syne. This song is Scottish, which explains why the words look roughly like English words if you tried to type them after being bashed repeatedly about the head with a sock full of nickels. I went though the trouble of looking up the first line. The ONLY line that anyone seems to know. And guess what? If you are like me, then you’ve been getting it wrong. It is “Should old acquaintance be forgot?” not “Should all the quaintence be forgot?” Which is good, because I don’t know what a quaintence is. Honestly, this song must have started as a prank. You take a bunch of people, get them drunk and make them stay up late, then get them to sing a song with vaguely English words that they sort of half know. Hilarity ensues.
Well, that’s enough of that. Maybe we will look into the freaky pocket universe in which all holiday songs exist again, but right now I am a little too weirded out to continue. In parting, let me just say that these crazy songs have been given a logical get out of jail free card for too long. I demand that either we sane up these songs or pick new ones, because I don’t know about you, but realizing how crazy these songs are so long after I first heard them makes me uneasy. It makes me feel like they are sort of musical Trojan horses that managed to sneak a few chunks of crazy past my mental defenses. It makes me wonder what else made it though. Oh well, It probably doesn’t matter. I’m off to kiss someone because they are standing under a poisonous weed.