Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Songs (and Why They Suck)

Today is Christmas Eve, the day before that special holiday that undoubtedly has children everywhere riled up. This makes me excited for multiple reasons, the chief one being how close it is to Christmas. A smaller one may sound a bit less of a big deal but still important all the same. Christmas Eve marks one of the last days I'll have to hear those stupid Christmas carols on the radio.

Christmas songs are some of the most cloying, grating pieces of "music" that I have ever heard. Instead of "getting me in the spirit", it makes me want to cover my ears.

Christmas carols are either sung by super-old singers or very modern, trashy ones. Think of all the mainstream singers that have covered Christmas songs over the year. Some of them make them slightly more bearable to listen to but others only make it worse. Think Taylor Swift and Mariah Carey. Nothing makes me want to change the radio more than the sound of their voices. Even some of the good mainstream singers make me want to do this for they often cover songs that don't suit their voices.

That probably sounds incredibly cynical of me. However, can no one can seriously tell me that no one else feels the same, though.

It's always happy, happy, happy. The saddest these carols get are about singers nursing broken hearts during the holidays. Do I care? No. Maybe I might if it was done in a way that actually made me care (as in well-written song or a decent, emotion-filled voice). I've always appreciated emotional resonance in pieces of art(which is often only found in sad pieces) and Christmas carols lack this to the extreme.

Christmas carols highlight all of the terrible things about the music industry today, such as the terribly-written lyrics and the terrible singers who cover these songs (singers who often employ Auto-tune). I would really love it if there was a more nuanced Christmas song, such as a singer singing about a loss they are experiencing or something that they are really grateful for (such as a new baby).

The problem with this, I would imagine, is that most are not like me. Most do not appreciate depth and the issues people face, especially during the holiday season.

I suppose that those who don't appreciate Christmas carols can avoid the radio or turn on stations without these songs. Of course, for the past couple of weeks, I had to experience these songs day in and day out on the bus on both ways home. This disrupts my usual time for reflection when I'm on the bus. It doesn't help that the same songs are played over and over and over again. I kind of feel bad for those who don't celebrate Christmas. It's almost rubbing it in when these songs are played.

Leaving this on a happy note, I am so excited for Christmas. Not even terrible Christmas songs can ruin this for me.

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