Sorry about the lack of review yesterday. I have no excuse; there simply wasn’t any movie I wanted to spend money on seeing. Apologies and back to normal next week with the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.
So I don’t know about anyone else, but I have finally given in and embraced the Christmas song. It is that time-honored tradition that gets half of the population in the Christmas spirit, bouncing off the walls with festive glee and the other half of humanity converted to cynical Scrooge-like figures. While most of the grumpy lot slowly get pulled over to the Christmas side (most of us have nothing against Christmas music, just believe it should never be heard in October), it still becomes the talk of the season for the bigger part of December.
And because these songs are the talk of the town for so long, we end up noticing trends in the songs. Almost every Christmas song relates to the others with three little facts, whether those facts relate to the instrumental of the song or the context surrounding them. Therefore to understand the controversial music genre hybrid of the Christmas song, I shall jump into these trends. Be warned: I shall include several Christmas songs into this article.
3 – THEY ARE EASY TO HATE OUTSIDE OF THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
OK, you might be loving the Christmas music right now, but surely you have to admit that you can see why some of that music might come across as annoying. Hell, I can drunkenly sing to the Pogues (FACT: long lost relations to Verbal Spew), but I can appreciate that some people will fume that it can even be called music. It is basically drunk people singing at the bar (FACT: yes, Verbal Spew does take after them). The same goes for Mariah Carey and Wham’s Christmas songs. They are so happy and cheerful that you end up cringing at the cheese and steering away from them.
Then Christmas comes around and suddenly, it all makes sense. These songs have the remarkable ability of being terrible for eleven months of the year and then suddenly evolving into musical masterpieces. The happiness is given context and suddenly, it isn’t cheesy, it is seasonal. The clichéd lyrics are suddenly relatable. Even the terrible songs are forgivable, because they are celebrating Christmas. Yet the moment Christmas ends, we forget all about how much we loved them a few days before and resort back to shunning their very existence. We are fickle creatures.
2 – JINGLE BELLS
Why does every bloody Christmas song have some form of bell banging away in the background? They are one of the worst instruments humanity has going for it, yet we are determined to symbolise it with the happiness time of the year. (FACT: Shitfest Winter, not Christmas. Sorry for the confusion.) They rarely bring anything to the song. Most of the time, they are just being banged away in the background, at a totally different pace to the rest of the instruments. The songs do well to survive with them. But the moment we are given a song without them, we revolt, as though someone has changed the fundamental nature of life itself.
For example, I have discovered that different countries have totally different Christmas songs. Here in England, one of our main ones is Slade, but the Americans haven’t heard this song. It shocked me on Radio One, when Scott Mills played it and all the foreign listeners asked what song this was. That was mind-blowing to me. I listened to a couple of American favourites, but they didn’t have any jingle bells in them and it totally didn’t feel right to me. I am sure the Americans grew up with those songs, but without the bells, I wasn’t given that Christmassy mood and therefore the music meant nothing to me. I guess that makes me a hypocrite for hating on jingle bells, but it has become a weird fact of Christmas life. (Another FACT: Sidekick Reviews goes into hibernation during the Walking Dead break. So does half of Michigan.)
1 – WE ARE UNWILLING TO ACCEPT NEW CHRISTMAS SONGS
It always irritates me how few good Christmas songs there actually are. Even when caught up in the Christmas spirit, as we get closer to the day, the Christmas songs do feel overplayed. Christmas feels as if it comes sooner every year, so I don’t necessarily feel the urge to listen to that Mariah Carey song I only get to listen to one month a year. It is often overplayed and I end up seeking Christmas music out there. But most of the time, there really isn’t many substitutes.
Mainly this is due to the fact that some of our enjoyment of Christmas music is the fact we grew up with it. They have been ingrained in our memory, if we like it or not. So when an artist does attempt the tricky and bring out a new Christmas song, we rarely embrace it, despite being annoyed at how few options we have. We are very picky about our Christmas music. I am still a little unsure of that Wombats Christmas song, as it is new and by new, I mean four or five years old. On the flip side, I heard a brand new Christmas song the other day, my first Christmas song of the year, and I really enjoyed it.
Yes, it is cheesy. Yes, it is a little too happy for its own good. Yes, it has bloody jingle bells. But it does the trick. In a few weeks, I shall be hating the living crap out of this song, but for now, it is a Christmas song, one I can get along with, so it can join my playlist. Merry Christmas. (FACT: Tim the Film Guy has scrolled up to that first photo on this article about eight times.)