Something happened about 50 years ago- maybe 60... I think just about all of the good Christmas songs have already been written. Countless artists keep putting out Christmas music every year, they are overwrought, contrived or even forced new songs or terribly mis-interpreted versions of classics. "Its Christmas time, the snow is falling down..." Falling down? As opposed to? I know which direction the snow is going to fall. We don't need another songwriter explaining gravity to us. Also, the inclusion of sleigh bells does not a Christmas song make. I guess Christopher Walken was there too. "I got a fever! and the only perscription... MORE Sleigh Bells!" Somebody out there must be in a position to advance the art of Christmas song writing beyond an opening line of "It's Christmas time..." Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? Come on guys!
At the core of the problem, too many artists don't have any clue about the concept of reverence for the more religious songs. I understand the secular and cultural celebration of Christmas and I'm not opposed to that. There is a reason that Christmas is a national holiday and Easter is not. We can remember the birth of Christ, who embodies values that we hold dear as a nation, in the same way that we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King or those who fought and died (Memorial Day) or the workers that built this nation (Labor Day) etc. For those who also regard Christ as the Savior of the world, the celebration and remembrance at Christmas can be a profound experience. There is no need for anyone else to take offense at that part of the celebration.
I DJ'd at 11 Christmas- wait- excuse me- Holiday parties. Corporations are afraid to have Christmas parties because someone might be offended. They have Holiday parties or even worse, End of the Year banquets. What is this world coming to? Anyways, I played at 11 events between Dec 6 and Dec 20 and only 2 of them allowed me to play Christmas music.
I now come down of my soapbox- back to the matter at hand.
Twisted Sister just needs to knock of the Twisted Christmas music. "O Come all ye faithful" Twisted Sister style? They don't even have the chord progression right. Please! Gary Hoey's hard rock version of "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch" is brilliant because the lyrical content lends itself to such an interpretation.
Here are the greatest Christmas songs ever written or sung. That's right, I said that and I'll say it again because I'm controversial, I'm like Geraldo! Here they are in no particular order- the Greatest Christmas songs ever. Some of these are new songs, some are reworks of classic songs that are so good that the original versions should be taken out behind the barn and shot.
Andy Williams- The most wonderful time of the year- Classic. It just ain't Christmas until you fire up that song.
Amy Grant- Breath of Heaven- that reverence thing. I could never sing this because I'd be too emotional-- and the fact that I'm not a woman...
Dennis DeYoung- When I hear a Christmas song- New song in the classic vein. Free download at dennisdeyoung.com until the end of the year.
Randy Travis- Jingle Bell Rock- The original should have been this country style. It's a country song.
Enya- Stille Nacht- Brilliant version of this song. Haunting.
Jon Bon Jovi- Please come home for Christmas. Sad broken love song. He really sounds like he's got the blues here.
The Osmonds- Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells
The Pointer Sisters- Santa Claus is coming to town
Peter, Paul and Mary- Children, Go where I send thee
Styx- All I want- Another new song but not overwrought. I coulda used a little more sleigh bells though.
Holly Nunn- Feliz Navidad
Emmylou Harris- O Little town of Bethlehem- Very reverent.
The Blenders- Carol of the Bells- If you are subwoofer privileged, this recording is great.
There you have it. I probably should have posted this earlier in the season, but if you aren't sick of Christmas music, enjoy these.
I'm gonna go fire up "It's a Wonderful Life"
Merry Christmas everybody!