Tuesday, December 09, 2008

a marshmallow world

When you have a kid, you've got to shed some of your coolness factor and embrace the all-day, all-night Xmas music station. At least now that she's old enough to want to hear the music. Don't worry, I'm also passing on my misspent youth - she likes to sing along to Should I Stay or Should I Go.

I have to admit that I am actually enjoying listening to the station this year (but only in the car, not at home - I'm not completely mental.) Most of the fun comes from watching my daughter light up when Rudolph or Frosty plays, or learning what other holiday ditties float her boat, like Jingle Bell Rock. I am also relieved that she can't stand Mannheim Steamroller or the Trans-Siberian Orchestra ("Too sad - I don't like it!") I'm right there with you kid. I think it's sort of creepy music, actually. I prefer vocals. Always.

What I enjoy is not the umpteenth time that White Christmas is played, although it's definitely a classic, but when they play some obscure version of either a traditional song or some weird, forced holiday tune, like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by the Pretenders - I had to use Shazam on my iPhone to find out who was strangling the cat. Unbelievably painful. What was Chrissie Hynde drinking that day? I actually like the song, and the best version is by Judy Garland from the film Meet Me in St. Louis, but James Taylor does a pretty good one, too.The song actually captures what it's like to be away from your loved ones at the holidays and has a poignant wartime reference, whether originally in post-war 1944 or today.

Sometimes I end up liking holiday songs by an artist that I don't like when they do their own material. I find Sarah McLachlan too twee most of the time, but I like the version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen she does with Barenaked Ladies.


While I was sipping hot cocoa at lunch this afternoon with the ubiquitous holiday music playing in the background, I was treated to a Rat Pack Christmas. Most of it was pretty awful, especially from Sinatra, with his "hey youse guys, I can style any song you can trow at me!" delivery. And don't even challenge me on this. I'm from Joisey. But I do have to 'fess up to a fondness for Dino's version of Rudy...

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